Yoruba Wedding Outfit: Traditional Yoruba Engagement and Marriage Outfit
A Yoruba bride and mother
Yoruba engagement and Marriage Fashion
The Yoruba people of South West Nigerian are known for their lavish parties, celebrations, and marriages. A Yoruba marriage is much more than the nuptial between two people but involves friends, acquaintances, and family members.
The guests, bride, and groom wear special outfits during such celebrations like traditional engagements and marriages. The cloths are beautiful, elegant and specially designed and made for such occasion.
Yoruba weddings are characterized by theme materials, which differentiate the groom’s people from the bride’s people. The material referred to as Aso-ebi, which loosely translated, means the family’s material.
No traditional Yoruba wedding is complete without the Aso-ebi material. Despite the uniformity, the designers come up with amazing designs for the guests.
As a rule, everyone wears traditional outfits at Yoruba marriages and engagements. The women at such functions wear a blouse, wrapper, head tie, lots of jewelry and high heeled shoes
While the men wear, a native shirt called the Buba, trousers (Sokoto), Agbada, and fila. The fila refer to the cap, while the Agbada is a large garment worn over the Buba.
Bride and Groom
Types of fabric worn at Yoruba marriages
There are various choice fabrics used for Yoruba wedding such as the Ankara, Print, or Tie and dye. The choice material characterized by bright colors, floral or concentric patterns even multicolored outfits.
The bride and grooms family has the responsibility to choose the material they favor. They chose the material and sell or distribute free to family and friends.
Although the bride and groom wear identical materials along side the color theme, they also have a wardrobe change. The bride and groom wear a special traditional material called the Aso-oke, which is a heavy dense material.
The traditional Yoruba Aso-oke
The ancient form of Aso-oke is a coarse dense and heavy material woven out of cotton. The groom wears a heavy four-piece outfit along with huge neck beads. While the bride wears a blouse, wrapper, head-tie, neck beads, bangles on wrists, and ankles.
They wear the highly revered fabric on other special occasion like chieftaincy coronations, and burials. Other occasions you see the material is during traditional festivals, birthdays, wedding anniversary, and traditional engagements.
The Aso-oke material is hand made and woven with treads soaked in dye. The treads consists of tree basic color elements navy blue, brown and maroon.
Modern Aso-oke materials have varied colors depending on the originality of the designer and weaver. The modern Aso-oke is much lighter and easier to wear than the old variants.
Gele head tie
Old Aso-oke colors
The Aso-oke outfit of the Bride and Groom
The grooms outfit consists of a Fila (cap), Buba (shirt), Sokoto (trousers), and Agbada (Top garment). The entire ensemble is- made out of the same fabric to create a flawless piece.
The Yoruba cap made into Abeti -aja that means the ears of a dog or any style he likes. The long flapped cap with a high end complements the large heavy garment of same material.
The Groom wears the Agbada over the loose fitting Buba long sleeve shirt and a Sokoto. The Sokoto trouser has a rope introduced at the waist region to tie the baggy trousers.
Therefore, the complete grooms outfit is the fila, Agbada over the Buba and Sokoto, trendy shoes and neck/wrist beads
The groom’s four-piece outfit
1 The Agbada garment
2 The Buba shirt
3 The Sokoto trousers
4 The fila native cap
The bride’s three-piece outfit
1 The Buba blouse
2 The Iro wrapper
3 The Gele head tie
A Nigerian Yoruba veiled Bride Wedding
The Yoruba Brides Traditional marriage outfit
The bride wears a Gele (head tie), Buba top, and iro wrapper alongside assorted beads on the neck, wrists and ankles. The entire outfit is made from the Aso-oke material and some have customized bags from same fabric.
The Aso-oke fabric made out of special tread soaked in homemade dye is the first choice fabric for traditional Yoruba marriages. However, the couple might decide a change of outfit during proceedings to correlate with the Aso-ebi theme of the day.
They wear African print fabrics like the guests, which are a simple Buba and Sokoto for the groom and Buba and Iro the bride. The bride can embellish her outfit with woven patterns/ embroided at the top or keep it simple.
Unique Aso-Oke designs and fabrics
The guest at the Yoruba marriage
The common denominator is to highlight African designs and Fabrics at Yoruba weddings. The guest’s cloths range from simple IRO and Buba and the men Buba and Sokoto. Although they wear identical material, the clothes are sown into lavish stiles and designs.
Some women at the party choose to sow dresses, gowns and the daring youngsters wear mini outfits. Although suits are not proper for such outings, some men are comfortable in them.
Any type of accessory that enhances the beauty is acceptable such as gold necklaces, broaches, wristbands, neck beads. Some wear coral beads, native red beads, expensive wrist watches and complementary footwear.
Attending a Yoruba marriage is an important occasion in the social calendar of invited guests. Therefore, they go all out to impress and enjoy themselves. It is also a sacred union between two individuals and families and a place to meet long lost relatives and friends.
© 2015 femi