narrow loom

Intro to weaving: Week 3

This week we are focusing on the rich and varied weaving traditions of west Africa.  There are numerous weaving traditions that have been developed and used throughout the African continent. The weaving technique that we will cover in this unit is the broad upright loom weaving technique used in southern Nigeria, Benin Republic and Cameroon. This technique was used to create numerous ritual, prestige and domestic textiles, that were used locally and exported throughout west and central Africa. Primarily ( often exclusively) women used this loom as opposed to the narrow strip loom that was exclusively used by men until the mid-late twentieth century. The prestigious Aso-Olona cloths used by the ogboni society of the Yoruba people are part of this tradition as are the blue and white textiles from the former Benin empire  that were exported to european traders in vast quantities. I studied weaving in Ogidi Ijumu at the the Nike center for art and culture under my teacher, master weaver Mrs Agnes Umeche ,who was born in the neighboring town of Okene a historic center for weaving arts.

Below: Mrs Agnes Umeche and her work

 It is an honor  to be able to teach this art to students here in the United States. For now we are practicing using a modified handheld version of the loom made from sanded canvas stretchers. Apprentices would use a similar practice loom made from an upturned stool or calabash when they first started out.  

Below : A Yoruba woman setting an upright loom, Ihaka  and Jordan setting their practice looms.

I am excited to see how the work they are doing translates to their larger pieces on a full sized loom. These traditions were once very widespread in Nigeria. In fact in the igbo village of Akwete all women were expected to weave. The Yoruba towns of Owo,Ilorin and Ijebu Ode and the Ebira town of Okene were also renowned for their textiles. Although this art is still practiced in Nigeria this particular type of weaving is becoming rarer as time progresses. It is my hope that places like the Nike center for art and culture continue to revive these arts in Nigeria. As an African American who most likely has roots in southern Nigeria learning this art form was a healing experience, one that felt like the reclamation of an ancestral skill that had been taken away by force. I hope to share that experience with my students. Be sure to stay tuned as we continue our journey through the work of african textiles. 

Below: More examples of students weaving on their practice looms

Request: SCM Gods finding out MC has a cool tattoo

-Ranges from suggestive to NSFW-

“What are you trying to hide?”
His dark eyes narrowed as he loomed over you with a smirk.
Scorpio’s hand stroked your cheek, drawing your thoughts into his mind.
“Show me.”
“Show w…what?!” You stammer, clutching your shirt at the collar, blushing nervously as Scorpio demanded.
Scorpio’s lip curled up with your redundant lies, grabbing your hands and tugging them aside as leaned in and kissed you along the throat. You whimper happily at his touch and wrap your arms around his neck.
Scorpio plucked your buttons open easily and trailed his lips against your skin, biting the edge of your collar and wrenched it to the side. Long fingers guided the garment down, exposing the expanse of skin across your collarbones and shoulder.
You swat at him with embarrassment and Scorpio seizes your wrist, slamming it down onto the cushions.
“Y-You….” Scorpio’s smirking face suddenly turned bright red, seeping pink up to the roots of his hair. “Tch. Woman. You…”
You peek up at your boyfriend’s face, watching him twitch his nose slightly, awkwardly, like a surprised rabbit.
On your left upper arm was a chrysanthemum, its delicate petals darkening from pale pink at its tips to red and black, its stem twisting into the stinging tail of a scorpion.
“Scorpio?” You whisper softly. Before another word could slip through, he presses his lips hard against yours, his hands falling on your body with renewed lust and desire. “Scorpio…” You moan against him as he kisses you, his body falling over yours with a pleasant weight.
“You.” Scorpio breathed between kisses. He blushed deeper, and you melt into his burning gaze.

“I’m impressed.”
“S-Should I be proud of that?”
You squirm with embarrassment in front of him, the hot water beating down on the two of you from the shower. Leon chuckled, his low and seductive voice rumbling in a predatory purr in his chest.
His finger traced your tattoo, a dark, winged crest that matched the mark of sin he used to have in the precise design and positioning. Leon wrapped his other arm around your waist and yanked you closer, pressing your wet bodies together.
“Didn’t know you had it in you to endure a tattoo.”
You blushed and tried to turn away. Leon grabs your chin and turns you back to him, his honey eyes boring deep into your gaze.
“Just had to permanently mark yourself as mine, huh?”
His palm pressed over the tattoo, and you whimpered softly as you felt the magical whirl of pleasure down your spine.
“Trying to tempt me, my little goldfish?”
Leon backed you up against the shower wall, your skin stinging against the cold tiles as his hot expression warmed you from the inside out.
His smirk deepened and he stroked your cheek with a finger, his touch sliding down your jaw seductively. The moment seemed to drag on forever, you staring up at him shyly and his finger moving slowly over your throat.
And then he grabbed you with both hands, clutching you against him as he closed your lips with a kiss.
He pinned you up, your body a perfectly pressed between cold wall and his hot skin, your heart melting into his as the two of you entwined.

