I love Nigeria because of its people and the beautiful fabrics they produce. Examples include Aso Oke from Oyo, Adire (tie dye) from Abeokuta, Ankara (colorful cotton print) and Mudcloth or bogolan (a thicker sack-like cloth with etchings) from Lagos. And the list goes on.
The fabrics are as diverse as the people and have been produced for centuries. Granted, Ankara and Mudcloth have origins in Ghana and Mali, neighboring countries of Nigeria in West Africa, but the cultures and histories of African countries and its people are very much intertwined. In Mali, Mudcloth is bogolanfini in Bambara.
The weavers, waxers, and dyers, who make the fabrics are like artisans around the world, from Asia to Europe to North America. These artisans are simply trying to make a living the only way they know how, the only way their families have known. Aso Oke is handloomed cotton and silk fibers, dyed into many rich and diverse designs and colors. Adire is indigo resist dyed cotton cloth. Ankara is wax resist dyed 100% cotton or cotton poly cloth. And bogolanfini is cotton fabric traditionally dyed with fermented mud.
To be continued …