Aso Ebi: Family Uniform
It has been the Yoruba people of western Africa that loves to have “aso-ebi”. The term aso ebi means “clothes for family members”. It is a Yoruba phrase from the people of southern part of Nigeria. Usually when there is celebration of life for an older family member, the children and grandchildren of the deceased will wear same fabric material for their outfit to differentiate them from the crowd. You can tell who the children and the grandchildren are, in order words, it is a uniform for the celebrants. Uniform depict unity and solidarity. Wearing same fabric design most especially ankara, helps the celebrants stand out from the other people present at the occasion. They can be easily recognized.
Being amongst those wearing same fabric design at a special celebration, can give a sense of belonging for example the aunties, uncles and friends. Aso Ebi or “uniform” brings everyone to the same platform, no matter the economic status. This promotes a feeling of equality amongst those wearing it. It is an equalizer for those in the higher, middle or lower economic status, between the rich and poor.
Who Is Wearing What Color?
Aso ebi has now been extended to all major celebrations such as wedding, birthday, chieftaincy title, baby naming, house warming, graduation, thanksgiving, to mention a few. A group of people can decide to wear matching outfit for any occasion. Amongst the materials that can be chosen for the celebrations are gele (headtie), voile and French lace, Ankara and woodin fabrics, George, guinea brocade and aso-oke for the uniform, ankara fabric being the most popular.
Matching color headtie for the women and cap for the men could be any color the celebrant chooses. For wedding celebration, the groom’s family will have a different color aside from the bride’s family. That is how you differentiate between the two families. Even amongst the two families, the siblings, aunties, uncles, friends of the couple may decide to have their own color of headtie or fabrics so that you may know who the siblings, aunties, uncles, and friends are. At a typical wedding, you may find up to eight groups of people with matching headtie and uniform fabric outfits. Voile or French lace fabric can also be chosen but that can be a bit more expensive than some other fabrics.
Affordable For Everyone
Ankara fabric is now the fashion trend. It has gained popularity globally because of the variety of designs and patterns that are bold, vibrant and colorful. It is cheaper, affordable for most people and readily available in the market. Most importantly, Ankara fabric will allow you to design your own fashion style that soothes you and gives you the control of how you want it to look on you. There are unlimited number of Ankara designs in the market that will match your sense of style, personality and taste. The down side is that you have to take it to a seamstress to sew it and that can be expensive to make but at the end, it will be worth it because it is your own design.
Aso Ebi (uniform) looks nice when everyone is in it. Those wearing it look the same and the colors rhyme without having someone wearing yellow and another wearing orange and brown in the same picture. It makes the pictures look elegant and beautiful.