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Old School vs New School: The Two Types of Traditional Gbagyi Attire

Clothing is a very important feature for any people because it is the way they choose to be seen and identified by the rest of the world. We have a bit more video content today than usual because the Gbagyi elders were so kind to show me how they make their clothes from scratch. From the weaving process to dyeing the fabric and then the finished product. The fabric felt almost identical to wool but still light and airy. Which makes so much sense for the fluctuating nature of their climate. The Gbagyi people have two fabrics they wear. The dark blue one is much older and has been worn by many generations of Gbagyi people. That’s why the older people in the community see it as the authentic Gbagyi clothing. The black one with white drawings and writing is fairly new. As you will see, it has drawings of the women carrying load on their shoulders. This re-enforces how important the belief of not carrying load on your head is in their culture. Also, written on the fabric is “Mizhin Gbagyizanu “, which they told me means “we are Gbagyi people”. In pre-colonial times, the men used to tie the blue fabric around their private parts like underwear and the women tied it as a wrapper around their chest. Nowadays, the fabric is used for trousers and skirts and worn with a white t-shirt. Of course, some people still wear it the traditional way to celebrate their culture. Watch some of the process of making the cloth and see what the finished fabrics look like.

1 Comment

Tochukwu Okengwu
Tochukwu Okengwu
3 days ago

I love contents that showcase and cwlebrate Nigerian cultures. Thanks for this!


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.

Let the posts
come to you.

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