Art and craft
Raffia city plaza, Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road, Plot A342 highway, Ikot Ekpene
Akwa Ibom is a state blessed with many cane products and used for everyday activities and particular purposes. The production of these cane products involves a lot of artistry and designs. The home of these products is the Raffia market located in Ikot Ekpene local government area. Ikot Ekpene is a 30 minutes drive from Uyo and is aptly called the Raffia City.
Ikot Ekpene is a regional centre of commerce, with notable exports of palm oil, kernel, raffia products, including raffia fibres, yams cassava, and corns. This municipality inhabitants consist of the Annang people, with a small number of Igbo and Hausa traders.
The Annang people are famous for their beautiful art and craft works in which crafting instructions and procedures are transferred orally from one generation to another. This cultural heritage of art and craft serves as a means of livelihood to most families.
A raffia market is a place I will like to describe as a gem that showcases the true cultural heritage of the Annang people living in Ikot Ekpene. The market is well-organized with stores that sell beautiful cane furniture, basket weavings, hats, sculptures raffia cane furniture—the majority of souvenirs available for purchase are from local raffia materials. The market is a beehive of activities with buyers and sellers bargaining prices.
The crafters are skilful and diligent. Their experience in art, craft and design has helped them understand how to reflect critically on their own and other works; they learn to think and act as artists, makers and designers, to work creatively and intelligently.
The raffia market boosts the sustainability, value, and ‘relevance’ of local arts and crafts and inherent skills and art forms, contributing to indigenous heritage and traditions growth.
A visit to the craft market will enrich your creative knowledge and take you on a cultural voyage in the world of Raffia city’s art and crafts.