Batik, drumming start ethnic festival

Joel Wolfberg of Vienna, Va., left, who’s in Clovis visiting a friend and Akeem Ayanniyi, of Nigeria, the batik and dye instructor apply wax to material at the Main Arteri on Thursday.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Akeem Ayanniyi spread melted wax in arcs starting from one corner of the rectangular cotton fabric.

A contemporary Nigerian batik pattern, the arcs represent the sun, said Ayanniyi, who conducted batik workshops at the Main Arteri as part of the Clovis Ethnic Fair.

“All over the world we have the sun,” he said. “Everywhere you are, you see the same sun.”

That commonality shows that people are similar, he said. But it also important to share and embrace the differences in cultures, he said.

Ayanniyi has been coming to Clovis every year to teach batik design and African drum and dance.

A West African tradition, batik is a process of decorating fabrics using wax and dye.

“It’s wearable art,” Ayanniyi said.

The products from the batik and the drum and dance workshops will be featured Saturday at the Ethnic Fair located on Main Street.

Ayanniyi, 36, said he learned the art of batik and African drum growing up in Nigeria. He now lives in Santa Fe where he teaches African arts.

A member of the Clovis Cultural Affairs committee, Jim Turner said the ethnic fair allows people to enjoy other cultures, which brings the community together.

Ethnic Fair Schedule:


10 a.m., 5:30 p.m. — Batik and tie dye workshop, Main ARTeri

10 a.m., 5:30 p.m. — Drum and dance workshop, Roy Walker Community Center