Weaving in Southern Nigeria

by Lisa Aronson
Skidmore College

Aso iborun-nla (a large wrapper), Yoruba peoples, Nigeria. Photo by Lisa Aronson.


Ijebu women weavers manufacture the ritual attire that all oshugbo members must wear. The Ijebu Yoruba refer to such cloth as aso olona, meaning “cloth with patterns.” Oshugbo dress calls for a large wrapper made up of four foot-wide panels sewn together along the selvage and worn toga-style on the body. It also includes a single-panel of cloth called an itagbe, which they wear both over the left shoulder (left is the sacred side in oshugbo) or as a turban on the head. Oshugbo members wear this ensemble of cloths for the purposes of public display.