To discuss the Niger Delta Traditional Wedding Attire, it is important to know who Niger Deltans are.
Niger Deltans are people who live in states like; Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Imo, and Ondo. They speak languages like the Ijaw language, Igboid language, Itsekiri Language, Central Delta language, Edoid language, and Yoruboid language.
Niger-deltans share a close relationship with Deltans, and so their attires are almost similar. Deltans are people known to be from the same land area, Delta. However, it is home to people who speak seven distinct languages including; Ibibio, Itsekiri, Urhobo, and Igbo languages.
Igbos dominate the northern part of Delta state, while Itsekiri and Ibibio dominate the Southern and Central regions respectively. These ethnic groups have lived together in Delta state for years and have come a long way to understand and accommodate each other’s differences.
The Niger Delta traditional wedding attire is among the most popularly admired traditional outfits in Nigeria. They are easily noticed by their unique costumes.
Moreover, contrary to what most people think, it is absolutely wrong to say that Nigerians enjoy wearing English clothing more. Nigerians very much hold their traditional attires in high esteem, and so much appreciate the beauty, richness, and colorfulness of their traditional costumes.
For instance, the Niger Deltans like their rich cultural heritage, and are proud to display their culture in any way possible, especially in attire. Niger Deltans generally believe that one’s attire indicates their social class and they thus, make effort to always appear significant and respectable.
Niger Delta Traditional Wedding Attire
One of the many customs surrounding wedding ceremonies and preparations in the Niger Delta is their traditional attire/wear. People from Niger Delta like to show off their culture in anything they do, and in their outfits too.
The most expensive and memorable weddings come from the tons of money put into preparations of wedding outfits, months of preparation by the couple, and input from thousands of experts.
Niger Delta traditional wedding attire is mostly a combination of red coral beads and beaded headpieces, while some others, a combination of wrappers and double fabric gele head ties with niger delta shirts (okuku). A popular Niger Delta wedding attire is the “Senator wear”, just like the one Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president wears.
Exceptional Niger Delta Traditional Wedding Attire Includes:
This is one of the Niger Delta traditional wedding attire. It is mainly for males and is normally worn on Fridays. It is made of cotton or a polyester blend.
Men generally Like this Niger Delta traditional wedding attire because it shows off class, matureness, and elegance altogether.
Beads are an important part of Niger Delta traditional wedding attire. Most brides prefer to wear bead necklaces during their traditional weddings. These beads come in colours like red, white, or peach. They also come in various sizes ranging from small to large beads.
For weddings, beads may be used to build the hats, and little tops, and wrap the bride’s hairstyles or they can also be used to adorn the lady’s clothing. Women generally prefer this Niger Delta traditional wedding attire because it is simple, gorgeous, and elegant for a wedding celebration
Shirt, Wrapper, and Walking stick Costume
Men of Niger Delta also have this traditional attire, and often wear them for big occasions. Some men, however, prefer this outfit for their traditional wedding.
This Niger Delta traditional wedding attire typically constitutes the white shirt line, also known as Kemenje, and a colourful George material, which constitutes the wrapper. A walking stick by the hand is often used to complement this attire.
This outfit is known to be owned by the Anioma people of Delta, the Delta-Igbo, but Niger Deltans also wear this during traditional weddings.
It is a white piece of garment and is worn by both men and women. This outfit is often enhanced by coral-colored beads worn around the waist, wrist, neck, and angles.
Akwa-ocha garment can be worn in Wedding events, cultural festivals, state rituals, and traditional naming ceremonies.
These discussed above are the Niger Delta traditional wedding attires. Even the most stylish fashionista could be stunned by Niger delta men’s wedding attire, despite the fact that the bride is typically seen as the focus of attention in many cultures.
In Niger Delta, the traditional wedding attire for males always includes a shirt with a wrapper and the George, which is the most expensive part of Niger Delta wedding attire for men.
Traditionally, men’s pants in delta state clothing may be any color, and the groom’s accessories are just as important. A walking stick and a black hat or cap, both of which may be adorned with coral beads, are the most common fashion accessories.
Conversely, women also put a lot of effort into looking their best at weddings. The contemporary traditional shirts and wraps, gele and double gele, and of course red coral beads that may be worn on the neck or turned into a gorgeous head crown are the most well-known elements of women’s Niger Delta traditional wear.
Various components of Delta Igbo traditional clothes for women can as well be worn together or separately depending on the situation and the woman’s own style.
Conclusion: Ethnic groups have their unique cultures and traditional attires which they wear on special occasions like traditional weddings and other social gatherings like naming ceremonies.
Yoruba people wear Iro and Buba for women, Sokoto and Buba for men; Igbo people wear Isiagu and wrappers; Hausa people wear Babban Riga, Tuareg-style turbans, Efik people wear long wrappers with long shirts for men, Ofod Ukon Anwang for women; Tiv people wear striped black and white clothing, known as Anger.
However, being a native of a different ethnic group should not stop you from trying other ethnic group’s traditional attires. Meanwhile, this post gives a complete elaboration on the Niger Delta Wedding Attire.
So, if you are Igbo, Yoruba, or any other not Niger Delta, you can also check out these listed Niger Delta wedding attires for your own wedding or those days you wish to change fashion.
Read also: 10 Best Tribes to Marry a Wife in Nigeria