6 Essentials for an Igbo Traditional Wedding

Igbo Kwenu! Igbo is an ethnic group native to the southeastern and some parts of the south central Nigeria. They have a very rich culturally heritage.

When it comes to their festive celebrations, the display of fashion is impeccable.

The Igbo traditional wedding is known as “igbankwu,” and it is a beautiful ceremony of traditional customs and pageantry. The traditional wedding follows certain provisions like mode of behavior, customs, local cuisine, and the use of native outfits.

During the Igbo traditional wedding, amazing high fashion and traditional outfits are worn which are fully representative of both families and friends.

The guests, family members, the bride, and groom display different fabrics and designs.
Nigerian designers and tailors highlight their creative spins on the customary blouse, wrapper, skirts, dresses, and even head ties.

The styles are ingenious, brightly colored, and full of endless variations that bestow nobility to the men folk and flatter the female form.

The outfits worn by the women are eye-catching, elegant, regal, and thoughtfully designed. On such occasions, there usually is a dress code chosen by the bride and groom.

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1. The Blouse

The top blouse could be sown as a short sleeve blouse, sleeveless blouse or long sleeve blouse. If the color choice is gold and blue, the blouse usually is gold and the skirt or wrapper blue.

The blouse comes in various designs with embroideries that add a more dramatic flare to the blouse. The embroidery can be only on the short sleeves, neck region, or the entire blouse depending on the brides taste and preference.

The blouse can be, low or high bust line or moderately cut and should add to the woman’s beauty. A decorative piece as a brooch, flower, or rose increases the beauty of the blouse. If a decorative piece is not part of the blouse then a beautiful hand fan adds to the effect dramatically.

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igbo blouse2
igbo blouse

2. The Wrapper or Skirt

The wrapper can be plain, have folds, frills, embroidery, or overlaps depending on the ladies taste.

The wrappers are tied waist high, and in modern wrappers, they can be held firm with extensions or designed bands.

The wrappers can be a single- or double-piece depending on the choice of the wearer. Therefore, if the color code is pink and purple, then the blouse is pink and the wrapper is purple. The skirts can be expressive and either long, flowing, knee-length items or flirtier ones for the young women.

The designer can virtually do anything with the skirt, even adding pieces of other materials to add to the dramatic flair. Young women and bridesmaids prefer skirts to wrappers, while married women both young and old prefer the elegant wrappers.

George wrappers are usually the first choice materials favored for such traditional weddings.

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igbo wrappers
woman igbo wrapper 2

3. Accessories

The total outfit is not complete without accessories to bring the attire alive; one of the most important accessories is the orange coral beads around the neck. The coral beads are usually large and prominent, giving balance to the whole ensemble.

On the wrist, the bride might chose to wear ivory wristbands, bracelets, bangles, or silver and gold chains. Female gusts can chose slightly understated coral beads worn on the neck and wrists or crystal beads and a brooch.

The handbag should be small and match either the blouse or wrapper to have uniformity. Large bags are not ideal, but are useful in carrying gifts for the bride and groom. It also applies to footwear because footwear should also match the color combination, especially the color of the blouse.

Low-heeled shoes are ideal for such occasions because of the social dancing and other vigorous activities. A heavy brooch is introduced into the coral beads and a rose can be placed on the blouses shoulder for dramatic effect.

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igbo bride
beads

4. The Head Tie

The head tie is an important part of the outfit and is important when wearing a blouse and wrapper. The head ties in traditional weddings are usually the color of either the blouse or wrapper.

Any combination works once the chosen color code for the event is strictly followed. Head ties are usually lightweight material like silk, polyester, or nylon is mono-colored and plain.

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igbo headtie 2
igbo-bride headtie

5. Makeup

Makeup is an essential part of the whole process giving the bride a beautiful, alluring look. A professional makeup artist uses basic tones according to the woman’s facial requirements. The make up artist should introduce elements and colors similar to the color code for the occasion.

In a more native setup, the bride wears short, knee-length skirts, a short blouse, and have her midsection covered in coral beads (known as “Gigida”). She also wears coral beads on her neck and ivory bangles on both wrist and ankles.

She might also choose to carry a feather hand-fan for effect and to accompany her dancing.

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Igbo traditional bride-inst
igbo makeup

6. Men's outfit

The men are part of this fashion melting-pot and are nicely clothed in loose-fitted, knee-length shirts and flabby trousers. The men use only one of the chosen colors or materials, which they sow into any native outfit they favor.

A cap is also part of the outfit, but does not necessarily have to match the outfit. Therefore, the caps come in red, black, gold, and other colors common to such occasions. Some prefer suits, regular shirts, and trousers, but wearing the color code shows kinship with the couple.

The groom might add a heavy Agbada with lots of embroidery on top of his native shirt and trousers.

Igbo culture clothing can fascinate you with various interesting features. It might be one of the oldest cultures in Africa, but the trends presented in this tribe can still be in fashion today.

Igbo attire has a long history. It’s deeply connected with traditions of Igbo people. Nevertheless, a lot of historians agree that Igbo and Nigerian fashion has been actually influenced by Europe.

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igbo couple10
igbo couple 10

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