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Yoruba Adire

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This style of indigo resist-dyed cloth was most commonly worn as a wrap by Yoruba women. Adire eloko, like this example, were produced by women who would use chicken feather to paint elaborate designs onto undyed cloth with starchy cassava paste. Once these were dry, they would take them to the keepers of indigo dyepots. When the dyeing process was completed and the starch was removed, the designs stood out against the deep blue-black background. This particular type of design was known as “Ibadan-dun”, which means “Ibadan is good”. It consists of a grid pattern, with squares enclosing traditional images including spoons, cassava leaves, stylized palace columns, and animals.

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