Crazy but its been more than a year that I last wrote a blog!
That is the beastly bit but the beauty is that I get to restart blogging on my 'Adire Adventure', a series of short videos on Instagram, through which I share my journey of learning the art of making Adire fabrics, thanks to the online 'Make Your Adire fabric in 30days' course with AdireLounge.
And what better place to start than with some incredible history of these indigenous fabrics from West Africa.
Louder than Words.
I ascribe to the version of events that made Adire fabrics popular as a form of contemporary art through the creative and ingenious protest made by African women.
So here is how the story goes.
Decades ago, ancient norms of Yoruba land in modern day South West Africa, prevented women from speaking in public. In defiance to this frustration and injustice, some women chose to inscribe symbols and patterns on their clothing to convey messages, after all communication is only 7% verbal. Clothing, an essential part of everyday life was used to intentionally express personal observations, experiences and concerns within their limiting patriarchal spaces. Their designs and patterns not only effectively conveyed messages which were not easily interpreted by those who sort to silence and constrain them but served in mitigating several adverse social pressures, thus allowing women the possibility to flourish in craft and later, trade once dominated by men.
What is Adire?
'Adire' pronounced as 'Ah-DEE-reh' is a Yoruba word for Tie and Dye, that used indigo-dyed cloth decorated with resist dyeing techniques, which was typically passed down from grandmothers to the young female members of the family.