The ethnic regions in Nigeria all have diverse heritage treasures that is as unique as traditional beliefs and practices which are made-up of family ancient heirlooms, tools, and utensils that are of intrinsic beauty and blessed in value; the priceless attractiveness of such vintage possessions are seen all over households in Nigeria. The amazing creativity that was carved and crafted into cultural artifacts makes it a valuable treasure with significant impacts on the environmental, socio-cultural and economic life of tribal communities in Nigeria. Ancient potteries, crafted calabashes, architectural designs of mud homes, thatched roof and straw grass fences are generally used all over the country for its cheap price in most homes, for availability in villages and for its health benefits in cities. The hand-woven grass blind expertly and tediously crafted by experienced weavers is the popularly called “Za’na” in Borno state Nigeria; a valuable straw grass blind that are let down over doors and windows to protect homes and prevent rainfalls from wetting the inner chambers, popular in market places for use as makeshifts stalls, protectively wrapped round goods and vehicles. All are cultural identity of many households in north-east Nigeria, placed in museums and forever the delights of the Archaeologists collections with every artifacts rich in valuable history, telling the story of years gone by of a given people but yet finding its footing in todays modern world. There is a need to retrace back in time to when the world was at peace with its environment in order to strategize forward to a new world that must persevere in preserving and protecting the world for future generations.
Sight, Sounds And Slight Of Valuable Vintage Household Collections
The traditional household tools is being replace fast with Modern household trending tools, that are believed to be fast, more hygienic fitting in perfectly with todays fast life which are mostly electronic gadgets that requires lots of energy.
The mortar and pestle has a significant cultural roles across all tribal regions all over Nigeria, where in the north-east it plays an important but solemn role when a soul passes on at night and can not be buried until the mornings, such a corpse is place on a mortar that has been turn face down after dressing up the dead; then the news of the death is announce immediately at the dead of night by pounding the mortar to inform the surrounding households of the sad news, one of the reason to why it is seen as a taboo to pound the mortar at night. The following day of the announcement the corpse will then be taken off the mortar in preparation for buried while the women will use the mortar to pound the millet grain into flour, add granulated sugar and spices with water enough to mold the millet flour mixture into grainy moist balls, which is arrange on the traditional “faifai” a hand woven raffia tray-mat and then shared as “sadaka” known as charity for all those in attendance, given also to every household in the neighborhood.
While the mortar and pestle is the point of attraction during weddings and naming ceremonies in the northern parts of Nigeria where the pounding of the mortar with several pestles becomes a cheerful and spectacular show, when women are in attendance during traditional wedding events, rural women are often invited to pound cereals, these women ranging between 4 to 6 are seen holding a pestle each over a very large mortar, all ready to pound and the amazing thing is that none of the six pestle clashes while pound the dexterity, and perfect timing to alternatively hit on the hollow of the mortar is unbelievable from the rural women who are seen as uneducated and local. Singing, turning and throwing up the pestle while pounding is so so amazing, with the wind blowing on their veils and sending the sounds of their long wavering high-pitched tongue trill called ululation know as “Ayiririri guda” in Hausa, all over the neighborhood is simply superb. The southern Nigeria pounding is another colorful display altogether, with muscle men taking over the pounding of yam during festivals and festive events, it is a show of strength where pounding takes just have the time it might have taken the women to complete the task of pounding yam for a large guests. The mortar and pestle for the traditional herbalist is a symbol of potency and power use for mixing all potions while others demand that the mortar be place on their chest and pounded to show how strong they are to face enemy opponent in a wrestling competition because of the charm their bodies has been laced with to win any fight. A gift item for the new bride all across cultures, a valuable must have piece of treasure pass down from generation to generation for pounding food ingredients. A lot of myths surrounds the mortar and pestle, a strong believe that most culture see as taboo; people are often caution never to jump or walk across a pestle place on the ground because it is believed that such action might cause infertility while others are informed not to sit on the mortar. It is forbidden to pound at night for most cultures in Nigeria, because of the spirits of the nights.