“Oh-ho, what’s this?”
You squirm on the bed shyly, trying to close your legs and get away from him. Huedhaut held your thighs steady on his shoulders and chuckled.
“Hiding something?”
“Stop.. Stop staring!”
“You got it for me to look, at, didn’t you?” He kissed your inner thigh, right over the tattoo, cool lips a tingling touch on your burning skin.

“Hue! No, no-Not like that!”
You sit up and try to cover your tattoo with your hands. Huedhaut took your hands gently and placed them on his face as he gazed up at you.
“A tattoo themed for me, positioned at my favourite place to put my head, right where my mark of sin was, I think it’s enough proof that someone wants me to take a good long look at her tattoo.”
You blushed and shook your head shyly, nervously giggling.
Huedhaut kissed your wrist and pressed his hand against your stomach to make you lie down again.
“How charming.”
He pressed another kiss to the small blue infinity sign etched onto your skin, and you shudder in anticipation, fingers slipping through his hair.
“How impatient.” He snickered as he flicked his tongue. You whimpered weakly and begged him closer for more contact, tugging on his locks.
“I love you.” He peered up at you from between your legs, warm blue eyes soft with adoration.
“Hue…” Your breathing heavy and laboured, you meet his gaze. “I love you too.”

“Yay! You look so cute!”
Ichthys comes running up to you across the sand, grinning. You just changed into your bikini, a white towel still wrapped shyly around your body.
“Why the coverup?” He cocked his head to the side with a laugh. “Come on, let loose!”
And with that, accompanied with your surprised squeal, he yanked the towel away from you.
You smacked him in the head.
He laughed and the bubbly feeling infected you as well as you burst out in a fit of giggles. Ichthys put an arm around your waist and pulled you close to him.
“Oh! Wait, what’s this?” He held your shoulders and turned you slightly, curiously peering down at your side. “Heyyyy!”
He grinned and reached down to touch the tattoo along the side of your ribs, stroking the twin black koi.
“Ichthys! That tickles!!”
You swat his hand away and Ichthys hugs you tightly to him.
“Did you get that for meeeeee?”
You blush and shake your head. He kisses you hard, hands cupping your face gently as he pushed his lips firmly against yours.
“Of course not!” You feel your face flush deeper and bury your flustered expression into his shoulder.
“I think it’s super cute!” Ichthys embraced you harder. “I think I’m going to get one too!”

You were wrapped in the bubbles and his arms, deep in the tub of warm water. Teorus cupped a handful of bubbles in front of you and sent them flying with a soft breath. You leaned against him happily, sighing with wonder as the bubbles drifted off into the sky.
“That’s so beautiful.” You breathe out. “Something simple like that… It never fails to amaze m- WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TOUCHING!”
You squeal and squirm around in the bath, sloshing bubbles and water everywhere as he holds you close at the waist with a chuckle.
“Awww, my princess doesn’t like it?” He kissed your ear. You feel your body temperature rising with embarrassment as you hurriedly pull away from him and jump up out of the bath, reaching for a towel.
You slip and lose your footing, falling forward. For a moment you feel like the world has stopped, the gravity pausing in its downward pull, and your boyfriend’s arm loops about your waist.
The full impact of your fall resumes, and you feel him gracefully scoop you up, stepping out of the water and heading for the bedroom.
“Sorry, no running from the god of time.” He breathed into your ear. “Also, I think I see something very interesting.”
He places you on the bed lightly, and pins you down on all fours.
“This is certainly alluring, my goddess.”
Teorus brushed his fingertips lightly over the roses tattooed onto your lower back.
“I like it.”
He lay down beside you and you felt the bed dip as he rolled you over, cuddling you close to his chest. Teorus kissed your forehead.
“It looks lovely on you.”
“You think so?”
“Mhmm.” He closed the narrow gap between your lips and pressed his weight over you. “Never anything better.”

Sorry- didn’t know where Dui had his mark of sin- I’ll do that when I find out

Thanks for the read!
Hope you enjoyed this short little tidbit!

Embodiment of Darkness Allergic to Stupid

Rumia, the infamous youkai of darkness who was tangentially involved with the Scarlet Mist incident, possesses a debilitating weakness to sub-par intelligence, an encounter with local firefly and insect master Wriggle Nightbug revealed.

The weakness came into light when Wriggle taunted the shadow youkai, attempting to goad her into “eating” the cape firefly. During Rumia’s initial attempt at literally eating the insect girl, Wriggle interrupted her with her own attempt at explaining that she had meant what most would call a “different kind” of eating, which she terminated prematurely after four words. The failure of the anthropomorphic arthropod to explain what she meant in the first place brought Rumia to a halt and prompted a short kiss on the cheek from her, followed by a request for a date which was accepted on grounds that a more “proper kiss” be given to her - sealing Wriggle’s narrow victory over the looming shadow.

At press time, Kakashi Spirit News is investigating whether Rumia’s stupidity allergy would be triggered by an encounter with herself in her unsealed form.

(Follow KSN here for more on-the-go journalism!)