Five years ago, my connection with Nupe Land began with a visit of condolences. Alhaji Dan Galadima, brother of the late Alhaji Isah, took me under his wing and introduced me to Nupe heritage and has been my mentor, friend and advisor throughout the years. From the start, I was enthralled with the diversity of traditional crafts in the area. Over the years, my journeys to Bida went from an interest in material culture and blogging about the experience to researcher of Nupe heritage, particularly, the study of glassmaking. All of which evolved into becoming an honorary member of the Masaga glassmaking community. These rich and rewarding journeys culminated in the month of November 2019, that saw the acceptance of the title, Jikadiyan Gargagiya, Ambassador of Nupe Traditions from His Royal Highness, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar CFR, ETSU NUPE, Chairman of the Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers:
The following is the only video that I have received of the turbaning. The video is taken from a bad angle but it is important in documenting the moment.
The turbaning was the highlight of the month spent in Bida while filming the production of bikini glass. A raw glass that had not been made for over 50 years by the Masaga glassakers. This film, Legacy of Bida Glassmakers, d
On November 24, 2019, the Masaga glassmakers successfully unearthed glass, called bikini, which has not been produced for over 50 years. The secret formula, handed down for centuries by the Masaga forefathers, migrated from Egypt with this knowledge and settled in the area of Bida because of the rich silica sand, (told through oral history). Only two, ninety year old men remain alive today who have seen this process in their youth. From this point of their memory, the documentary recreates the process of this Nupe heritage, nearly extinct in human memory and, it is said, the Masaga community to be the only people in the world who still can make glass out of sand in an underground furnace .
The next picture and video are (swipe left) from the Instagram page of the Remi Vaughan-Richard, the director of the documentary, Legacy of Bida Glassmakers (currently in production).
Below a video of unearthing glass, posted by the director, Remi Vaughan-Richards:
The turbaning set for November 17, 2019 was a grand ceremony that brought together dignitaries from every walk of life in Nigeria. The following are a variety of pictures as the crowds came together.
Then the turbaning, itself, best appreciated in a slideshow….
(praise and respect for His Royal Highness) Read, here
And if all the above is not thrilling enough, here is a turbaning archive, 1959, one year before independence from Britain. A durbar or parade after Ramadan and a traditional turbaning are the events presided over by the ETSU NUPE, Malam Muhammadu Ndayako dan Muhammadu.
All Photographs and text are under international copyright laws. No re-use without the permission of Lesley Lababidi 2019.
For more information about Bida, go to:
Bling Bling in Bida
Bida Glass at Muséo Parc Alésia, France