Rele Arts Foundation

Join us on this journey of attires worn for traditional wedding ceremonies in Nigeria.


The Federal Republic of Nigeria, usually referred to as Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It borders with, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. It comprises 36 states.

The Aso-Oke
As part of the culture in Nigeria, traditional marriages are ceremoniously done with especial details to the attire worn for the occasion. 'Aso Oke' is popular attire worn commonly by the yoruba brides but over the years, innovative ways have been employed to give these materials a more modern and versatile look - now, the interest of different tribes have been accommodated.

Aso-oke Attire

Here, a bride wears a complete set of the aso-oke attire. What is worn as a crown on her head in referred to as 'Gele', she wears a blouse known as the 'Buba', wraps her torso downwards with an 'Iro' and carries a shoulder clothing known as the "Ipele".

Stones and pearls

Not only do these materials come in various colours, they are also intricately patterned with stones and pearls. On rare occasions, an entirely different material is added to the aso-oke like the flowery mesh seen here.

Special Creations
A look through custom-made attires.


Acronymed 'Zahra', it was specially made for the daughter of the President(Muhammadu Buhari) for her traditional wedding ceremony.
The bride's dress was made with a royal cotton thread and decorated with silver stones to give the look befitting of an hausa bride.


The First lady wears an aso-oke Ipele and Gele. It was made with maroon coloured thread with sparse beading patterns to maintain the required simplicity.


Style with the cross-worn fabric known as ' Ipele',this style is worn commonly by hausa brides. Made specially for the daughter of a former head of state in Nigeria.

Five Thousand Pearls

An Aso-Oke made with more than five thousand pearls. It weighs heavy but can be worn for several occasions. This style was created as an innovative break from the norm.

5 Days of Weaving

It is a full design in yellow, gold, and navy blue colour. Commonly used amongst the richest in Nigeria. It can be sewn in different styles and patterns. It is the hardest material to weave because it takes about 5 days to complete.


A special edition acronymed as LBK. It is also referred to as a garden for its lush flowery patterns. It was sewn and worn as a wrapper and blouse to give it a full length dress look.

Olden Cotton
A short series through olden styles still worn in the modern day.


Material was woven with an olden-day cotton thread in various colours.


This is a style referred to traditionally as Onjawu. It is a complete outfit with a bit of the traditional Ondo Style. It is made with a traditional cotton thread. This thread was common in the olden days. It is also one of the most luxurious Aso-Oke in Nigeria.

Worn and styled as a full design.

It's threading style is olden but the Buba was swen/styled in a modern look.

Credits: Story

This exhibit was created by the Rele Arts Foundation in collaboration with Abimbola Omotoyosi Ipaye; in particular, many thanks to Adé Olakiitan for all her help in creating this exhibit.
© All rights belong to Abimbola Omotoyosi Ipaye unless otherwise stated.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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