1373 x 903 Weaving in Southern Nigeria, Page 7 - Art & Life in Africa - The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art

Weaving in Southern Nigeria

by Lisa Aronson
Skidmore College

King of Ijebu-Ife, Yoruba artist, central Ijebu area, Nigeria, 1982. Photo by H.J. Drewal and M.T. Drewal. 


This story begins with the Ijebu Yoruba who live in Southeastern Yoruba land along the western-most fringes of the Niger Delta. The Ijebu are ruled by awujale (a divine king) based in Ijebu-Ode and a series of lesser-crowned rulers located in neighboring Ijebu towns. A separate but not unrelated system of Ijebu rule is the judiciary society called oshugbo (ogboni by other Yoruba subgroups). Oshugbo is made up of male and female elders who decide on criminal court cases and who oversee all affairs concerning the king.