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November 21, 2004

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Temporary

*GASP!*
Surely there must be some mistake here.
Where indeed, are the loincloths?

On a more serious note, it was only this morning that I got to pondering the why's and how's of the great expense of some these articles.

Some of them are hand-produced true, and the weaving of these materials is a skilled craft. But $600?

I wonder if Igbo or Hausa articles cost as much - Though, we can easily observe that most Igbos and Hausas do dress after the Yoruba Fashion, with the following observations:

1. The Rigid Caps for instance that go so well with the Agbada are likely to be of Hausa origin. Sometime in the 16th Century, Traders started bringing in these Items from the North, as well as apparel items. I daresay that a Fashion revolution occurred in YorubaLand circa 1750 to 1850 as a result of an introduction of these trade items. See for instance a neat work by Toyin Falola of UTexas - "Nigerian Cities"; which basically chronicles urban development; particularly in YorubaLand from the 1600s up.

2. The marked difference between Yoruba and Igbo caps. The latter possessing a certain domelike quality with the little protusion at the top.

3. Note also the marked difference between Yoruba war apparel and Hausa. The Hausa apparel closely resembling something Bin Laden might wear; with the Yoruba possessing (apart from the difference in materials) - more niches for fetish ornamentation.

BTW - Is it just me or do people generally refer to West African apparel with the generic "Dashiki" label? The label specifically applies to a certain kind of Hausa Torso apparel.

As for the Geles; Oh Lawd! The 2-Storey, 3-Storey and SkyScraper Geles whose wearers employ them for the express purpose of clouding the vision of drivers and pedestrians alike - which tower above the heavens in Church and whose side projections have been known to find their way into my eyes more than once....

Abiola Lapite

"Some of them are hand-produced true, and the weaving of these materials is a skilled craft. But $600?"

Considering the sheer amount of time and effort put into these things, why not? Remember that each one has to be fitted for the wearer - i.e, pretty much *all* of them are hand-tailored - and that a bespoke Western-style suit easily costs a lot more.

"The Rigid Caps for instance that go so well with the Agbada are likely to be of Hausa origin."

Yes, I think the beaded crowns still worn by Obas are more in keeping with what was once typical Yoruba headgear. Which reminds me, where exactly does the "Eti Aja" cap fit into the scheme of things again? I haven't been able to find a single example of that style online.

Abiola Lapite

"BTW - Is it just me or do people generally refer to West African apparel with the generic "Dashiki" label? The label specifically applies to a certain kind of Hausa Torso apparel."

No, Americans really do seem to assume that all of them fit under that label. I think it has to do with the adoption of the Dashiki style by a lot of black power activists in the 1970s.

Temporary

I have always associated the Eti-Aja with very very archaic clothing styles - practiced say, by, Babalawo's etc.

I have seen some old people born in, say, the 1920s and 30s sporting those kind of caps.

But it is definitely more of a Yoruba thing than the rigid caps. That, I think, is one of the original Yoruba "Filas"; as well as the other "collapsable" specimens.

ogunsiron

The Edo women's dress reminds me greatly of the traditional female dress of various ethnic groups from Gabon ( Fang in particular ). At least they were dressed very much like that while performing traditional dances .

The yoruba dress looks like (at least to my untrained eyes) that of the more muslim west-african countries like Mali, though the hat seems very specifically yoruba (I've seen many picures of Obasanjo wearing this kind of hat)

Africans in loincloth can be found though :) Look in the Sudan-ethiopia border region.

Dupsie's African Clothing

Thank you for the Article Abiola Lapite. We also carry similar products from Nigeria. Our Clothing is from several parts of Africa.

However, Nigeria seems to be one of the most expensive places to shop for African Attire. Senegal being the most expensive. A lot of work is being put into making these garments. These outfits are mostly custom made as well. This includes the Hat, Buba, Pants and Agbada with elaborate embroidery designs.

We do not carry this type of Aso Oke. We carry the Silk Aso Oke as well as the Hand cut Aso Oke. However the ones we carry are $399.99 on an average for men. You can visit our website at http://dupsies.com/Dstore/african-wedding-fashion-attires-c-98.html to see some of the Aso Oke attires we have. You can also visit our website at http://www.dupsies.com for other items

Thank you once again for the Article.

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