Genesis 3 and Evolution of Costume among Asarama People of Rivers State (Niger-Delta), Nigeria

Ucheawaji G. Josiah


The inception of sin as revealed in Genesis 3 is tied to the emergence and evolution of costume: chagoroth (that is, loincloth, in Genesis 3:7) and kathnuth ‘or (garment of skin in Genesis 3:21). However, through the centuries, humans had faced the changing patterns and designs of costume. This is typical of the Asarama people of Rivers State, Niger Delta. This paper therefore examines and submits that the pre-colonial male costume consisted of Mkpopu (George) used by ‘free born’ male elders tied mainly for identification purpose. Latter additions were Ekut-ikpo (towel-like clothe) and Alo (foreign wax). The pre-colonial female costume were Asi-ebon-iiba (double waist-beads) tied around the waist without any dress on top. Others were velvet and Ikaki, Tawul-irak-ebon and Dembesi (English damask). The Colonial/post colonial male costume were Mkpopu though used by females also at this time, Etibor, Owokor, Atoro-onyedua (nicknamed okirika) and trousers were added. The Colonial/post colonial female costume was made up of a pair of trousers, and Atoro-onye-dua or etomelek-ekene-isim aided by modernism. The evolution of costume in Genesis 3 is made evident among Asarama people of Rivers State, Niger Delta

Keywords: Asarama people of Rivers State, evolution of costume, Genesis 3, pre-colonial, colonial/postcolonial


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