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When it comes to African traditional Ankara or Aso Oke as some may like to call it, beauty is immortalized through the rich heritage being passed on and celebrated by the breath of each day.

The Igala Achi or Aso Oke as the name signifies points to the Igala people from the middle belt region of Nigeria, West Africa.

It is true that colors play a significant role in African traditional designs. For the Igala people this is not just black and yellow. Who know what it is? I’ll tell you what it is 🙂

The Igala Achi

The Igala Achi consisting of four colors (black, yellow, white, and green) has a similar texture with the Yoruba Aso Oke. As a matter of fact, there’s a connection between the two tribes. History has it that the name “Igala” itself was received from the Yoruba tribe. And it means “antelope”. Since almost every name on the African continent has a reason or cause, you might want to check out why it means antelope.

With so much screen time on National Geographic, I learnt that the speed of an antelope is 80km/h for Wildebeest, 42km/h for Dik-dik, and 40km/h for the Common eland. I’ll like to believe that the name “Igala” was inspired by the forever beauty of an antelope. The beauty of an antelope indigenous to various regions in Africa cannot be over emphasized. 

The Achi predominantly carries black and yellow stripes–although the material often times come bearing other colors like white and green. And sometimes, but very rare, the navy blue.

Color Representation

It goes to show more than colors. The black for example reminds the people of the Kingdom itself. It is therefore a symbol of black heritage and richness of the land. The people are blessed with lots of natural resources for generations to come.

The yellow on the other hand, represents the hospitality and prosperity of the Igala people.

If you happen to be interested in getting the Igala Achi for occasional purposes or to probably expand your wardrobe with diverse African designs, you are at the right store 🙂

Feel free to contact us anytime.

Oh blimey! I almost forgot to tell you. I’m Igala 🙂

And writing this article did felt like home.

 

By Elijah Christopher

 

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Elijah Christopher is a lifelong creative artist and a journalist for “A New Touch Of Africa”, an American news media and magazine focusing on Africa-related issues, fashion, new technologies and innovations. He has contributed to several published works, most notably a collaborative poem celebrating Scottish poet Edwin Morgan and in 2021 was the winner of the DIAJ Award for his photo-artistry.

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