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4.3f(ii) Interview with Baba Elesin, Ile Agba, Okelele, Ilorin, 13 September 1988: Text

Extracts from notes on interview with Baba Elesin, 13 September 1988

How is business now? It doesn’t move regularly any more. The material is expensive.

Are you still buying old beads? Yes.

From where? From those that go to villages to purchase.

Where are you selling them to? They come here from Ekiti—they take them there for reselling.

You learned beadmaking from your father? Yes.

Did you have brothers or other relatives who also learned beadmaking from your father? Those that also learned from my father are old and dead.

Was it your grandfather who was the original Baba Elesin? Yes. The father of my father. He was the founder of the beadmaking in this family.

Was he called Baba Elesin because he had a horse? Yes. He bought and rode. He would sell one and buy another.

Did your grandfather have slaves? No.

Did other beadmaking compounds have slaves? Most rich compounds used to have them.

Did your family ever have iwọfa who helped in the beadmaking? No, but Ile Asileke had iwọfa and taught them to do beadmaking.

There are no iwọfa nowadays. Even I only heard of it as a story.

The iwọfa would work until the debtor returned the money.

The father must come back to pay.

The creditor didn’t pay the boy anything except feeding him, but might teach him a craft, and that would be his pay.

There were no female iwọfa. Baba Elesin doesn’t know why.