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Dressing in Nigeria amongst women is slightly complicated. This is because most women who dress in the country identify with their tribes and ethnic group. Nigeria is a large, diverse country which makeup 250+ ethnic group though predominant by these major three; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Dressing is a value that identifies who we are and speaks volumes about our identity. From the early beginnings of Nigeria during the precolonial times, dressing has evolved from very simple designs that barely cover nakedness to complex designs that began probably in the 1930s.

From the 1950s, dressing among women in Nigeria took a different turn and things began to change rapidly as ideas began to pour in; with many embracing various unique styles even while maintaining decency and cultural identity. The Factboyz Team brings to you various pictures that show the massive evolution of dressing among women in Nigeria.


A couple in Asaba, South Eastern Nigeria, 1900

Mary Slessor(seating) amongst Efik women in present Cross River State (1910s)

Women from Bauchi northern Nigeria 1911
Itsekiri Maidens 1910s


Igbo woman from Nri present Ana bra state in 1921
Woman and her son 1920s


Fulani Woman and her child
Dressmaking Establishment
Lagos 1937
Source: E.O Hoppe


A Yoruba woman weaves native cloth on a traditional hand-loom The cloth was woven from locally-grown cotton and dyed by local methods. Before the Second World War, production was steadily declining due to cheap imports from Europe and elsewhere, but wartime restrictions led to a revival in the local product.
South West Nigeria
March 1945.


A young woman looks on during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Nigeria (1956)

Vintage Nigerian style, circa 1950’
Wedding Ceremony among the Qua people in Calabar; female relatives accompanying the bride. 1951
Lagos market 1956
Nigerian women after church service 1950s
Wedding Preparations, early 1970s, Lafia Road, Kaduna.


Calabar dancer in 1965
Sade Thomas at Commonwealth Fashion Show, Marlborough House, London (1967)
Enugu, 1963
Woman at the seat of a bike 1969
Fulani Girls
Yoruba Ladies, 1964

Shades of Swagger #51 | From a Nigerian great, Studio portraiture by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere ca 1968



The photograph depicts Yoruba women with tribal marks. This photograph was taken by Eliot Elisofon in 1973.

Nigerian women 1970s
Nigerian Women
Practicing to be a mother!!
A young girl and her brother


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Jay Immanuel is a passionate blogger who is keen to pass across relevant information to users in the web. He can be reached at [email protected]


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