International Journal of Integrative Humanism Vol. 10 No. 2, December 2018.
ISSN: 2026 – 6286
Barikpe N. Ken-Aminikpo and Pamela I. Cyril-Egware
This study is a reinvention of the existing Boghor-koo ceremony costumes to be uniquely identified with the Ogoni people of Rivers State in Nigeria. The Ogoni people have always relied on the Mneken fabric for dressing their maidens (Koo) during their initiation rites to womanhood. Mneken, popularly known as popo. It is a traditional woven fabric acculturated from neighbouring riverine communities. This experimental study has redesigned the Mneken fabric using the applique technique of fabric decoration which is surface embellishment of fabric using cut out fabrics to enhance the existing one. It has modified the Mneken fabric uniquely with symbolic accessories for the Boghor-koo initiation ceremony. Designs illustrated and reproduced on fabric portray the culture, occupation and identity of the Ogoni people. Experimental and analytical methods were employed in this research whereby several drawings were made from critical studies of the symbolic items used at the Boghor-koo ceremony. Samples were then produced using applique method of surface embellishment with iron-on stones, sequence and beads and taken to the field for the users to analyze and choose. Hence enabling the end users participate in the production process of the new invention and to retain its functionality as their identity. This new design is intended to give the Ogoni people a unique identity different from their neighbours from whom they acquired the popo. It is established in this research that the Ogoni people have been craving for a sophisticated costume to differentiate them from their neighbours who use the same fabric. Hence, the full acceptance of the new design, especially by the royalty and the women groups who are the organizers of Boghor-kooinitiation ceremony.
Keywords: Redesigning, Mneken costume, Initiation, Ogoni, Boghor-koo ceremony