In this article we’re taking a brief look at some materials often used for Igbo cultural attire.
Akwete: Traditional Igbo weaving uses sisal, hemp, raffia, cotton, and other fibres. Akwete in Abia is famous for its use of these fibres to create a fabric called ‘Akwete’ (named after the town it’s produced in).
Isi Agu: Isi Agu, which literally translates to “lion head,” is a traditional Igbo garment. The pattern resembles the head of a lion, hence the name. It is worn at special occasions.
Plain George: This plaid fabric also known as “madras,” came from India during pre-colonial British trade with southern Nigeria. It is now worn as traditional clothing in southeastern Nigeria, where it is called “George” (Jorji) by the Igbo and “injiri” by the Kalabari.
Akwa Ocha: Akwa-Ocha is white woven cloth traditional to the Anioma of Delta State. It’s a highly regarded material that is worn during special occasions.
Ukara cloth: Members of the Ekpe secret society in southeastern Nigeria and western Cameroon wear Ukara cloth. The cloth is made of plain cotton but is transformed into a ritual object by indigo dyeing Nsibidi symbols into it. Each ukara is highly personalised and designed to be worn by a specific Ekpe member.
Arochukwu George: The Aros are an Igbo subgroup from the Arochukwu Kingdom. They are known for wearing their own stlye of “plain george” cloth, which features woven plaid patterns and the Aro people’s emblem.
Intorica George: This fabric is another Indian import into Nigeria, it’s often worn by mature women on special occasions.
Bridal George: Bridal Georges are typically made in India. Elaborate and intricate patterns, beads, and embroidery are common features of this fabric. It’s a popular choice for brides and grooms alike.
Lace: Lace is lace. 😅