Types Of Dress In Different Tribe In Nigeria – The Beauty Of Different Tribe Dressing In Nigeria


In Nigeria, different ethnic groups live in distinct ways from one another. We are still concentrating on how they dress in order to identify the tribe they are from or are representing.

More than 250 ethnic groups and more than 500 languages are spoken in Nigeria, indicating the diversity of their way of life. English is used as the official language.

The three most dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Other ethnic groups are Edo, Ijaw, Ibibio, Tiv, Kanuri, Idoma, Igala, Itsekiri, etc.

Nigeria is distinguished by the wide of its traditional attires in areas of dressing. It is fashionable for Nigeria to wear the formal dresses of their ethnic groups of origin.

Nigerian Tribes And Their Mode Of Dressing

Hausa/Fulani/Kanuri Tribe

They make up the largest tribe in Nigeria, and they are primarily found in the north. They had a very unified culture and mostly followed Islam along with a few other faiths. The Hausa tribe is another prominent ethnic group in Nigeria and their traditional dress is known as the “Babban Riga”.

It is a long flowing gown worn by men and is often made from brightly colored, embroidered fabric. The Babban Riga is worn with a matching headwrap called a “Turban” and is often accompanied by a large sword, known as a “Daga”.

 Additionally, they frequently sport attractive body art designs called Lalli or Henna. They don embroidered blouses and wraps daily, a few facial expressions, and traditional jewelry.

Yoruba Tribe Mode Of Dressing

The Yoruba tribe is one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and their traditional dress is known as the “Agbada”. It is a flowing, loose-fitting garment that is worn by men and is usually made from hand-woven cloth.

The Agbada is often adorned with intricate embroidery and is worn with a matching headwrap called a “Gele”. Men in Yoruba dress in Kembe, Dandogo, Dansiki, Agbada, and Sokoto, along with hats like the Eleti-Aja and Fila-Etu. Women dress in Buba and Iro (wraps) (blouse).

For outdoor activities, they pair it with Aso-Oke-made Gele (headgear) and the corresponding Ipele/Iborun (shawl).

Igbo Tribe Mode Of Dressing

The Nri kingdom, primarily located in the southeast of Nigeria, gave rise to the Igbo people. An “Isiagu” top, similar to an African dashiki, is the standard item of clothing for Igbo men. The Isiagu (or Ishiagu) is typically embroidered with lion heads, but it can also be plain (typically black).

It is worn with pants and can be accessorized with either the men’s traditional Igbo hat or the traditional fez worn by title-holders (called the Okpu Agu or Agwu) (which resembles a hat with a bobble). Women wear blouses and skirts.

At times, they favour traditional wraps over skirts. They have bracelets and neckbands covered in beads.

Edo Tribe Mode Of Dressing

The Bini, Afemais, Esan, and other tribes residing in Edo State are known as the Edo people and are distinguished by their bright and colourful attire. The men of Edo dress in flowing outfits made of a veil, Ankara, lace, guinea, or jacquard, along with white wraps, loose shirts, and pants.

Canes and embroidered hats are other common accessories to complete their appearance. Women frequently used coral beads to adorn their dresses or wraps. But men can also wear coral frequently, especially on special occasions.

The beads are meant to represent both freedom and royal power.

Ibibio/Efik/Eket/Oron/Annang Tribe

Another significant group of tribes in Nigeria share a common style of traditional clothing. The southern region of the nation is home to such individuals. Men frequently carry canes and wear long wraps with long shirts that reach mid-thigh, beads, hats, and canes that are typically walking sticks.

Women wear Ukod, Ofod, Anwang, Onyonyo, or both if the occasion is a wedding. In comparison, the second costume is a dress with substantial gold hair decorations. The first consists of a short top and some traditional arm and leg accessories for the wrap.

Tiv Tribe Dressing Mode

They reside in the states of Plateau and Benue. One of the fascinating aspects of these people’s culture is their traditional clothing. Black and white clothing with horizontal stripes has been seen on both men and women.

When they arrived at their current location, they discovered that the zebras there had stripes and that they had imported non-native clothing made from imitations of their skin.

They decided to make black and white clothing to honour their heritage after learning how to weave.

Isoko/Urhobo Tribe

In Delta State, particularly in the central and southern areas, these individuals comprise the majority tribe. Even though Urhobo and Isoko are different ethnic groups, they came together because of their shared cultural and linguistic heritage.

Most Isoko/Urhobo men dress in white lace shirts (occasionally other pastel colours), Georgian wraps, black cowboy hats, and walking sticks.

In addition to two wrappers made of the same material as the men, the women also sport headbands and blouses. Both men and women frequently use coral bracelets and necklaces as fashion accessories.

Itsekiri Tribe

The Itsekiri are a very diverse ethnic group who speak a language related to the Igala and Yoruba languages of central and southwest Nigeria.

However, it also adopts the Benin City Edo community. The Itsekiri men wore a hat with feathers sewn to it, a long-sleeved shirt called A Kemeje, and a George wrapper tied around their waists.

The women wore shirts with George wrappers tied around their waists and Nes (scarves) or coral beads, which were very colourful headpieces.

Importance Of Dressing In Differentiating The Different Tribes In Nigeria

  1. Identification: Traditional attire is often used to identify and differentiate one tribe from another. It is a way for individuals to show their cultural heritage and pride.
  2. Symbolism: Traditional attire often has symbolic meaning, such as specific colors, patterns, and adornments that represent certain aspects of the tribe’s culture or history.
  3. Sign of Respect: In some tribes, traditional attire is worn as a sign of respect for elders or on special occasions.
  4. Social and Economic Status: Traditional attire can also indicate a person’s social and economic status within the tribe.
  5. Cultural Preservation: Traditional attire helps to preserve and pass down the cultural heritage and traditions of the tribe.
  6. Tourist attraction: Traditional attire also serves as a way to promote the culture and tradition of the tribe to tourists visiting Nigeria
  7. Cultural expression: Traditional attire is a means of expressing one’s cultural identity, beliefs, customs, and way of life.


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