Mortar And Pestles
The vintage mortar and pestle are the wooden types carved out of tree trunks while the marble are ceramic are made to fit into modern days living; the Hausa called it “Turmi Da Tabarya” while the yoruba name it as “Odo Ati Omo odo” and know as “Okwa na nwa odo” The mortar and pestle dates back to the ancient days as old as man himself when man is know to cook food; the mortar and pestle is a two item tool having the bigger bowl shaped part with a deep hollow in the middle where the food ingredients are placed as the mortar while the pestle is the long oval shaped stick with rounded smooth club-like top and end that is used to beat on the contents of the mortar bowl to achieve a smooth paste or flour. The modern day mortar and pestle are made in different designs of ceramic, glass, marble, granite, metal and wood; while the traditional bamboo tree mortar and pestle are stilled considered much more natural and the best. The use of mortar and pestle to pound brings out the real taste of the food ingredients especially in spices, vegetables and animal proteins; the pounding crushes the ingredients when compared to the blades of the blender, grinders, or graters. The mortar and pestle crushing the ingredients releases the essential oil, liquid and the natural flavors that are trapped within the delicate veins of plants, vegetables and animals. The role of the mortar and pestle in home cooking is great, healthy and helping to squash ingredients in order to bind and blend in perfectly with added ingredients for more delicious home cooking while the modern trending gadgets that are equipped in modern households are much more for its fancy trend than its important role that just chops, slices, or decoratively tear ingredients into fanciful designs without aiding and adding to the real home taste of meals. When compared to the modern day electric yam pounder the results are different for the pounding of the yam, the wooden mortar and pestle gives a stretchy starch swallow while the machine result is simply smooth soft swallow.
The mortar and pestle though tedious, still touches the vital parts of all ingredients for an impressive impact that greatly adds to human health; improving the nutrients loads to be absorb from food consumed thus upgrades the quality of daily meals.
The health benefits of the mortar and pestle pounding comes on while pounding yam or grains that requires the optimal strength and stamina by helping the body to exercise to sweat out impurities while also stretching joints and other body parts for a healthy life.
The grinding stone is a rock formation, a carved piece of rock of a mixture of gravels and cements constructed into a grinding stone that is place on a solid stone stand or dug-up hold to keep it stationary while in use and to prevent any movement during the grinding; a smaller stone is place atop with which pressure is made against the larger stones. The milling of food grains, vegetables or spices using the grinding stones is tedious and time consuming, demanding lots of strength and effort in achieving a smooth paste or free-flowing flour yet some cultural cuisines requires the use of the grinding for its unique, natural and earthy flavor to cuisines taste. It becomes handy when there is no electricity to use the modern days blenders and grinders and when the needed ingredients are small. The process of using the grinding stone is to sit on a stool, kneel down or stand up then slowly bend forward to hold down with pressure the smaller upper stone with both hands to use in rolling forward or backward by pressing down hard on the ingredients to lock it with the larger flat stone that is below with a continuous motion of forward, backward to the sides of the left and right edges of the grinding stone to push around, collect together in the middle hollow of the larger stone, until the desired result is achieved. Grinding with the stones comes along with lots of risks to health due to the dangerous stone particles and other elements from the rocks that might find its way into the food, cooked and consumed by the unsuspecting individuals.
The traditional grinding stones uses aids in retaining more nutrients and flavors of the food when compared to electronic kitchen gadgets that are fast, hygienic but with a higher heat production into the environment. The grinding stones gives the upper body especially the arms the needed workout for flexibility. The blenders and grinders are fast replacing the grinding stones because they are faster, hygienic and much more healthy.
There is no household all over Nigeria without the sitting stool, generally called “Kujera” in Hausa, known as “Ijoko” in Yoruba and named “Oche” in Igbo because all homes must have a reason to use the wooden stool, seen in traditional kitchen, place close to fireplaces to sit on for ease of cooking, washing dishes or clothing materials, the use of grinding stones or pounding with mortar and pestle is done sitting on the wooden stool, for the Fulani it is used to sit on while milking the cow, the must used during traditional hair plaiting or making the women hair, place inside room to sit on while bathing new born babies,
The specially carved stools with writings and pictures, others are sculpture-like carvings royal fathers, traditional rulers, religious leaders, herbalist and the first to be presented to guests as a symbol of welcome in every home all over Nigeria.
