Eturi collects dung from the goat pen and burns it in a fire. The skins are unfolded and the burnt dung is collected and put in a pot ready for later use. The women then set about scraping the skins, a process made easier by the application of ash the day before.
Rights ownerSamuel Frederick Derbyshire
ParticipantsAdwer Eturi , Mary Lodungo , Nawoi Esekon
Item/objectAbwo and adwel
Techniques of productionScraped, Burned
MaterialsAnimal-dung, Eleu a akine, Skin-goat skin
Materials altNgachin a ngibaren
Social group settingCraftspeople working together
TemporalityWork continues on the skins all day, from mid morning to dusk. In total the skins take around two weeks to make. These items of clothing were once worn ubiquitously throughout Turkana, the abwo playing a central role differentiating married from unmarried women. In an akinyonyo ceremony undertaken near to Nadoto (2019LG-02-E001-0001) Louren Engatuny is adorned with an abwo once her ngakoroumwa beads have been dispersed and an alagama metal torc placed around her neck. Historically, a married woman would have continued wearing an abwo in everyday life from this moment onwards. Some women from older generations still wear such skins, but very few. As with many other items of clothing and ornamentation, many argue that the abwo began to radically decline in popularity from around Ekaru Asur (The Fleeing Year, c. 1981).
Date of creation2021-07-23