The Ibibios are an ethnic group located in the South-East region of Nigeria. This ethnic group is considered one of the oldest in the country, however, it is one of the less known nations in the country.
There are so many beautiful things to love about this tribe from their culture, traditions, language, native attires, and festivities.
The Ibibios has a very rich culture and up until now, they follow a lot of traditions and rituals of their ancestors.
Their mode of dressing and native attire has remained quite the same over time, but with the ever-changing fashion trends, it has become more stylish than before. In the case of special occasions like traditional marriages or introduction, you will see the Ibibio attire in its full glory.
More so, there are noticeable similarities between the traditional Ibibio attire and Igbo clothing, but there are a lot of differences, too.
Ibibio Traditional Attire for Women
The style of dressing for a typical Ibibio woman portrays elegance, beauty as well as originality. However, there are several pieces that are combined together to create that perfect stunning look. These include:
I.) Short Sleeveless Blouse
The short sleeveless blouse is usually decorated with different ornaments and comes in various forms, styles and designs. There is no specific colour as you can choose from a variety of beautiful and lovely colours for your blouse. Also, there are variations in the style of the blouse. While some may come as off shoulder blouses, or with straps, others may just resemble shortened shirts.
In many tribes, the wrapper is essential clothing in traditional attires. Wrappers being part of the Ibibio cultural attire are very common, especially among Nigerian women. The wrapper, together with the blouse makes the whole outfit look like a dress. However, on some occasions or events, some women prefer wearing dresses instead of two different pieces.
An Ibibio attire is incomplete without suitable accessories to go with it. Beads are important to give your outfit that perfect look. From the necklace to earrings to bangles. You may choose to leave the bangles and wear a nice gold or silver wristwatch. Women usually tie gele or other kinds of traditional headwear. They may also choose to just-style their hair in a unique and eye-catching manner.
Ibibio Traditional Attire for Men
The traditional Ibibio attire for men comprises of the following:
I.) Traditional Wrapper
The traditional Ibibio wrapper used by men is called Usobo. It is a wrapper that Ibibio men wear to the weddings or other special events and occasions. The Usobo is similar to the female version of the wrapper which consists of an ankle-long piece of cloth and wrapped round to resemble a skirt, mostly with traditional ornaments or accessories on it. The Usobo is not just restricted to the Ibibio man as it is also worn by the neighboring communities , such as Efik and Oron nations.
II.) Chieftaincy Shirt
The chieftaincy shirt is a special kind of shirt made from simple textiles. It usually possesses patterns on a chest. Unlike standard shirts, the chieftaincy shirt is longer (usually up to the middle of the hip) and comes with notches on both sides. This shirt is known to be a signature attire worn by many tribes in Nigeria. The Ibibio variation of the chieftaincy shirt usually has shortened sleeves reaching up to the elbows.
As earlier said, an Ibibio attire is incomplete without suitable accessories to go with it. Some of the appropriate accessories for this style include: hats, canes, traditional caps, beads and other types of necklaces.