Grass To Graceful Home Designs And Decorations
Bamboo Mats And Blinds; Raffia Mats And Hand Fans:- The raffia and bamboo hand-woven blinds, mats…. The palm tree is a sustainable investments, a great source of generating income due to the usefulness of every inch of the tree that brings in huge profit; raffia is a very soft and strong fiber of the Nigerian palm tree. The young leaves are peeled away and pulled off in strips just like ribbons to obtain the raffia which is hand-woven or crafted to produce the raffia mats, hand fans, home and office blinds, baskets for storing vegetables, ropes, hats, bags, beautiful grass woven fruit bowls, cultural costumes, the versatile and ageless clothes storage baskets called “adudu” that is so famous and pass on from generation to generation.
The broom is a common household tool seen possessing several bunch in both the rich and the poor homes in Nigeria; made out of the tough fiber of the palm tree known as piassava that is produce from the sheaths of its leaf, then used for the making of brooms; brooms are used for sweeping, scrubbing floors and taking off cobwebs from around the walls and ceilings. The long and short brooms have different roles where the long brooms are for sweeping within the inner chambers of households while the short brooms takes off the dirts and debris faster on sandy compound, playgrounds and household frontages; several broom bunches are kept for different purposes, no one broom is used alone for cleaning rooms and toilets in order to avoid the transfer of germs; the broom sweep clean the environment, very cheap, easy to use and eco-friendly.
A specially made soup whisk called “Ijaba” in Yoruba is made from a new broom by dividing a whole bunch into two or four and then cut short to fit the pot used for cooking the nourishing ewedu soup; serving as a whisk to beat and blend the ewedu leaf with other vegetables into a slimy nutrient-dense soup highly recommended for the terminally ill to manage their health conditions.
The grass straw or stalk mat weavings are done by hand using the fingers to weave or plait designs according to desire and demand; mat weaving takes several days to complete with the craft process of weaving, plaiting, twinning with stalk harvested from farms for use as materials after smothering, drying, and dyeing then followed by the weaving; a tedious and time-consuming process taking several days to complete yet bringing in less returns than the efforts put in when compared to synthetic fiber mats. The traditionally weaved mats do not generate heat when compared to the plastic mats even though the grass mats degenerates fast but still for cultural sentiments it is seen placed in households all over Nigeria.
The dry stalks are used for knitting different baskets for storing fruits and vegetables that are natural with no adverse effects on foods and human health, other products includes fancy tablemats, cup covers, the hand fan that are fanciful and cute are also together with the sleeping mats, blinds and curtains for windows and doors. The Yoruba land of western regions are known to dominate the mat weaving crafts expertly creating beautiful and colorful mats, baskets, shopping bags and hampers, the southern region are known to have experienced mat weavers while northern region weaving technique are similar to other regions but unique in its own own style of mat weaving. The grass straw and stalk products are produce and used all over Nigeria, hardly does one find a household that is not having several products of either the weaved straw mats, blinds or roof covers; tribal communities are known to weave mats to meet the needs, customs, cultures and religion.
The grass straw blinds for doors and windows made of natural materials keep at bay the hot rays of the sun shine from penetrating and heating up the households; cooling the interiors while the mats absorbs sweat and cool off the heat from the high temperature during the hot seasons of the desert heat in northern Nigeria. The colorful mats can be used to cover rooftops while the mats are for sleeping on, relaxation, beautifications on walls, religious activities and traditional ceremonies when the sitting on colorfully spread out mats becomes necessary as a symbol of respect for culture and traditions of the host family.
