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2019LG02-C013-0876.tif (114.25 MB)

Eturi, Lodungo and Nawoi make adwel and abwo skins, historically worn by women throughout Turkana but now worn only on ceremonial occasions.

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:56 authored by Lucas Lowasa
The women cut and sew the skins into a variety of shapes using strips of sheep skin, at the end of the day the pieces are buried to keep them soft and supple.

Funding

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

History

Session

C013

Rights owner

Samuel Frederick Derbyshire

Cultural group

Turkana

Participants

Adwer Eturi , Mary Lodungo , Nawoi Esekon

Country

Kenya

Place

Adap, Turkana

Item/object

Abwo and adwel

Techniques of production

Cut-cut, Sewn, worked

Materials

Eleu a akine, Skin-goat skin

Social group setting

Craftspeople working together

Location

Home

Temporality

Work 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 creation

2021-07-30

Unique ID

2019LG02-C013-0876

Usage metrics

    Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

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