The Motifs and patterns on different fabrics tells different stories. Motifs are symbolic images or ideas that appears in a story. Adire is an ancient form of textile production made in southwestern Nigeria by Yoruba women, using a variety of resist-dyeing techniques. These Fabrics and different patterns on them tell a particular story relating to the people. Fabrics are a part of one’s cultural heritage. Clothing can reflect beliefs of individuals and groups.

Storytelling is important because it tends to be easier to pass across the message and it is also easier to understand. When Toddlers are being taught to read, they tend to start with books with a lot of pictures because it helps to convey the message in the words on the book and it sticks better with them as pictures. It is also the same in adults, when a story catches our attention and engages us, we are more likely to absorb the message and meaning within it than if the same message was presented simply in facts and figures. It boosts our feelings of things like trust, compassion, and empathy. It motivates us to work with others and positively influences our social behavior. Because of this, stories have a unique ability to build connections. Fabrics are a good way to make tell these stories and build these connections.  Nigeria is a country with diverse cultural heritage and very rich in history dated many years, few examples like The Benin Empire, The Old Oyo Empire, Queen of Amina of Zaria, Usman Dan Fodio of Sokoto, Jaja of Opobo etc.

At Adire Lounge we tell stories with our Fabrics to promote cultural heritage, in turn making these cultural heritages alive by passing them down to younger generations through the prints in our Fabrics. In this Article we would be discussing three Adire Prints and the story the tell; the Benin Ivory mask print, the Eyo Print and the Danfo Print.

The Benin Ivory Mask Print

The ancient Benin Kingdom is considered as one of the richest and most powerful kingdoms in the history of Nigeria and is estimated to be about 2057 years old.  The Benin Ivory mask is an important heritage of the Benin kingdom. It is an Ivorian miniature sculptural portrait of Queen Idia, the first Queen mother (Iyoba) of the 16th century. According to Benin history, during ancient times the Queen mother was the only woman who was constitutionally empowered to participate. During her reign Queen Idia served as a commander in her own regime. She played a very significant role in the rise and reign of her son’s reign as the oba of the Edo people.

 In Benin Kingdom, Ivory which is associated with the color white signifies ritual purity that is associated with Olokun, god of the sea. The Benin Ivory mask is the emblem of the Benin kingdom and the University of Benin, Edo State Nigeria.

The Adirelounge Eyo Print

The Eyo festival is unique to the Yoruba people of Lagos, Nigeria. The Festival is traditionally performed on Lagos Island. The word “Eyo” refers to the costumed masquerades that come out during the festival. The festival is usually held in honour of a chief from a ruling family, an Oba who had died and also when a new Oba is installed on the throne. During the course of the festival the following acts are forbidden, Smoking, Wearing Sandals, Riding motorcycles and bicycles, Making the ‘Suku’ (Yoruba hairstyle) or women covering their hair or wearing shoes.

The Adire Ori Print

“Ori” is a Yoruba word that translates one’s physical head in English. Ori is a metaphysical concept that is ascribed to one’s spiritual intuition and destiny.  Ori symbolizes an individual’s essential nature. It is also believed that one’s Ori should be worshipped like Orisha. Orishas are spirits sent by Olodumare for the guidance of all creations, particularly humans. In Yoruba Mythology it is believed that the life of a person depends on proper alignment and knowledge of ones Ori. Ones “Ori” is similar to one’s “chi” in Igbo Mythology. One Ori and their Orisha works in equilibrium in an individual it is believed that one has a balanced character. It is also believed to be a spiritual essence that wields the greatest influence in a personal from birth to death.

The Adire Lounge Ori Print.

Adirelounge is a hand dyed Textile Company that creates unique designs on non-conventional fabrics like chiffon, t-shirts, scarves and silk. Visit us today to order any of the exquisite prints that was discussed in this post, Our store is located at Ikota shopping complex, Road 5, K117, Victoria Garden City, Lagos. You can also check us out on our website and follow us on various social media platforms @adirelounge to see what we have in our store and to place an order.

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