Categories: Ebira Lifestyle

Significance of Handmade Ebira Traditional Beads in Ebiraland

Introduction

A prominent artifact in the culture of the Ebira people is the traditional bead known as Uweyi or Uwehi in the Ebira tribe. Men and women can both wear the bead. It can be made into bracelets, earrings, or necklaces and is frequently worn by ladies as an accessory for beautification. The traditional bead of the Anebira is of different colors, designs, and values. These beads are valued differently and each has its significance. There are three major types of Uweyi in Ebiraland, and they are Omoh, Oveneh, and Isuuh. In this article, we will be talking about the significance of these traditional beads in Ebiraland.

Nobility and Royalty

In those days, traditional beads are worn to symbolize nobility and royalty. And this is not just any bead. The bead used to signify nobility is the “Omoh”. The Omoh bead has a brown-like color and it is the most valued or expensive of all the three major types of beads in Ebiraland. The Omoh bead is valued just the same way as gold, and as a result, it is only used by wealthy people, business merchants, and people from noble or royal families.

Just like Gold, the market value of the Omoh bead is seasonal. The Omoh bead can be purchased when cheap and traded later at a very much higher price. The bead appreciates in value.

Beautification

The traditional beads in Ebiraland are used by most women for the purpose of beautification. They can be fashioned into hand beads, earrings, or necklaces. These beads are used on regular days or when there is an important celebration to attend. The beads used for fashion or beautification purposes are the Isuuh and Oveneh. Isuu is next in line to Omoh, it is less expensive than Omoh but more expensive than Oveneh. We can say that the Isuuh has a red-like color and it is valued as silver in this situation. In Ebiraland, people that cannot afford to buy the Omoh, go for the Isuuh. The Isuuh can also be worn for weddings, naming ceremonies, festivals, and other important celebrations.  Oveneh is the least expensive of the three beads and is the most commonly used by the Ebira women. We may say this is because it is cheap. The color of Oveneh is blue and it used to serve the same purpose as Isuuh.

Spirituality

There is widespread folklore around the Omoh bead since. The bead is believed to have a notable spiritual significance and, when left unused for an extended period of time, they mysteriously vanish. There is also another spiritual belief that the bead cannot be stolen, and if stolen, the culprit that steals the beads without making a public confession will be cursed with the habit of stealing and will continue stealing until a confession is made. The Uweyi are also used by the Ori (diety) worshippers and some believe that these beads hold some spiritual powers and connection to their ancestors. Other than this, the Uweyi beads, are used during coronation ceremonies and the belief is that by passing the beads of the predecessor to the present inheritor, the spirit of the ancestors will provide protection and guidance.

Closing remark

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