The natural mat appear to modern trends as outdated and old-fashioned, forgetting the need for more eco-friendly products that at its end of life simply dissolves into the earth unlike the synthetic plastic mats that though durable but never degrades. The modernization of its processing, specialization and production will make mat weaving faster, better and more rewarding to the communities involved in its production by creating also more jobs for millions of jobless Nigerians.
All over Nigeria offices, hospitals, hotels, recreational centers appreciate the grass mats and blinds that are bought and dyed into beautiful colors to fit into the taste of places to be used for; the grass mats and blinds do not generate heat but instead absorb the heat from the outside, often times used as makeshift huts and canopies as sun shades by picnickers at the beach.
Leather Pouf (TumTum)
The northern region of Nigeria has been associated and known for the best of leather materials and handcraft as far back as the 18th century; traditionally processing hides which are exported to gain foreign exchange, while the local leather industries produce the popular leather pouf generally known as “TumTum” in Hausa. The traditional mud-walled compounds in Sokoto and all across states in northern Nigeria. The amazing leatherwork by Hausa craftsmen are seen dotting the common people places and palaces of kings all over northern Nigeria.
The very best handcrafted collections of leather works are found at the popular Open Air Theatre Shopping Complex with the leather industry just behind the complex in the very heart of Maiduguri, Borno state.
The leather pouf found in homes are mostly older than the ages of its owners; these timeless leather pouf has been used in homes and has been a part of every single cultural event set-up all over northern Nigeria. The leather pouf are mostly spread out decoratively on beautiful rugs for the rich and royal fathers but the poor households always have a pair to place on the bed edges, often time place on multi-colored raffia mats for important guests to sit on, lay against or to use as footstool as a symbol of welcome, friendship and respect.
A vintage handcrafted leather pouf that is achieved through the mastery of leather making; traditional processing method is applied to make tanning and hair removal easier without damage to the animal skin , then the process of sun-drying and washing follows; immersed into an earthenware pots that have been buried into the earth filled up with powder solutions, after several days of soaking, it is removed and washed then oiled. After oiling the skins, it is spread out to fully absorb the oil then hung out to dry again, re-tanned again in the earthen pot and finally a beautiful creamy light color that is tan shade is achieved. Traditional method of dye done on the animal leather using the red color of “Dawa” in Hausa which is the guinea corn grains stalks and blue black of the indigo plant that are common to the northern Nigeria.
It is stuffed with second hand clothing materials such as old towels, wrappers, used dresses, curtains, plastic grocery bags, polyester balls, old cushion stuffing’s to give the pouf density and shape for a bouncing and comfortable relaxation reason to why it is popularly called “TumTum” in northern Nigeria.
The ancient and authentic leather poufs are handcrafted from the animal skin tanning to its finishing touches that knots the final thread are done by hand; leather artisans with painstaking details sewn on it by hand. The leather used for the north-east leather poufs are often of goat, sheep, ram, cow and camel skins that are usually in excess during the festival of sacrifice when animals are slaughtered and skinned, such animal skin are sold to the leather artisans for processing and production of awesome leather crafts of bags, slippers, leather prayer mat, wallets, and beautiful household crafts.
The leather poufs are made in various sizes, shapes, and designs of beautiful tribal decoration with intricate-intrinsic needle stitching to express an emotion or tell a story, colorful designs on awesome tanned colors of leather; colors of deep brown, ox blood red and tan rich black, awesome stitching threads to compliment the different colors of leather. As beautiful as it is comfortable to sit on, use as footstools, awesome as decoration pillows on household, office, or hotel furniture bringing to life ancient culture into cities of the future.
In Nigeria most households depends on firewood as a source of energy for cooking and even the few left out of its use often fall back to the firewood use as the best source of energy for cooking during festivals and festivities for the large numbers of invited guests.
There is the needs for increased awareness on the health hazards of the firewood fireplaces becomes inevitable making access to clean, safe and affordable cooking options a vital life-saver.
