Summary Report on Itsekiri Cultural Dressing and Fundamental Human Rights

  • Itsekiri NextGen Project: 2022 Session 19 Report
  • Topic: Book reviews
  • Date: Saturday 21/05/2022 
  • Volunteers Present: 6
  • Total Number of Attendees: 74
  • Timings: 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Venue: Former Caravan 4, Aja-Pessu (Pessu Town), Warri
  • Main Topic/Activity: Book review
  • Resource Person: Itsekiri NextGen team


Summary of session 19 which was held on the 21st of May 2022

The 19th session of 2022 of the Itsekiri NextGen project focused on fundamental human rights and dressing in an Itsekiri attire.

Session Delivery on Fundamental Human Rights

The session began with an opening prayer by one of the participants, after which the participants decided to do a repeat of the listening exercise on their own before the session proper.

Barrister Oritsetimeyin Otaru who headed the legal aid CDS group led a discussion on fundamental human rights which can also be termed as primary rights as all other rights fall under the fundamental human rights.

Barr. Otaru asked the participants to list the fundamental human rights they know. They listed the following;

  • Right to a fair hearing,
  • equality before the law,
  • right to vote and be voted for,
  • right to dignity

The answers are correct but not all these are fundamental human rights e.g., right to vote and be voted for because one must get to 18 years to exercise that right.

The Fundamental Human Rights

The first fundamental human rights are:

  • The right to life is the most important 
  • The right to dignity of the human person, meaning the right to be safe from embarrassment
  • The right to personal liberty
  • The right to private and family life
  • The right to freedom of choice, conscience and religion
  • The right to freedom of movement
  • The right to peaceful assembly and association
  • The right to freedom of discrimination
  • The right to a fair hearing etc.

He explained that these rights are not absolute, which means they don’t have to use them against the law or harass others.

Barrister Oritsetimeyin and his team came with a copy of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a copy of the Delta state Child Rights law. They presented both as gifts to the Itsekiri NextGen project, which is a plus to the NextGen library. Miss Celine presented the gifts to the Itsekiri NextGen team which was received by Anire, Tosan and Ayiri.

  • Barr Otaru during the session

Session Delivery on Itsekiri Cultural Dressing

The next section of the day was an introduction to some Itsekiri costumes and attire. Some participants were dressed in Itsekiri attire as instructed by volunteers in the previous session.

The Itsekiri male dressing

Omatsola Okpeyeaghan made some male participants try to tie the Itsekiri wrapper. This was an exciting aspect as they struggled with it. Mr Omatsola gave a practical illustration of how to tie the Itsekiri male wrapper by showing them the head and right side of the wrapper. The participants were also shown how to pleat the wrapper to give it a beautiful look. He complimented it with a matching shirt and a bead. Following on from this, he did another illustration on one of the participants named kelvin.

The Itsekiri female dressing

The female participants were asked to tie the female wrapper. The Itsekiri female wrapper consists of two pieces of clothes; alikun and ubuara. They are tied one over the other. Some participants gave it a go but could not do it well except for one. After this, our coordinator Uwaomala demonstrated to the participants the best way to tie the Itsekiri wrapper. This she did by tieing the alikun first with legs wide open and holding the alikun with a rope called okungbe, the length of the alikun is close to the feet. After this, she then ensured the Ubuara was tied over the alikun at a shorter length.

The Itsekiri NextGen team explained to the participants that Itsekiri women dress with the head tie and wrapper being the same color while the blouse goes with the shoe and bag, and is complemented by other accessories.

Other forms of Itsekiri dressing

Another form of the Itsekiri dressing is the Ukueke dressing. The Ukueke dressing in Itsekiri is a special outfit worn mostly by brides in their traditional marriage. It is also worn during very special Itsekiri cultural events. These include visiting the Palace of the Olu of Warri Kingdom, attending the traditional burial ceremony of a demised Olu of Warri Kingdom, Ojoye (Chief) or Olare-Aja (The oldest person in a community), temotsi (marriage ceremony), etc. Ukueke can be of gold, silver or coral costumes which are worn on the head, shoulder, neck and hands. 

Other key activities during the session

As part of the session, one of our participants named Ekene Okpara made a pencil portrait of Olu of Warri Ogiame Atuwatse III. It is a beautiful art piece to behold. There is clearly a talent there that needs to be explored.

Participants borrowed books from the Itsekiri NextGen library.

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