|An Ebira Woman weaving cloth on the loom|
The Okene main market (ohu bariki) retains an paralleled record of patronage when it comes to local trade of the Ita-inochi otherwise known as woven cloth. Historically, people traveled from across the country buy the clothes from our local weavers. This gave rise to the yoruba acronym for the clothe "Aso-Oke", meaning cloth from the upper (Northern) Nigeria.
The Oguntoro (loom) was a common feature in most Ebira homes when the trade thrived locally and internationally. Today, modernization has taken over the local weaving method as simple mechanized approach now make it easier for women to weave faster and produce more for their clients.
Innovation has taken centre stage. New skills are being adopted to make the clothes into shoes, bags, hand fans and more accessories in compleiance with modern fashion.
While the innovation opens more money making opportunity in the weaving business, our local weavers are loosing out of the trend. At the Okene main market, one only finds more of the weaving materials than than the finished products.
The drop in local production not withstanding, some smarter women have cashed in on the evolving market to rake more profit than their predecessors. Leading among the modern weavers are the women from Upogoro who have not only improved in the designs but the texture of the cloth from heavy woolen feel to a softer and lighter materials.
- From Upogoro weavers in Okene-