The Real Male & Female “Ewu Iwu” (Edo Dress). In one of our Ibota sessions on NEBO TV, our attention was drawn to the ongoing distortion of “Ewu Iwu” or “Edo Dress” popularly worn by Edo men! In a nutshell, the “Ewu Iwu” was invented by Dr. Ekhaguosa Aisien to substitute for the traditional Benin body-markings.
This astonishing Benin attire was approved and launched by Oba Erediauwa in 1986 at the Oba’s Palace. The symbols in the male and female dresses are replicas of the original Iwu body-markings that were traditionally drawn (incision) in the body of the Benin people in ancient times. Just a few years after the introduction of the Ewu Iwu, different (wrong) designs with the symbols ofAda and Eben gradually emerged. These distorted designs almost overshadowed the original styles. People are now sewing Ada and Eben symbols in their dresses to replace the original Ewu Iwu design.
THE REAL MALE VERSION OF EWU IWU
It became obvious to us that the original symbols of the “Iwu” body-markings are less represented in many of the attires nowadays. Only a few Edo citizens (the members of the Benin Traditional Council) are currently wearing the original style of the Ewu Iwu. THE REAL FEMALE VERSION OF EWU IWUThe female style is not popular among the Benin women at all. Probably, the women are not cognizant of the female version of the Ewu Iwu cultural attire, and assumed that the attire is strictly for the Benin men. The female version of the Ewu Iwu and the distinction between the real style and mimicked version are elaborately displaced here.
THE WRONG DESIGN