top of page
  • Grace Apparel

Auto Gele Asoke

When you think of or hear the phrase Aso - Oke , what comes to mind? What kind of picture flashes before your mind's eye? Lavish Yoruba  parties? A beautiful Yoruba bride gorgeously dressed with a charming smile or a handsome groom with his agbada?

Aso-Oke comes from Aso Ilu Oke or Aso-Ofi, translated as clothes from the top or mountain or top cloth. One reason it was given this name is because 

aside from being a clothing attire, the aso-oke was worn as a symbol, or to showcase prestige and wealth in the ancient Yoruba hemisphere.

Aso-Oke originated in the Southwest Nigeria in the 15th Century by the Yorubas, coinciding with the introduction of Islam with its requirement of head coverings into the region

it is worn on special occasions  such as naming ceremonies,  engagements,  chieftancy ceremonies etc.

It  was used for Agbadas which are flowing gown-like outfits and Fila, a sort of cap for men and matching blouse, shirts and scarves  (known as gele) for women.

Aso-Oke is a beautiful attire that has its origin in the past but is still  ever so  relevant in todays fashion.

It indeed  is a wonderfully vibrant, hand-loomed cotton cloth head tie which originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It began in towns like Iseyin and Oyo and soon spread to neighboring tribes like Igalas, Idomas, Ebiras, Tivs with their own Aso-Oke colors  .

This  top-cloth,  rich material is enough to catch the eye of anyone interested in beautiful  African fabrics and just like anyone else who  is curious,  you might be wondering how are Aso Oke's made or created?

Well here is a brief rundown;

First comes the cultivation of cotton plants, which usually takes between five to eight months from plant to harvest.

The harvested raw cotton is then processed by hand through an ‘Orun’, or ‘Spindler’, which involves the material being rolled over a wooden loom and rotated until it is sufficiently thinned or spun.

Next comes the most tedious part of the process: sorting. Traditionally done by hand, this quite simply consists of a person removing all the dirt from the spun cotton.

Finally, creativity comes into play as the cotton is dyed and woven to create imaginative patterns for the grand final piece.

Aso Oke's were worn traditionally in Nigeria , particularly among the Yoruba's only to mark special occasions such as festivals, engagements, naming ceremonies or funerals, Aso Oke is used to make bold, statement garments for both men and women; primarily men’s gowns and hats (Agbada and Fila) and women’s wrappers (Iro).

 

Nowadays, Aso Oke is far more widely available than it was even a few decades ago, due in the most part to the rise of the online market .

Though there are now endless varieties available, there are three main types of Aso Oke typically worn by Yoruba people.

These are the striking red Alaari cloth, Sanyan, which features warmer shades of brown and Etu, Aso Oke of a deep blue hue.

Aso Oke has become  the staple of the Nigerian traditional wedding, and it has been reimagined into a modern-looking, glistening skirt, blouse, and head gears (geles)  with different trimmings and patterns.

The  real beauty of Aso-Oke comes out more and is most apparent  and  appreciated when it is taken as “Aso-Ebi,” this means ( a group of people e.g. friends, families e.t.c) and  worn by the bride, groom, friends, and family as part of the Aso-Ebi (clothes for the family).

Typically for women,  when people speak of an aso oke, they are usually referring to the traditional Yoruba women's garment, which consists of four parts:

Buba: Yoruba blouse

Iro: wrap skirt

Gele: head tie

Iborun or ipele: shawl or shoulder sash.

However our focus on this post is on the gele.

The Aso  Oke fabric is rather heavy compared to other fabrics hence when used as head tie (gele) though beautiful  felt very uncomfortable  right from the tying process up until it is finally removed. Most people tend to experience headaches and ear aches while still wearing and even after wearing the gele.

It is this discomfort that necessitated the need for auto gele's with the beauty and elegance of  aso oke 's hence thanks to auto geles still made of aso oke material the burdens of having to sit to "tie gele " and feeling uneasy while wearing the head ties are no longer present as the auto gele has already been "tied ", beautifully at that, and all that needs to be done is to wear it like a cap or hat and equally easily remove it without feeling any discomfort  whatsoever  throughout the period it is worn or even after it has been removed.

Do you want to use Aso Oke fabric as your head tie (gele)  and look beautiful for your special occasion without having to deal with  the common discomforts associated and instead enjoy ease and comfort?

Then you should consider purchasing and  using auto geles which have been converted from "geles as you knew " to auto geles like this to have the best of both worlds (beauty and elegance as well as ease and comfort)

13 views0 comments

Yorumlar


bottom of page