Oje – Ibadan & Ede – Market Days 2012

February 2, 2012


by Tola Adenle

While you can get the Yoruba woven fabrics in most markets as well as small shops throughout Southwestern Nigeria, there are places to go when you need bulk purchases, or, if you are like me, you like to browse through tons of designs, both old and new.

As I mentioned when I wrote about the three great classic aso oke designs: sanyan, etu and alaari, you can travel to Oyo North and visit Iseyin, the Home of Aso Oke, as it is well-known although the road from Moniya on the outskirts of Ibadan to the town was bad the last time I went about five years ago.  If you can manage to get there, bounties await you.  Anybody in the street would direct you to dealers who usually have many weavers they use but the man I’ve used since 1981 is Alhaji Alarape.  You can ask for him anywhere in town.

As for the Ojes – Ibadan and Ede, choices are even better than at Iseyin because the two markets attract big sellers from Iseyin, Ede near Osogbo in Osun State as well as sellers from Ilorin.  You therefore get choices of varying styles.  They are perhaps the only markets where the only items for sale are aso oke and accompanying items.

By the way, you can buy the traditional orin (herbal chewing sticks} that I can swear by:  in over six decades of life, I’ve visited dentists twice – a second visit was in the last year after a restaurant dental accident!  My morning dental routines always start with one orin or the other:  orogbo or ata.  The orogbo root – like the seeds – is bitter and after a rinse, you get a nice taste which I follow with the Wstern toothpaste and brush.  The ata is particularly good; used almost daily as I do, tooth infection would be rare and if you use even rarely when there seems an approach of tooth problem or it has started, it disappears.

I also discovered something at the Ojes, especially the one at Ede what many may turn their noses up at: thriving used very old designs of aso oke.  The last time and place I saw anything like it was at Bida Market back in 1983.  There were various designs but the one that really caught my eyes was a huge agbada for men made from the purest silk thread I had ever beheld or touched.  It was soft as feather and the weaving was tight.  There was no sokoto (pants) but it did have a cap in the style of the Nupes who must be ethnically related to the Yoruba.

The male Nupe wear the agbada – big gown – over a smaller one – not really gbariye – different pants that is not aso oke but could be same with the smaller agbada fabric.

If you are interested in the old patterns, they are usually sold as wrapper and head tie – iro and gele but since the wrappers are always so big, you can get a shawl – iborun – from it.  After having it re-sewn, send the pieces to a good dry cleaner and you could be the owner of an aso oke from before you were born

The Oje market days are held every 17th day and even though I’ve been to both many times, especiallu the one at Ibadan where I go to browse the way some women ogle at fancy shops – I just discovered an interesting thing about the market days:  look through both and see how, apart from the simple way of just adding 16 days to the last market day, you can arrive at the next one.  The first Oje-Ibadan in 2012 fell on a Sunday; the next was on a Tuesday,  then Thursday, Saturday, etcetera – every other weekday.  Ditto Oje-Ede.

Visit any of these unique markets to enjoy yourself even if not to shop but, hei, isn’t the purpose of going to markets is first and foremost to shop, at least for us women?  Pick strips up for home décor or to make little wallets, etcetera.

Oje-Ibadan Market Days for 2012


JANUARY                                          8th on Sunday and

24th on Tuesday;

FEBRUARY                                        9th on Thursday and

25th on Saturday;

MARCH                                             12th on Monday and

28th on Wednesday;

APRIL                                                 13th on Friday and

29th on Sunday;

MAY                                                    15th on Tuesday and

31st on Thursday;

JUNE                                                  16th on Saturday and

No Market;

JULY                                                   2nd on Monday and

18th on Wednesday;

AUGUST                                            3rd on Friday and

19th on Sunday;

SEPTEMBER                                   4th on Tuesday and

20th on Thursday;

OCTOBER                                       6th on Saturday and

22nd on Monday;

NOVEMBER                                     7th on Wednesday and

23rd on Friday &

DECEMBER                                      9th on Sunday and

25th on Tuesday.


Oje-Ede Market Days for 2012


JANUARY                                          16th on Monday

No Market;

FEBRUARY                                      1st on Wednesday and

17th on Friday;

MARCH                                          4th on Sunday and

20th on Tuesday;

APRIL                                                5th on Thursday and

21st on Saturday;

MAY                                                   7th on Monday and

23rd on Wednesday;

JUNE                                                  8th on Friday and

24th on Sunday;

JULY                                                10th on Tuesday and

26th on Thursday;

AUGUST                                         11th on Saturday and

27th on Monday;

SEPTEMBER                               12th on Wednesday and

28th on Friday;

OCTOBER                                          14th on Sunday and

30th on Tuesday;

NOVEMBER                                     15th on Thursday and

No Market, &

DECEMBER                                       1st December

17th on Monday.



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