The use of firewood in northern Nigeria is attributed to contributing to massive deforestation and desertification which caused a lot of damage to human health, the environment and the economy of Nigeria. The firewood burn burned for home cooking emits thick smokes that is turned to black carbon, a harmful emission to people and the planet; limiting the use of the firewood fireplaces will be beneficial to the environment and will aid in reducing global warming.
The black carbon emissions affect the health of people, it destroy ecosystems and is amongst the highest leading cause of climate change in the world.
The cooking with stacked firewood are due to fuel cost, socio-cultural influences on cooking practices, availability, access and reliability of supply. The the need to replace the firewood uses becomes vital and to achieve it there is a need to make biomass fuels are considered safer to the firewood reason to why it is important to make it affordable, reliable, and accessible.
Vintage Kerosene Lantern
The kerosene lantern has been around long before the use of electricity making a massive comeback in recent times all over Nigeria; generally used by Nigerians to light the home environment, and business places when the sun goes down.
A kerosene lantern is filled with kerosene as fuel and a cotton wick within its round bulb is pull up and lighted. Most communities in Nigeria lack electricity grid, made even worse in recent times due to vandalize electric installations, consequently the total “Black-OUT”, turning individuals and businesses to rely on the use of Generators with the black carbon emission that is as deadly as committing suicide, many families in Nigeria have been sent to an early grave because of suffocation caused by the generating sets smokes due to lack of ventilation; while kerosene lanterns, stoves, candles and touches for light.
The adverse effects and danger to life that the kerosene lantern brings to light are many; kerosene lanterns even though is a much more accessible alternative to electricity it comes with its own hazards. The use of kerosene lanterns in homes with little or no ventilation is risky and deadly because it emits carbon monoxide, nitric oxides, sulfur dioxide and minute particle matters when it is burn in an enclosed space increasing the risk of respiratory infections and deadly diseases such as cancers.
The fact that it is generally placed on a high and confine spot to light up all the spaces, making it more dangerous because the kerosene used as fuel emits more black carbon smokes, highly flammable and easily starts a fire that are often responsible for burns and fire damages all across communities in Nigeria.
The fact that electricity is inaccessible in most communities all across Nigeria has turned the kerosene into liquid gold; Kerosene is currently out of the reach of the poor masses, and when available it is adulterated for increase quantity and for more profits; it scarcity has lead to adding petrol PMS into kerosene or the mixing of gas and salt to produce a mixture generally sold to the unsuspecting public as kerosene, a product that is highly flammable, dangerous and much more explosive than the original kerosene fuel, causing poisoning and fire hazards.
Kerosene due to its scarcity is bought and stored in re-use fruit juice containers, carbonated drink and water bottles which makes it an easy access to kids who accidentally drink and ingesting kerosene thinking it water or juice leading to food poisoning and respiratory illnesses and even death.
It is now vital to replace kerosene lanterns with other lightening energy at a low cost and for more positive impacts that will lead towards a move to reduce climate pollutants at the household levels for economic, social and environmental benefits; it will be beneficial to replace the kerosene lantern for a better and cheaper alternative that are eco-friendly to light up the environment for healthy people and planet.
Aluminum Or Iron Pots And Buckets
The aluminum are collected as scrap to be recycle due to its malleability, high heat conductivity, light weight, durability, accessibility, availability and affordability; yet brings with its benefits health risks. Aluminum is material used in locally fabricated buckets, iron pots, plates, bowls, dishes, cups, cutleries, trays and several household utensils that daily come in contacts with food consumed and consequently harmful particles of heavy metals, lead, copper, nickel and aluminum gets into cooked food. The aluminum particles through the use of household utensils into food and consequently the environment. A visit to the Gamboru Markets in Maiduguri Metropolis will find busy artisans working tirelessly with their hands and hearts before burning furnaces with the firewood smoldering hot flames, melting and molding aluminum scraps brought in to be re-cycle by “Ajaokuta merchants” who resell scrap metals picked out of the refuse dumps to be recycle for reuse as utensils and tools.
