Nigeria is a very rich cultural center. In fact, our diversity is one of our major strength as a nation. In exploring one of our cultural aspects, which is dressing, we shall discuss major ethnic groups across the geographical spread of Nigeria and how they dress will be underscored in this list.
1. The Igbo.
The Igbo People occupy South Eastern and parts of South-Southern Nigeria which has states such as Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Ebonyi, Delta North and Rivers. Igbo is one of the three major tribes of Nigeria. Igbo itself doesn’t represent any particular group but it is an umbrella term for all Igboid groups such as Mbaise, Ika, Aniocha, Ikwerre(disputed), Orlu, etc. Igbos are highly creative and technocratic in Nature. They do well in business and technology. They have a strong family bond and every successful member of a family becomes the succour for others.
Igbo traditional system is modelled after the Benin system. They usually have an Eze or Igwe who is either elected, is the oldest elder in the community or is inherited from father. The Igbos love class and elegance! They are self-preservative and fraternal in nature! They can be found in virtually every nook and cranny of the world. In fact, if you enter a place where there are no Igbos, please run away from there!!!. Lol.
2. The Hausa/ Fulani.
The Hausa/Kanuri/Fulani people occupy Northern Nigeria. These people have been grouped together because of the similarities in their culture, dressing and language. They are the most populated people in Nigeria and make up the major tribe. Apart from the Fulani people, most Nigerians won’t be able to differentiate between these tribes. Religion has also helped to strengthen the bond shared by this triad as well as other minorities in their region. These people live a quiet, reclusive and pastoral life.
They are not known for extravagance. Their traditional system is modelled after the Islamic method of a Caliphate, Sultanate and Emirate. Most towns are ruled by an Emir or his delegate. The Fulanis are remarkably nomadic in nature! These people are mainly farmers and cattle herders while there are also large pockets of politicians and civil servants. They dress with a “Kaftan” or “Jalabiya”. The Fulanis in particular are unique in their dressing. The first picture below depicts Hausa/Kanuri while the second depict Fulani/Fulfulde.
3. The Yoruba
The Yoruba People occupy South Western and North-Central Nigeria and in states such as Lagos, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Ondo, Ogun and Osun. They are one of the three major tribes of Nigeria. They have a rich mythological history which dates back to Oduduwa as their earliest progenitor. The Yoruba people are extremely jovial and respectful.
A typical Yoruba man can greet you 100 times in a day if needs be. They love partying and enjoyment generally. Their traditional system revolves around the Ooni of Ife and the Alaafin of Oyo which are seen as apex custodians of Yoruboid culture. Most Yoruba towns and villages are ruled by Obas also called Olus or Deji. They have a rich traditional religious system and a Pantheon of gods akin only to the Greek Pantheon. Yorubas are extremely glamorous in dressing! They look songs and food and are known for owning the Music industry in Nigeria. The Yorubas usually wear “Agbada”, a oversized cloth which is worn like a jacket over lace or wrapper based clothes.