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Ibibio Traditional Attire: A Unique Look At The Oldest Nation In Nigeria

Ibibio is an ethnicity, most of the members of which live in the southeast of the country. They are often considered one of the oldest nation in Nigeria, and yet it is one of the less known nations that live in the region.

Their culture is magnificently rich, Ibibio people still follow a lot of traditions and rituals of their ancestors. Ibibio mode of dressing has stayed true to the traditions, too, especially if it is related to some kind of special occasion (like Ibibo traditional marriage attire). Let’s explore it more closely.Ibibio mode of dressing


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Ibibio traditional wear shares some similarities with Igbo clothing, but there are a lot of differences, too. Here’s how Ibibio cultural attire looks like for men and women of this nation:

1. Ibibio male traditional attire

Ibibio traditional attire for men consists of a few pieces, namely

1.1.  Traditional wrapper

Usobo is a wrapper that Ibibio men usually wear to the wedding ceremonies. It is quite similar to a female version of the wrapper – ankle-long piece of cloth, wrapped to look skirt-like, usually with traditional ornaments on it. The same traditional piece of clothing is used by the neighbor ethnicities, like Efik and Oron nations.Ibibo traditional marriage attireIbibio male traditional attire

1.2.  Chieftaincy shirt

This shirt is an attribute of a lot of Nigerian tribes’ clothes. It is made out of simple textile, often has some sort of a pattern on a chest. It is longer than standard shirts, usually up to the middle of the hip, with notches on both sides. Ibibio variation often has shortened up to the elbows sleeves.Chieftaincy shirt

1.3.  Accessories

Among the appropriate accessories for this style are traditional caps, hats, canes, beads and other types of necklaces.

2. Ibibio female traditional attire

Ibibio dressing for women is very original, elegant and beautiful. It can also be divided into the main pieces that create the perfect final look. They are:

2.1. Short sleeveless blouse

This clothing item has a lot of variety to it. You can get the blouse of any color you like, and they can also be differently cut. Some blouses leave shoulders completely open, some are held with straps, some look just like shortened shirts. They are often decorated with different ornaments.Ibibio female traditional attire

2.2. Wrapper

This part of the Ibibio cultural attire is common among the Nigerian women, and there is nothing too special about it. Together with the blouse, it makes the whole attire to look like a dress (in some occasions, women do wear dresses instead of two different pieces).Ibibio cultural attire

2.3. Accessories

Women often wear gala or some other kind of traditional headwear, but if they don’t, they usually have amazing and complicated hairstyles. Of course, beads are often a part of the outfit as well.


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