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Make Your Own Owalo-Sisal Skirts from Kenya

In this Workshop Learners will make an Owalo, the traditional skirt made out of sisal strands. 

The Owalo, as i... full details

$40.00 / per workshop

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About this Workshop

Description

In this Workshop Learners will make an Owalo, the traditional skirt made out of sisal strands. 

The Owalo, as it is called among the Luo community of Kenya, is a traditional costume worn by a number of different African communities while performing dances, especially during festive and happy times.  These include the celebrations of a good harvest, marriage, dowry payment, initiation ceremonies, and welcoming a first born male child to the family.  The Owalo is tied around the waist of the dancer, and the flexibility of the material allows it to move freely following the body movement of the wearer, thereby emphasizing their command and skill, as they dance to the beat of the music.  When worn by both male and female dancers, it brings a sense of festivity and celebration among the community dwellers.

I look forward to sharing this tradition with you as you make your own Owalo!

 

What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?

glokit

Make Your Own Owalo-Sisal Skirts from Kenya GLOkit

This GLOkit contains: 100 pieces of colored sisal rope (each 80cm long), one piece of uncolored sisal rope (one meter long), one piece of lesso (fabric), and one small sample of what we will be making that may be worn around the wrist.

GLOkit Included
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Additional Supplies

Learners may also need scissors if they choose to trim the sisal afterwards.

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

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Evonne BettyView Profile

I am Evonne from Kenya, in Africa.  I am a mum of seven, four girls and three boys.  I love spending time with children.  I am a teacher by profession. I teach Sunday school at my local church, and I teach English literature at a high school.  I enjoy being creative and doing things that involve working with my hands, such as cooking, weaving, making pottery, and sewing.  I love working with recycled materials, as well as natural materials such as animal hides, sisal, sheep's wool and reeds.

I began crafting at an early age.  Over school holidays I would travel to my rural home to meet up with relatives, where I learned different aspects of our culture from the older members of the clan.  It was a very exciting experience for me, and I enjoy sharing with others what I have learned. 

In my community, certain crafts are made at specific times of year, for specific events and ceremonies.  One example is that for circumcision or initiation rituals, we make skirts from reeds that are mostly dried and ready for use during the month of December, hence those ceremonies are performed at that time. Pottery is made when the season is wet, and the riverbanks are full of clay that may be collected, processed and prepared to be used.  Animal hides are retrieved when the animals are slaughtered for special events. 

What I love most about my country is the diversity of its culture.  There are 43 different communities living in Kenya, divided into three groups: the Nilots, Cushites and Bantus.  It is very interesting to meet all of these different people in my daily life, and to learn about their various cultures and beliefs.  

 

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Make Your Own Owalo-Sisal Skirts from Kenya