Nigerian indigenous clothing reflects the culture of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. Nigerians wore their traditional outfits all the time but with the advent of the European culture (through colonialism and globalization); traditional attires are now saved for special occasions like weddings, work on Fridays and for religious gatherings.

Naturally, the purpose of dressing is to cover one’s nakedness and this was achieved in Nigeria through the traditional ways of dressing until the Europeans introduced their dressing and sense of fashion which suppressed our indigenous ways of dressing. Nowadays, to dress up means to conform to the common trends and new styles of dressing regardless of comfort and decency. It even seems like the primary reason for dressing has been totally ignored to accommodate social norms and trends.

One might even say that fashion designers and tailors are put under pressure to make western-looking designs which neglect the indigenous and good-old designs. What happened to the traditional Iro and Buba? I know a good number of people that wouldn’t want to be caught dead wearing those and some would only choose to wear this on their traditional wedding ceremony.

As proud Nigerians, we should embrace our indigenous norms of dressing and even that of other Nigerian ethnic groups hoping that maybe this will improve unity, peace and give us a sense of national identity.

– Faith Ademola-Law