Charcoal Heated Iron
The vintage press iron dates way back to the 17th century when the Dutch invented the box Iron made of a very heavy cast Iron; recent days has seen the age old press Iron becoming a collectors item, where vintage collections are sought and sold worldwide making it a valuable antiques. The ancient iron is made of a movable lid attached to the rear of the body to be opened and closed and at the lid top is a wooden handle for safe handling while ironing, the latch at the top is pushed closed to avoid the coals coming out to burn the materials, the polished base has holes through which the charcoal smoke exits and air fans it. The polished slab is then press firmly on the clothing materials which has been laid on a firm surface. The coal cools off during use, the ashes settled on the smoldering coals are taken outside to be shaken off by blowing air into the coals or fanning it to heat up again and if necessary to add on it more charcoals; if too hot during ironing simply sprinkle water on the coals to reduce the heat by regularly checking the heat on a thick material before placing it directly on clothing to avoid burning. The hollow interior use as a holder to be filled with smoldering charcoals from the firewood fireplaces or simply place charcoals in its middle and set it alight until it is a red hot smoldering coal, to generate heat on the flat slab at the base that is place to press the clothing materials. The temperature is monitor to fit the materials to be Iron; checked regularly to achieve the right temperature before use as press Iron on clothing materials.
The heated charcoal press iron unexpectedly transported many people back to the good old days due to electricity outages to make use of electronics used for ironing clothing materials. The coal iron is more than ever before an important household tool due to the expensive and inaccessible electricity; in northern Nigeria young men find the washing and ironing clothing materials a good business also seen as another way to make ends meet which is made cheaper and patronized by many because of its cheap charges when compare with the big store dry cleaning businesses using electricity or heavy duty generators.
The Iron is used to press out the wrinkles and smoothen clothing materials as well as a form of hygiene to be rid of germs, and creepy insects on materials.
The Wooden Board Game “AYO” GAME
A game played on a carved wooden box with twelve rounded scoop holes demarcated in the middle having six holes on either sides of the wooden box, it is played with 48 total seeds that is normally used for the game and every hole contain four seeds popularly played by the Yoruba people of western Nigeria, generally recognized and played all over Nigeria and in some countries of the world. The game requires a fast memory for accurate calculation before making a move in order to win. In Nigeria many household play the traditional game of AYO as a form of relaxation after a hard days work.
The calabash is carved out of a gourd by opening up and polishing the hollow shell, northern Nigeria Hausa-Fulani cherish greatly the use of simple and light household items due to their nomadic way of life, loving dearly the large rounded calabash bowls for collecting, storing and selling the milk from their cows, the best utensil used to churned fresh milk to obtain butter called “mai shanu” in Hausa, to ferment fresh milk into yogurts and store all left over without going stale. The calabashes are made into awesome designs telling the stories of the Fulani becoming a part and parcel of the very life of not only the Fulani but all tribes in northern Nigeria.
The calabash are also used as decorations on walls, table tops, kitchen counters and home entrances, a very valuable kitchen utensil to store important food items needing air, and light coverings of a calabash, a useful utensil to wash and separate sands from cereal grains, preferred by many to be served traditional meals and beverages such as gruel-kunu, the calabash bowl and scoop spoon is the best utensil to serve “fura da nono” culturally, the locally made beer called “burukutu or pito” is the traditionally made alcoholic beverages that must be serve in calabash bowls while the palm wine from the palm tree are served in the gourd-like calabashes with a narrow neck that turns to the position of the burukutu drinker, the potent herbal mixtures and concoctions are believed to be powerful when stored and served in calabashes, an important fermentation container used for the locust beans known as daddawa, drinking water with the calabash is believed by many to taste differently.
The calabash gourds are found in almost all farming community all over Nigeria, a plant growing easily and freely seen creeping and climbing all around. The calabash is known as “kwarya or Duma” in Hausa, called “Igba” in Yoruba, almost similar to what is known as “Ugba” in Igbo. The calabash is culturally used as holders of sacred and special items, foods, herbs, drinks, beverages of wine, delicacies, precious items, and important treasures.
