Posts tagged with ‘Yoruba’

  • Iro and buba

    The iro and buba (pronounced “ee-roe” and “boo-bah”) are the most essential parts of a Yoruba woman’s traditional outfit. I say the iro and buba are essential because they are the skirt and blouse and are the basis for the outfit. The complete outfit in actual fact consists of 5 separate parts. The iro, buba, gele, pele and iborun which can be made in a variety of fabrics from affordable Ankara print, to Aso-oke as well as lace for more special occasions.

    1. Iro– wrapper/ a large piece of fabric worn as a wrap-round skirt
    2. Buba– the blouse
    3. Gele– the headtie/ head-dress
    4. Pele– a shawl that goes round the waist
    5. Iborun– shawl/scarf- a protection from the sun

     

    Yoruba women dressed in traditional Aso Egbé (ceremonial and society attire) Ìró, Bùbá, and Gèlè. ca. 1968.  Image from  Nigerian Nostalgia Project

    Ladies, Ladies, Ladies 1961. Dressed in Aso-Oke Iro and Gele Image from The Nigerian Nostalgia Project-http://nigerianostalgia.tumblr.com/

     

    This traditional outfit has been given a contemporary twist and these days, the younger generation often do away with the pele, iborun and gele and make the iro and buba more fitted, more varied and dare I say more stylish. This is embodied in the revival of the retro 60’s/70’s style of iro and buba known as ‘Oleku’. This word basically means ‘too hot’ or ‘to die for’ and identifies the version of the outfit which is a micro mini wrapper and a blouse with cropped sleeves.

     

    Oleku outfits by Ituen Basi

    Mix and match Ankara Iro and Buba- Image from Sola Dunn blog

    Block colour Iro and Buba- image from Jokotade blog,  outfit by House of Neakey

    The options are endless and you can make it to suit your own tastes and figure with beaded blouses, cropped wrappers and sleeves, modern-the ubiquitous sarong-style wrapper, using chiffon, silk, satin, linen, in a monochrome look, with block colours, with intricate patterns. Some designers have even come up with all-in-one dresses which when worn, look like the iro and buba combo.

    Silky Geisha Dress

     

    Adanna Iro and Buba on Etsy

    Adanna Iro and Buba on Etsy

    Dela (Iro and Buba)

    Dela Iro and Buba on Etsy

     

    Tiffany Amber Silk Lily Twist Dress

    Anything goes! So these are just a few ideas. How do you wear yours? If you are looking for some design inspiration for your next iro and buba outfit  or just want to feast your eyes then check these out:

    1. Silk & Chiffon Iro & Buba- www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/silk-chiffon-iro-buba

    2. The Tulip Style- uk.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=iro%20and%20buba%20tulip&term_

    3. Funky Buba versions: www.uk.pinterest.com/HoneydropA/blouse-substitute-for-buba/

    Here is also a short tutorial on how you can create the tulip twist style of the iro and buba courtesy of Tradsloft over on Youtube.

     

     

    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit
  • Upcycling Workshop with Yinka Ilori

    Yinka Ilori is a East London based designer with a degree in furniture and product design. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture inspired by traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that he grew up with as a child. Each piece of furniture that he up-cycles tells a meaningful, yet humorous story which can be shared with people throughout the world.

    Yinka Ilori Up-Cycling Workshop

    He is running his 3rd series of up-cycling workshops starting in May! You’ll get the chance to upcycle your own chair in his studio in the heart of East London! You’ll get the opportunity to up-cycle your own chair inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables you select and decide to work with! It’s a fun experience where you learn about the art of storytelling through Nigerian parables.

    You’ll be musically inspired with sweet African music while working on your chairs and possibly luckily for you in this series there will be a live talking drummer throughout the series playing the parables while you work!

    Get involved!

    EMAIL: hello@yinkailori.com

    WEBSITE: www.yinkailori.com

    FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/yinksdesigns

    Urbanknit
  • Introducing Aso-Oke fabric

    One of my favourite fabrics to work with here at Urbanknit is the wonderful Aso-oke fabric. The history, the colours and even the ‘format’ it comes in are all very interesting. Most of all I love the story and this is my own way of capturing some of it. My aim is to look at the history, manufacturing techniques, fabric care etc of Aso-oke and I will update this post with any additional information as it is found. Please join in the discussion by asking questions, offering your own insights and opinions about it. Here goes!

