Photos courtesy of @Keleenna
1910s – 1930s
Reference: 100 Years of Beauty - Nigeria | Igbo (Men)
The plethora of videos entitled ‘100 years of’ is now commonplace on YouTube, and like the millions of people who have indulged in the series, I’ve enjoyed the many creative attempts to showcase a decade by decade time-lapse of the changes in style, beauty and social norms.
It’s not a secret that African countries are often overlooked when creators decide which regions to feature. And after years (literally) of waiting for someone to create something for Nigeria, that old saying ‘if not us then who’ echoed through as I remembered that the onus is on us to tell our own stories.
Much of the research was aided by Ụ́kpụ́rụ́’online documentation of historic images. Whilst researching, it became clear that; looks, beauty practices and styles vary throughout the Igbo region. As a result, our goal was to try to find a way to showcase the diversity of Igbo people, and to highlight the uniqueness of the style, hair and fashion trends for each decade.
Much of Igboland was colonised in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with Nigeria becoming a British protectorate in 1901. From the 1910s to 1930s the colonial regime within Nigeria was yet to substantially impact the day to day attire of most Igbo men.
One item of clothing the colonial regime introduced to the Igbos and neighbouring ethnic groups was known as the ‘lungi’, a plaid patterned material of Indian origin referred to as ‘madras’. Colloquially, the cloth is called ‘Jịọjị’ (George) and the style of cloth was and is still used as cultural attire within the region.
The looks for the 1910s – 1950s features the ‘George’ wrapper tied around the waist of the model to represent the practice of men tying a cloth around their waist (photo below).
See thread by Ụ́kpụ́rụ́ : https://twitter.com/Ụ́kpụ́rụ́ /status/1126898563764633601
The look for the 1910s took inspiration from a photograph of a boy named Okonkwo in Akwa. The photo was taken between 1909 – 1913 by Thomas, Northcote Whitridge. (Colourised by Ụ́kpụ́rụ́)
For this look, along with the George wrapper, we’ve incorporated a necklace made of cowrie shells as an aesthetic variation.
An Example of Igbo Dances
Thank you (daalu) to all those who came! Till the next one!
This September Okwu ID is offering a 4-week short course which will aim to teach you Igbo in a fun and relaxed way.
The standalone classes will be centred around a single topic and students will be taught words, phrases and dialogue that can be used in everyday conversation.
Students will be given a chance to practice and develop skills focusing on listening and speaking (some reading and writing will be taught too!).
Each class will feature a 10-15 min talk on aspects of Igbo culture ranging from the importance of the Oji (Kola Nut) to Igbo folklore.
Learning Igbo: FUNNY INSULTS !! Pt.1
5 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BIAFRA-NIGERIA WAR
60s Rock-Legend Jimi Hendrix at the height of his career in 1968 performed at a Biafra war benefit show in Manhattan along with 60s folk singer Joan Baez. Both artists performed free of charge in order to raise money for refugees of the Biafra-Nigeria Civil war. Photo Joan Baez and Jimi Hendrix chat between acts at a Biafran Relief Benefit. https://www.theguardian.com
The Biafran side largely engineered and manufactured their own weaponry. They received only non-political Joint Church Aid assistance. Nigeria, on the other hand was aided by both Russia (then the Soviet Union), and the North-Atlantic Alliance (particularly Nigeria’s former colonial master, Britain)—as well as by much of Muslim North Africa, with Egyptian pilots flying Russian-made MIGs against the breakaway enclave which had no air force of its own.
During the war between 500,000 3,000,000 refugees fled the county.
WHAT ARE "THE ALUSI"?
Alusi are all manifestations of Chukwu (the supreme god), which is also responsible for assigning them their different tasks.
The deities act as forces for blessings or destruction, depending on the circumstances, they enforce punishments on “wrongdoers”.
Alusi may be represented as wooden figures and placed in shrines where they are incorporated into weekly and annual rituals.
They are assisted by diviners and priests whose jobs it is to interpret the wishes of the alusi and to perform rituals unto them.
There are different types of alusi and they all have different functions. Some of the major ones includes:
Ala (The Earth goddess)
Anyanwu (The Sun goddess)
Amadioha (The god of Thunder)
Ekwensu (The trickster god)
Ogbanabali (The god of death)