The gourds harvested for making the calabash depends on what form it will take after the harvest; the collected fresh calabashes are then soaked in water for days until the seeds are soften and rotten. The calabash are cut open, scraped out and scrubbed clean of all seeds and fibers, then spread out and sun dried. Again and again it is washed severally to remove the bitter taste of the calabash to be used for cooking and eating while the calabash for decoration are not washed as much, ready for use at this stage but for more beautification it is then decorated and designed depending on the tribal community with colorful patterns and paintings on its surface with the aid of a knives, needles, nails, perforated cans and the white chalks; then ready and safe for use after several washing.
Clay Cooling Water Pots
The local clay pots are popularly used in most homes, even in homes furnished with the modern day refrigerators, it is a handy and versatile model of the traditional water wells. A generally preferred for storage in rural and urban communities and places without the use of electricity; for cooling storage of vegetables and fresh produce, fermenting grains for meals, for alcoholic beverages, cooking of cultural cuisines, fetching water, storing water for drinking, bathing, washing, ancestral worships, ritual healings and sacrificial rites which its bearers perfecting and performing all cultural rituals in a down to earth manner with the earthenware pots for the earthy blessings.
The art and craft of traditional clay pottery making is uniquely practiced by all the ethnic tribes of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo of Nigeria; most pottery crafts involves cultural materials with an engravings of history into its carved designs and details of animals, plants, writings, of ancient folktales and the evolution of a given society. The cultural earthenware pottery making are dominated and a special reserves of women known to patiently craft and carve amazing designs on its surfaces; the clay pottery has evolved greatly to ceramics and marbles made into cooking pots, bowls, drinking cups, frying, drying, baking decorative pots for flowers.
The clay pots are crafted with clay soil, grass, cow dungs, woods, sand and iron then molded by hand using precise and perfect timing to achieve an amazing design. The materials used are cost little to nothing, just water and clay majorly which can easily be found anywhere and at everywhere, requiring no machines for its productions unlike the modern ceramic and marble pottery; the clay found at the water edges, rivers or streams are dug out, separated from impurities after which it is further processed by pounding, kneading, shaping, decorating, baking or firing to attain awesome masterpieces. The potters at times the use of surface scratching designs on the carved out edges to make patterns of choice with a knife or a pebble; decorated by carvings or engravings done before baking while the paint work is done after the firing for a final finesse.
The water pots are place on or inside a hole dug-out in the earth, its narrow bottom pushed in and the fat rounded middle left above the earth, then the spot is wetted with water and always kept hydrated to cool the pot. While it is placed on a large dish filled with earth and wetted, placed near windows or free air spaces in modern buildings.
The incense burner is made of clay just like the water pots but a different design with a bowl in the middle to collect charcoals, place atop its clay stand with a curved handle to pick it up in order to avoid contact with the heat of the hot coal, place in homes and assorted incense are place on the coals slowing burning out sweet scenting smokes to fill the air. The coals place on the incense burners are mostly used by caregivers to apply warmth on the abdomen of new born babies by placing a towel to heat up on the coals before applying the heat on the babies, culturally believed to heal fast the umbilical cord still hanging on the babies tummy.
The clay mud pots are also a preferred utensils cooking in most house due to its non-stick nature, never burns the soup and always add in the earthy taste to meals, use also for frying several cultural cuisines using the millet, corn, rice, wheat or guinea corn flour for the making of traditional snacks such as waina, masa, senasir, fankaso and the popular gurasa in Kano state Nigeria.
The Health Benefits Of Drinking Water From The Clay Pots
It is advisable to wash the clay products that will be used for cooking, drinking or eating thoroughly before use for the first time, then soaked in warm water to get rid of impurities during production. Always keep away dirts, dust, animals, pets and kids from the water pot to avoid contaminating the water; and avoid dipping in cups used for drinking directly into the water pots, always keep a special cup for that purpose better still new models of the clay pots now comes with tap head to just turn open and collect water directly without opening and closing the stored water. It is important to always keep the water pot covered with a raffia woven bag or muslin cloth and a lid placed over it to avoid insects and impurities getting into the water pots. Absolutely vital to change the stored water every 2 days by pouring away, scrubbing gently the inner parts of the pot, rinse and refill with fresh water.
