IDENTITY - SS 17

Inspired by the Itsekiri people of Warri and their famous tribal dance - Omoko, known for their cultural links and impressive trade, the Itsekiri people have used their experiences to create a niche for themselves in their traditions which include food, dancing, dressing and customs, that have made them unique amongst any other tribe.

The Omoko dance is one of the many unique elements of the itsekiri tribe that stands out not because of the dance technique of wriggling the waist but for its costume.

With the use of several wrappers and several headscarves, an Omoko dancer cannot be missed in a crowd, He, usually a male as young as 3 years, as the dance is limited to the young and agile who can perform the acrobatic involved. The wrapper is the main foundation of the costume, the scarves are then tied in layers and bells are tied to the waist to create the necessary effects.

The complexity and immediate beauty of the layered Omoko costume is analogous with the dense complexity and instant attractiveness of an active human being. We may be complex in nature but when all parts of ourselves are embraced - the bonds and layers that we put into the world are undeniably attractive. This is just as true even when we do not understand our inner workings, and in the case of the Omoko costume; the inner mastery of fabric manipulation that creates a stunning garment.

The Omoko dance signifies not only a heritage but also the ties and bonds and the different layers of our existence as well as our identity.

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Photography - Joe Penney

Production and Styling -  Compozition Studios

Art Direction - BOFC

Model - Ifeoma Nwobu