Tuesday, 9 March 2010



The word “ broom” generally connotes sweeping and brushing ; but in this part of
the world , brooms serve more than a dual purpose. Apart from sweeping, brooms
are also used as a special utensil in the cooking of a vegetable which is locally
called “ewedu” and is botanically known as “Corchorus olitorius of Tiliaceae family”.
In the western industrialized world , brooms are made from synthetic fibers bound
together on a long handle. However, our own brooms are made traditionally from
the leaves of palm-trees.
Lagos State and, indeed, the whole of southern Nigeria, lie in the tropical rain forest belt.
This belt is blessed with climate and soil that support the growth of palm-trees.
Therefore, there are always raw-materials for broom-making and sales in Lagos area .In our markets, wholesale and retail marketers of brooms abound all the time. Street-hawking of brooms is a common feature, too.
As it is depicted in the accompanying photographs, brooms are made from the main veins of palm trees. Some brooms are 2ft. 10ins long. Some range 2ft to 2ft 4ins long. Brooms that are used for chopping certain vegetables while being cooked in pots barely measure more than one foot in length.
In addition to above, brooms are also attached to long poles in other to clean ceilings and rid them of cob-webs and other unwanted objects like birds’ nests on our windows and roof-tops. Indeed, broom-making and selling provide a steady stream of income for enterprising inhabitants of the State who dare venture into it. Nature is so kind to us !

A--- Broom-making and selling at the boisterous “Mushin Market”.
B--- Brooms on display for wholesale and retail sales.

C---Street hawking of brooms in “Ejigbo”- an urban dwelling area in Lagos State.

D---A palm tree whose leaves are used in making brooms.

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