What Are the Features of Traditional Nigerian Dresses?


Quick Answer

While ethnic groups in Nigeria wear different traditional dress, common features include a headdress called a gele, a loose blouse called a buba and a skirt known as an iro. Nigerians commonly use materials such as jacuard, lace, ankara and adire in the fabrication of traditional clothing.

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Full Answer

While people in various parts of Nigeria often wear Western clothing, some people still wear traditional clothing on a daily basis. Many Nigerians wear traditional dresses for special occasions, such as weddings and funerals. Each ethnic group has its own type of traditional clothing. For example, the Yoruba are renowned for their beautiful dresses, while the Igbo use wraps as their traditional garb. Wraps for formal occasions are made with finer, more expensive cloth, which is often imported.

Fine cloth is important in Nigeria, where clothing is regarded as a status symbol. The gele, which is wrapped around a woman's head in various configurations, is made of Nigerian cloth, often in bright colors. The buba is a loose shirt worn by both men and women, and the iro is a long, rectangular wraparound skirt. The iborun or ipele is a scarf that is worn diagonally across the body or ties around the neck.

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