    Aso-Òkè

    Aso-Oke (pronounced ah-SHOW-kay) is short for Aso Ilu Oke which means clothes from the up-country. It is also sometimes refereed to as Aso-Ofi. It is a hand woven cloth made mostly by the Yoruba tribe of south west Nigeria. The woven strips are sewn together to make clothing.

    CLOTHING

    A Yoruba woman’s complete outfit would consist of the following;

    • Iro– a large piece tied like a wrap-around skirt
    • Buba– a loose fit blouse
    • Gele– a headtie
    • Pele– a shawl that goes around the waist
    • Iborun– a scarf

    A Yoruba man’s complete outfit would consist of the following;

    • Buba– a loose fit top/shirt
    • Shokoto– trousers
    • Agbada– a large robe worn over the Buba

     

    Men's Agbada

    Men’s Agbada- Photo courtesy of ZODML http://www.zodml.org

     

    Aso-oke is usually worn on special occasions like coronations, festivals, weddings, funerals, engagement parties, naming ceremonies and other important events. It serves traditionally as formal wear. Aso-Oke is often also worn as Aso-Ebi (ebi meaning friends, and/or family) where similar colours are worn by all to a particular event to symbolise unity.

    There are several fabrics that are similar in nature to Aso-oke, i.e. fabrics that are handwoven in strips. There is Kente from Ghana, Akwete also from Nigeria just to name a few.

     

    PRODUCTION:

    The cloth is produced mainly in Iseyin (Oyo state), Ede (Osun state) and Okene (Kogi state) all in Southern Nigeria.

     

    TYPES OF ASO-OKE:

    Originally there were three main types of traditional Aso-oke based on their colours. The original versions of these cloths are now quite rare and are fast becoming vintage finds.

    Etu

    Etu is a deep blue, almost black, indigo dyed cloth often with very thin light blue stripes. Etu means guinea fowl, and the cloth is said to resemble the bird’s plumage.

    Etu Aso Oke

    Sanyan

    Sanyan is woven from the beige silk obtained locally from the cocoons of the Anaphe moth, forming a pale brown/beige cloth. This was commonly worn during weddings and funerals.

    Sanyan Aso Oke

    Alaari

    Alaari is woven from magenta waste silk.

    Alaari Aso Oke

    CARE OF ASO-OKE:

    Aso-oke garments can be carefully handwashed or drycleaned. We would recommend that you spot-clean your Aso-oke accessories from Urbanknit. This will elongate the life of the fabric and your accessory.

    Below are a few of our accessories which have been made out of this versatile, beautiful textile.

     

    Dark Magenta Aso Oke Pico Pouch

    Dark Magenta Aso Oke Pico Pouch

    Olympics Tote Bag in Aso Oke

    Olympics Tote Bag in Aso Oke

    Radiant Orchid iPad Sleeve in Aso Oke

    Radiant Orchid iPad Sleeve in Aso Oke

    Navy Blue and Turquoise Aso-Oke Cushion- Pair

    Navy Blue and Turquoise Aso-Oke Cushion

    Etu and Pink Aso-Oke Listra Clutch

    Etu and Pink Aso-Oke Listra Clutch

    Vintage Aso Oke clutch

    Vintage Aso Oke clutch

     

    If you are looking to purchase Aso-oke fabric for your own creations then www.urbanstax.com have a great selection.

    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit
  • Speak Yoruba App

    Yorùbá is the native language of Yoruba people and is spoken in West Africa by an estimated 20 million speakers. It is spoken in Southern Nigeria, Benin and Togo as well as many Africans in diaspora.

    SpeakYoruba is a new and clever mobile application for use on an iPhone, iPod and iPad. SpeakYoruba features animated flashcards, pronunciation guides and games that provide a gentle introduction to Yoruba. Additional puzzles and games in SpeakYoruba for iPad provide a fun and easy way to learn to SpeakYoruba! The app designed and produced by AJA.LA LTD.is available for download in Apple app store.

     

     

    The app was For more information check out  www.SpeakYorubaApp.com.

    I think this is such a brilliant idea. Especially when I see just how adept my four year old nephew is with gadgets like iPads and iPhones. He’ll be having fun learning a language and not even realise it. As I speak Yoruba fairly fluently I am really looking forward to trying out this application as I am sure I too would learn a thing or too. I am also hoping to see SpeakIbo and SpeakHausa soon. How cool would that be!

    By in Knowledge
    Urbanknit