Saturday, 25 March 2017

Our Ways: Jukun tie and dye (Traditional Atire)

Tie-dye is a craft that is widely practiced in many parts of the world. As an indigenous craft it could be used to forge local identity in the form of dress code. This is especially true for Africa, and Nigeria where Adire, an important Yoruba died cloth, is a product of the tie-die technique. 

Adire is inextricably connected to the economic and social fabrics of the Yoruba people. Apart from its role in the socio-cultural milieu, it also serves important economic roles by providing the people with job opportunities, source of income, among other benefits.In western parts of Nigeria, one of the many traditional methods of Tie-dye is Adire. This method of design is practiced particularly in areas where indigo dye cloths are produced.
'Adi', means 'to tie' and ‟re’ which means to dye'; these are Yoruba words used in towns where resist dyeing techniques is popular. Adire patterns are made by pleating of cloth, scholars also states that patterns are made by pleating of the cloth so that the colour is kept from inside of the folds by knotting and dying it or stitching with raffia fiber from banana leaves or thread.

Brief history of tie-dye among the Jukun

The tie-dye attire among the Jukun is a way of life which, among many other things, 
serves as a means of motherhood identification. 

The Jukun people have different types of cultural attires made from different colours, patterns and weaves. Weavers among the Jukun people produce their materials ranging from narrow strips of cloth from narrow loom to a large ppiece of yard for garment making which is used during their cultural festivals. 

During festival the king and his prominent chiefs made a display of authority and power to their subjects using these varying colours, pattern and weave. A good example of Jukun Adire is: the Kyadzwe, Ayinpo, Adire and Baku. 

Kyadzwe is used by the Jukun rulers for royalty.

The finer weaving of King‟s royal Kyadzwe cloth was highly restricted. Skilled royal weaving groups were established to produce high-quality materials.
The weaving technique was jealously guarded and kept secret. 

Traditionally, the king would never wear the same cloth in public more than once, hence hundreds of clothes were woven for him to use.
 The Jukun Adire also contains some patterns which resembles the ones on Adire „Eleko‟. These patterns resemble fish, birds (eiye in Yoruba), fruits, leaves, sunsets, rainbows, stars and moon and other spectacles of nature. 

The symbolic meaning of the cloth inter-woven with golden thread represents wealth, green-freshness and newness, black sadness, red showed danger and white purity and joy.

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