The Igbo tribe constitutes the three (3) major ethnic groups found in Nigeria. Occupying the Eastern part of the country, the Igbos are known as very industrious people and can be found running various businesses all over Nigeria. However, our attention today is not about the business prowess of the tribe: rather, we shall be focusing our attention on the traditional clothing for Igbo males, East of Nigeria.
First things first though: what’s unique about Igbo men’s clothing?
Igbo Men’s Clothing: What’s Unique About It?
There are many things that are interesting and utterly unique about the Igbo men’s traditional clothing. The most important however are:
- The attires of titled holders and chiefs differ from that of the untitled men.
- The walking stick is a complementary part of the traditional Igbo attire for men and no traditional outfit is considered complete without it.
- Titled holders are uniquely distinguished by a red cap with a feather in it
- Finally, Igbo traditional men’s clothing is complimented with white and red bangles – an accessory which all the members of that society (both male and female) compliment their dressing with.
Fabrics Commonly Used For Igbo Men’s Clothing
There is no special fabric specifically designated for Igbo men’s clothing in Igboland – any manner or variety of clothing is used, so far as it is printed (or weaved) in the colours and patterns that the culture permits.
These patterns and colours are red, white, red, black and in some instances, clearly discernable patterns which is mostly the image of an adult lion.
However, the traditional caps are made exclusively from wool and this is true whether the caps are meant for the titled members of the society or not.
Let’s now take a good look at the popular Igbo men’s traditional attires and their distinctive styles.
See Also: Senator Styles for Nigerian Men and Guys
Popular Igbo Men’s Attires And Styles
Outlined below are the common and extremely popular men’s attires and styles in Igboland.
The Isiagu traditional attire in Igboland is essentially a pullover upper-body shirt that closely resembles the Dashiki common and extremely popular in Northern Nigeria.
Worn on special occasions such as weddings and other cultural festivals of great significance, it may be short or long sleeved with gold buttons beautifully and aesthetically linked by a chain.
In the strictest traditional sense, this shirt is presented to the recipient of a chieftaincy title – though it is common to see non-titled Igbo persons wearing it (especially outside core Igboland).
This shirt is worn with a wrapper and a red cap. However, for non-titled persons, the red cap is usually omitted. As a matter of preference (and convenience) too, the shirt may be worn with a trouser instead of the traditional wrapper.
The traditional wrapper, in Igbo culture, is worn by both men and women – especially during core cultural events.
Usually knitted (or manually woven by the local weavers), the wrapper is tied in such a manner that it reaches the ankles and the Isiagu is worn with it.
However, nothing stops one from wearing any other shirt or simply wearing an inner vest, especially at the peak of the harsh weather of the tropics, prevalent in the area.
In the event of the absence of a specially weaved traditional wrapper, specially designed and imported ones always arise to fill the space.
Popularized by former Senate President Anyim Pius, the Senator Attire is a simple traditional Igbo attire that consists of a simple long sleeved shirt and a pair of trousers, designed simply and overall, without any airs of sophistication.
On rare occasions, the buttons on the Senator Attire are linked together with a light chain and may also be linked to the breast pocket.
Usually, the Senator Attire comes with a matching pair of trousers and is best worn with a cap and a matching pair of shoes.
Note however that this attire (though native to Igboland) has now been adopted by many Nigerians and is now commonly used outside the boundaries of the ethnic group.
These are the three (3) basic Igbo traditional attires for men in Igboland. If you have ever lived in Eastern Nigeria or you know some other (traditional) attires that