Akwete cloth is a special woven fabric by Igbo women in Akwete area near Aba in Abia State. It is originally referred to as “Akwa Miri” (Cloth of the water) meaning towel. Akwete cloth weaving is said to be as old as the Igbo nation.
Africa | Akwete cloth from the Igbo people of southern Nigeria. | Photo by Lisa Aronson. || This Akwete cloth combines an 'ikaki' design with several other patterns in a linear grid arrangement, the overall effect of which resembles a strip weave. In this example of Akwete cloth, the 'ikaki' design is barely detectable.
Africa | An ikaki-pattern textile from Akwete. Igbo peoples of southern Nigeria. | Photo by Lisa Aronson. ||| Once woven in three parts, like its Ijebu equivalent, ikaki cloth came to be woven in one wide version. Yet, the multiple part construction is still evident in its overall design.
Akwete is on the southern fringes of the Igbo speaking area of Nigeria and its women wove cloths that were traded throughout the Niger delta, both as formal dress and for use on various ceremonial occasions.