We are huge fans of batik fabric, in particular Adire which is the type of tie dye fabric popular among the Yoruba people of Southern Nigeria. If you have a look at our products made with Adire, you get a sense of various patterns that are repeated across the fabric. Each of these patterns have very specific meanings.
Although I knew what some of these symbols represented, I have always wanted a catalogue of sorts, where they were all explained. I was extremely excited to learn of the new book Storytelling Through Adire: An Introduction to Adire Making and Pattern Meanings by Allyson Aina Davies which I purchased immediately.
The book details very beautifully with illustrations what each of these patterns and symbols mean, each with a name and story. The stories are often words of advice from the elders, or a means of documenting social, economic and environmental conditions. With symbols such as Adé- Crown, Eegun-eja- fish bone, Ewé ẹ̀gẹ́- Cassava leaf and many more.
Alángbá Bẹ̀rẹ̀kẹ̀tẹ̀ (Fat Lizard) “The big stomach is a symbol of wealth. It is important to feed your family to be big and healthy like the fat lizard” #Proverb – All Lizards lie on their bellies but nobody knows which of them suffers from stomach ache. (#Abeokuta style of Alangba Berekete) #Adire #Batik #Textile #Fashion #AfricanTextile #AfricanFabric #IndigoDye #Yoruba #Lagos #Nigeria #Africa #AfricanProverb #Patterns #Lizard #Indigo #StorytellingThroughAdire #Blue #Art #AfricanArt #AdireEleko #NigerianArt
A photo posted by Adire Patterns (@adirepatterns) on
With the collection of symbols on each piece of cloth, we start to see a story unfolding in this unique cross between art and functionality. If you are interested in African fabric design and in particular Adire patterns, I would definitely recommend this book. It is a great resource. I love the fact that each piece we make out of Adire gives you a small piece of a much larger story. A little portion of Yoruba history and wisdom!
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Please check out Adire Patterns website for more information: www.adirepatterns.com
Adire Patterns Twitter handle: @AdirePatterns
WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK:
The book is available in the following places.
- ONLINE on Amazon
- STRANGER: 3 Hakeem Dickson, Lekki Phase One, Lagos, Nigeria
- QUINTESSENCE: Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria