The magic of a Yoruba wedding is unparalleled and unmatched.
From the marriage proposal until the moment the groom places the wedding ring on his bride’s finger, a tidal wave of emotions and drama takes over the two uniting families. After all, these weddings are more than just a night on the town.
Yes, people are celebrating, but a Yoruba wedding goes well beyond a mere party. It’s akin to a festival, wherein entire communities gather to enjoy the warmth and excitement brought upon by the union. Relatives, friends, well-wishers, neighbors, and anybody loosely connected with the couple bask in the glory of fragrant home cooking, glorious pageantry, warmth, and love. The ceremonies themselves are lavish and elaborate. There’s singing, chanting, epic stories, emotional eulogies, and choreographed dancing.
Even with the mass amounts of attendees, engaging ceremony, and mouth-watering food, there’s one aspect of a Yoruba wedding that stands out most. The stunningly gorgeous outfits on display. Grooms look dashing in clothing such as their flowing agbada (robe), Sokoto (pants), and fila (cap). While brides radiate with their refined beauty in the traditional iro and buba, (blouse and wrapper), gele (head tie), and iborun (shoulder sash). These wardrobes are an integral part of making a Yoruba wedding such an enchanting experience, and one of the primary materials responsible for the eye-catching garb is a customary Yoruba textile known as aso-oke.
Aso-oke exudes not only the rich history of the Yoruba culture but also a distinguished grace and style that’s fit for queens and kings.
A Cloth of “High Status”
This hand-loomed cloth is pronounced “ah-SHAW-okay” and translates as “top cloth” in English. Meaning, aso oke is held in esteemed regards—denoting luxury and elevated social stature. The fabric is generally hand-woven with techniques that have remained the same for centuries. It’s exclusively worn by people from the Yoruba culture throughout southwestern Nigeria and Ajase in the southeastern Benin Republic. While the cloth has been associated with the social elite for centuries, efforts in recent times have been made to make the material accessible for casual use.
What Does it Mean to Wear Aso-Oke at a Wedding?
Nigerian weddings are unforgettable and a pinnacle facet of the culture. The significance of a ceremony means the choices of clothing holds incredible weight. The fact that aso-oke is such a prominent material in Nigerian weddings is evidence that it’s of the most extraordinary quality. Furthermore, every stitch of aso-oke contains a vibrant chapter of the story of the Yoruba culture and projects confidence, self-worth, power, and pride. Anybody wearing clothing and accessories made of aso-oke is bound to feel like royalty, no matter the situation. In fact, whoever chooses to adorn any garb made with aso-oke is guaranteed to light up every room in which they step foot.
Bags Fit for Royalty
Olori bags are made from aso-oke. As such, they’re made with the same detailed, intricate handcrafting that’s befitting of the most extravagant Nigerian wedding.