The clay pots are called earthen pots because they are molded out with the earth, hence purified and so rich in the earth’s natural vitamins, and minerals. The clay pots has tiny pores through which the pots breathes in air and sweats out to wet its surface, a natural process that automatically cools the water in the pots and or prevent deterioration in storage. The evaporation aids in cooling off the heat from the inside by wetting the external surface of the pot and then the fresh air around blows on it to cool the surface which transmits into the internal storage of water or food. Ancient practices of cultural uses of the clay water pots have evolved from the old to new where most households still possess and use the clay water pots despite living in modern homes and cities with technological gadgets.
The clay water pots have loads of healthy goodness for an overall healthy living; water stored in the clay pots are relished just like the spring water cascading down naturally also believing that the clay pots preserves and purifies the stored water; a natural purifier that takes away the impurities from the water stored in it and settled it at its hollow base and helping also to block contaminants, therefore serving as a water purifier and cooler. The clay pots are fantastic in cooling water naturally through the pores of the pots; helping to reduce chemicals from the tap water, bore-holes, and the dangerous chemicals of plastics and water containers. Thereby boosting the body’s metabolism while the minerals found in clay water aids in improving digestion.
The clay pots are naturally alkaline and drinking clay pot water assists greatly in fighting body toxins created by acidity from foods consumed thus preventing the acidity and gastric health related problems by creating in the right pH balance in the body.
The water stored in clay pots contains high minerals and nutrients that aids in maintaining glucose levels in the body, restoring loss energy, helps to rehydrates fast, prevents and protects against heat strokes during the hot sunny days of the north-east Nigeria.
The clay pots are pockets and eco-friendly with an amazing quality to cool according to the climate changes and always at the right temperature of hot or cold, sweet delight while going down the throat with no obstructions until satiate when compared with chilled refrigerated waters that shocks the teeth and throats from the very first sip consequently at the end gives and leaves the teeth sensitive, and soreness to the throat.
Sustainability Of Vintage Artifacts
A lot of the ancient artifacts are heirlooms that has been pass from generation to generation, most of these tangible treasures can easily be created, recycle and reused which simply means most of it are easy to process using less energy and resources with little or no negative impacts to the planet; if damaged it can be recycle into a new one. A great number of household waste can be broken down, refurbished or reprocessed to make new things instead of discarding it into the environment to cause environmental issues of pollution, global warming and climate change;
These tangible cultural heritage of natural vintage artifacts and objects needs further studies to rid them all of danger to life and the environment, then it must be conserved for continuous use in the future while still benefitting the present society because all tangible cultural heritage forms part of the cultural and environmental treasures that should be protected and pass on to future generations.
The modernization of the processing methods of pottery making, leather crafts, mat crafts, and many more will greatly alleviate poverty, curb rural to urban flight migrations by creating employments for millions of the aged and youth in Nigeria because the aged will bring into it their wealth of knowledge while the youths with their energy will blow life into its form. It will help also to restore and nurture a sense of pride on ancient tribal artifacts. The natural and cultural heritage of vintage artifacts will go a long way for environmental protection because these valuable collections of human creation are the path of tribal community survival, sustenance and history of Nigerians. The education and enlightenment of Nigerians about the value of their ancient artifacts will increase its appreciation and the cultures that produced, protected and preserved theses vintage heritage must never be forgotten because they are the authentic collectors of priceless history of a people that today are responsible for environmental problems; human race must practice recycling to save energy, conserve resources, and pollution control because preserving and protecting the planet is the responsibility of all.
Ancient treasures that are timeless
Way back in time still standing the test of time
An eternities of enriching heritage
Blending the old into the new
Effortlessly pushing away the years
All have seen the good days
Yet continuously gives out the best
Precious and priceless traditions of vintage treasures
To future generation pass on Tools of Timelessness!