Alabó means a Chief.
The Alabó title is basically from the Indigenous Southern part of Nigeria, in the Niger Delta, mainly of the Ijaws in Bayelsa and Rivers state.
Alabós are the respected elites of the Community and can be likened to Ministers of a Presidential Cabinet. In Nembe Kingdom, for example, distinct individuals who have served the Community well and are known to be of good character are usually chosen by their particular family groups, to be their Chiefs. Such individuals are expected to be married, own their homes, and well respected in the society.
Upon presentation, the individual is thoroughly screened by the Council of Chiefs. The successful ones are presented to the King (the Amanyanabó) for the Coronation process.
The time of the Coronation Ceremony is at the discretion of the King, but usually placed during festive periods, and is open to family members, other chiefs, villagers and well wishers. The happy chiefs are seen arriving the scene, the village square, with a cheering and banting crowd, wearing their 'Dons' (the official traditional attire for Chiefs), Top or Bowler Hats, and Walking Sticks. History has it that this Chieftaincy Dress Code arrived with the Portuguese / Britons in the Fifteenth Century, and can be worn only by Chiefs.
The Swearing-in Ceremony of the Chiefs takes place, followed by dancing and cheering.
The paintings in this series are themed around the splendeur of the traditional chieftaincy attire and the events surrounding the coronation process.