Women of Toubou ethnicity.
Toubou people live mostly in Chad, Niger and southern Libya where they are a minority and, under Gaddafi’s rule, suffered high rates of discrimination where those living in Libya where stripped of their citizenship by Gaddafi who claimed they were not Libyans, but Chadians. They were also denied access to resources such as healthcare and education by local authorities in Libya.
During the Libyan revolution of 2011, the Toubou sided with anti-Gaddafi forces, and in 2012, they clashed and fought against Arab fighters in the southern city of Sabha, Libya. Toubou leaders and activists have spoken out about these tensions saying that the persecution Toubou people face is a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’.
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Shades of blue (2)
The Yoruba first introduced adire eleko in the early 20th century. It may have started as a way to recycle discolored cloths by re-dyeing them. Adire signifies “tie and dye” in Yoruba language, referring to the earlier traditions of resist patterning from which this style was fashioned. Eleko translates into “with starch” and alludes to the cassava starch hand painted on the cloth as a resist agent prior to dyeing with indigo.
Adire are made in two sizes. The first is 2 ½ yards long and half the standard width for a woman’s wrapper. Two of these lengths are tied together before dyeing, creating identical fabrics which are later sewn together. Women wear the smaller adire as a shawl over one shoulder. This tradition is still common nowadays but since 1960, when Nigeria gained independence, adire eleko cloth has become fashionable and the dying technique has been used for European-style clothing and head-ties.
Today Nigerian textile artist Nike Davies Okundaye, fashion designer Maki Osakwe and Ituen Bais use adire for their appeal.
As my people cheerfully danced and showed that beautiful smile,
Our flag waving gracifully;
It was a proud moment for US.