Culture Trip | Kalabari Traditional Attire

 Kalabari Traditional Outfit

If you’ve ever wondered what the traditional Kalabari outfits for certain occasions are, you’re in luck as that’s what we are spotlighting today.

If you’re new to the Kalabari series, click here to catch up. Apart from telling us all about their food, Bomate also discussed their outfits.

One thing you notice about Kalabari dressing is their love for coral beads and ‘India’ wrapper. Both men and women also wear beaded hats depending on the occasion.

The ‘Iriabo dressing’ is the most popular and can be used during a child’s dedication, traditional marriage or burial. What differentiates them are the various wrappers they use.

Some of us may be able to identify bits and pieces of the outfits but do not actually know what they’re called.

In no particular order, here are the common Kalabari outfits/accessories.

In this picture, the girl is wearing ‘kiliali Suon’ on her head with the ‘India wrapper’ on her waist and coral beads on her neck. This an example of what is worn to a burial by the family of the deceased.

Kilali Suon is a type of beaded hat that is draped over the head.

The hats being worn by the bride and the little girl are known as ‘Angara Sun’. This is another type of beaded hat for women and is mostly worn during joyful ceremonies like weddings.

The bride is wearing another variation of ‘India Wrapper.

The older girl in the 2nd picture is wearing ‘Injiri Iriabo’. The wrapper is known as ‘Injiri wrapper’ and coral beads adorn her neck.

This woman is wearing ‘Krukru Bite’ on her waist which is another style of wrapper. This is usually paired with a blouse of your choosing and a head tie.

The man on the left is wearing the male version of ‘Iriabo’. He has on a ceremonial cap called the ‘Ojubulu’, coral beads on his neck and ‘India wrapper’ draped over his body.

The boy is wearing ‘Etibo’ with a coral bead round his neck.

Both outfits are acceptable for weddings & burials.

This is an example of the popular Kalabari attire called ‘Woko’.

He has with him his ‘Imkpara’ also known as a walking stick and a bowler hat. This is the most popular of the dressing styles for men

The next time you’re going for a Kalabari event, why not try and blend in by rocking one of these outfits?

If you’re Kalabri and would like to contribute to the series please let us know.

If you’re from another tribe and would like us to do a piece on your culture please email us.

WHICH OF THE OUTFITS ARE YOU FAVORITE OR HAVE YOU SEEN PEOPLE WEAR?

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*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person

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