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Dressing in Benin Clothing: Okuku Hair & Wrapper

Hey Guys, I'm Oluwalanu, and welcome back to my blog or welcome if this is your first time here.

Today, I'm in Benin city, Nigeria, exploring the rich history and culture of the people here. My mom is Benin so I am half Benin and a big dream of mine has always been to dress like a Benin woman. I always envisioned the first time I got to do their famous Okuku hairstyle would be at my wedding but since I started exploring cultures around Nigeria so today is the day!

Before I talk about my experience, let’s talk a little about the history of Okuku in Benin. The Okuku hairstyle is one of the most iconic hairstyles in Nigeria, possibly West Africa. This Benin hairstyle dates back to the Ogiso era (the kings from the Sky) around 900 to 1300 AD. At the time, the queens in the palace wore this hairstyle in different styles. Their styles differentiated one wife from the next. Till today, this hairstyle is also worn by other Bini women but the ones done for the queens are special.

On this day in Benin, my mom and I headed to the cultural center. My mom had called ahead to find someone who could do the hairstyle for me. When we arrived, the women were already there and ready to start. Like other cultural centers, the one in Benin is where their dancers perform shows and also practice for shows. They led me to their practice space to do the hair. You can watch the full hair video here.

After we finished the hair, they took me outside to tie my wrapper as you saw in the video above. This wrapper is considered Edo dressing in majority of the state. The Okuku hairstyle is also worn by the Esan and Ora people.

Here are the pictures of me as the Bini princess that I am!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.


In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.


That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

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