Weaving in Southern Nigeria

by Lisa Aronson
Skidmore College

An Akwete Igbo weaver at her loom. Igbo peoples, Nigeria. Photo by Lisa Aronson.


This Akwete weaver weaves on a loom quite distinct from women's weaving elsewhere in Nigeria. Unlike the latter, the Akwete loom since the beginning of the 20th century, is five feet in width, with the resulting cloths being nearly that dimension. By widening the cloths and related apparatus, as Akwete women took to doing, they may have been emulating the average width of cloths traded from Europe or Asia. Expediency may also have been a factor.