When it comes to throwing Nigeria parties, especially weddings, the desire to make it colorful is always very paramount to the celebrants. For weddings, the intending couples go all out to make their special day a memorable one by ensuring that it is glamorous, flamboyant and colorful.
An important aspect that makes a Nigeria wedding colorful apart from the interior of the event hall is uniformity achieved from the selected aso-ebi for the event. Selecting an Aso-ebi is a crucial aspect of wedding preparation that couples painstakingly do in order to make their wedding colorful and a talk of the town event.
Aso-Ebi which is translated to “Family Clothes” in English language is a uniform dress that is traditionally worn by the Yoruba tribe in the south-west Nigeria which symbolizes cooperation and solidarity during ceremonies and festive periods.
The advent of Aso-Ebi could be traced to the year 1920 but its demand increased from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s, when aso-oke, lace, adire and george materials with matching cap/headgear were incorporated into Nigeria fabrics and they became popular items used for Aso ebi.
Aso-Ebi is worn to make events like weddings colorful as every member of the family wears the same color and fabric which allows for easy identification of guests.
In modern days, Aso-Ebi is no longer limited to family members alone, neither is it limited to parties like weddings alone. Friends and even strangers now wear the Aso-Ebi alongside with the celebrants’ family members, although a different fabric and color of Aso-ebi may be chosen for them. It is safe to say the Aso-Ebi ‘mentality’ has become a fad that’s here to stay.
From weddings to birthdays, funeral rites, child-naming ceremonies, association meetings and annual festivals to even graduation ceremonies, wearing Aso-Ebi has become a necessity that has even cut-across language, religious, and ethnic barriers.
In present day Nigeria, Ankara fabric is mostly selected as Aso-ebi, because it is affordable and easy to source. Meanwhile, it is not uncommon that different varieties of Aso-Ebi may be selected for a particular wedding ceremony, for different categories of people and for economic reasons.
However, besides the social importance of adding color to an event, the economic value of Aso-ebi cannot be overemphasized as it creates economic value for vendors that source for these supplies. It is also creating a fast growing industry where fabric professionals painstakingly go the extra mile to satisfy the specifications of their clients.
Photo Credit: @Heav_Merchant