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textile of Africa: AKWETE CLOTH, Nigeria

Naomi Campbell for Kenneth Ize FW20

Akwete cloth is a unique hand woven fabric of Igbo women from Akwete in Abia State, Nigeria.

The fabric was originally referred to as “Akwa Miri” or cloth of the water. The cloth itself is said to be as old as the Igbo nation.

There are different patterns & motifs for the cloth. Examples include, animals (particularly tortoises, which represent cunning and wisdom), ritual objects and symbols.

An interesting point about the Akwete cloth is that most weavers claim that the designs are revealed to them by the gods, and as a result, no weaver is allowed to copy the design of another.

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