Weaving in Southern Nigeria

by Lisa Aronson
Skidmore College

An example of awumiebite after it has been dyed and dried. Ijo peoples, Nigeria. Photo by Lisa Aronson.

 

This is an example of awumiebite after it has been dyed and dried. Senior women present awumiebite to a young woman when she is going through her iria (coming of age ceremony). When the women tie the newly presented cloth around her body they say: “As I tie you this wrapper, may you stay alive and be your daughter’s wrapper.” As awumiebite marks the beginning of her adult status, so too does it mark the end of her life on earth for it is the last cloth wrapped around her body as it lies in state before burial.