Beautiful Nigeria: Dada Pottery, Kwara State

Dada Pottery is located at the Dada area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. The pottery occupies about an acre of land and it is the largest concentration of potters in the state. It is also reputed to be the source of pottery in the town.

The Pottery Industry which is touted to be as old as Ilorin itself is being managed by women who are dedicated to the business of pot making.Residents of the area engage mainly in pot making and work full time throughout the year. They neither go on break nor holiday.

The Dada area is located at Okelele, Ilorin East Local Government of Kwara State.

It is on the left side of the Sobi Specialist Hospital Road, Alagbado, Ilorin while going from Muritala Mohammed Road to Sobi Specialist Hospital; Sobi Hills, and the 22 Armoured Brigade, Nigerian Army, Sobi Barracks.

Dada Pottery derives its name from the community: Dada in Ilorin. The potters who are said to be over a hundred women organised themselves in a group and chose a leader for themselves.

Though the surroundings of the pottery are not captivating as one may hope, this may be excused.

It is located in a low income area. A fascinating scenery, however, awaits a patient visitor who tours the manufacturing and storage sections of the pottery.

Huge heaps of clay, different types, sizes and colours of finished pots and those still smouldering on fire were massed all over the local industrial estate creating a beautiful scenario.

Some of the potters who refused to disclose their names in deference to their leader, said they have been able to use proceeds from their activities in the pottery industry for the upkeep of their children, sending them to schools up to the higher institution level.

Some of them also said they had built houses while others had bought vehicles from the trade. Many of them also said they had diversified into other business with the money they made from pottery.

The studies into the art of pottery give a good insight into the intelligence, skill and technological know-how of these, though unschooled, yet skilful people; and their economic activities and trade connections at this ancient time, despite the non-availability of today’s high technological development and advancement.

However, despite the dedication of the women and the possibility of being a great revenue generation for the state, the Dada pottery is in a deplorable state.

The industry which is believed to be the largest traditional pottery making centre in the country has different sizes and types of pot with decorations and textures sold in the area.

Although there are other pot-making centres in Okekura, Oloje, and Abemi areas of the state. The Dada Pottery is one of the largest traditional pottery workshops in the country, and a place to visit anytime a visitor happens to be in Ilorin, Kwara State.

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