What is Igbo traditional attire?

What is the traditional dress of Igbo? What do men and women of the tribe Igbo wear? This and much more about the life of the tribe is in this article.

igbo traditional attire

The origin

Igbo is the people in Eastern Nigeria. There are numerous subdivisions and ethnic groups.

Ethnogenesis of Igbo has not been studied. There are different hypotheses about their origins (some authors argue that the Igbo ancestors came out of Egypt). Ethnogenetic legends suggest ancient economic and cultural ties with the Yoruba, Ibibio, Igalo, and others.

igbo traditional wear

The main occupation of the Igbo is a manual cultivation. The main instruments are the hack and several kinds of knives. In the southern region's main crop is oil palm. Developed for harvesting, the most valuable are to be exported. Igbo are also engaged in fishing, trading, collecting wild breadfruits and other trees, berries, medicinal herbs, and plants. Cattle are very much appreciated and have mainly a ritual significance. Crafts are developed: blacksmithing, pottery, weaving, basketry, woodworking, and woodcarving.

The management system

At the head, there is the elder, who is considered an intermediary between relatives and their ancestors. Communities led by councils of elders, consisting of the heads of families. At the western Igbo, there is an order, when rural communities are divided into upper and lower, or senior and the junior half.

igbo traditional wedding attire for groom

Igbo had no central authority. The highest political association is the union of rural communities with a common meeting place, political, ritual and market center.

The traditional settlement consists of a large number of households facing sometimes quite far apart.

There are several types of housing. Traditionally, it can be rectangular or round. The walls are built of poles, which are coated with clay. The roofs are covered with grass, palm leaves, corrugated iron. There are also farm buildings, storage facilities for food.

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igbo traditional wedding attire for the bride

Traditional clothing

Igbo traditional attire includes many elements. Igbo traditional wear for men is to wear the wide spacious cape over a shirt, women wear jackets and skirt made of a piece of cloth around the hips. Igbo traditional wedding attire for groom includes:

  • hat,
  • cane,
  • a piece of cloth around hips.

igbo traditional dress

In the cities, people usually wear the western-style clothes instead of Igbo traditional clothing. As for the other aspects of the traditional appearance, the tradition of scarification often preserved. Experts, like the locals, may be determined by the scars on their faces, from which tribe the person is. Typically, traditional dress is also complemented by large decorations, such as earrings. Nigerian gele is a headgear made from a piece of cloth wrapped around the head. It is one of the most popular items of women's clothing, including as a part of Igbo traditional wedding attire for the bride along with the Igbo traditional dress.

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