Nigerian youth cry of unemployment yet sit upon many arts and crafts that could turn their lives around. One of them is the ARO – (Indigo Dying) and Adire textile industry. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that is under-explored.
The Yoruba people of South-west Nigeria have a rich cultural background – art, religion, commerce, bead making, sculpting, mat and cloth weaving, leather work, pottery, blacksmithing, leather work, gourd decoration, cloth dyeing and pattern popularly known as Adire. The bedrock of Adire is indigo dying – ARO.
But the art of indigo dying in Nigeria is unique and awe-inspiring, as it is often done by people in the grassroots with less modern education but plenty ancient artistic wisdom.
The video below explores the process in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
WATCH AND LEARN THE PROCESS
Osogbo, a state in South-west Nigeria is traditionally renowned as the home of indigo dyes and the headquarters of dyeing.
It gives birth to the cliche – “Osogbo oroki ilu aro, Aro nbe l’Osogbo” meaning Osogbo the headquarters of indigo dye, indigo dye is in abundance in Osogbo.
Also, Adire textiles – indigo dyed cloth is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the people of Egba kingdom in South-western Nigeria.
It is the major local craft of Egba women who use a variety of resist dye techniques in their entrepreneurial and artistic efforts, to produce various design of Adire textile for both the local and national market
Additionally, Indigo dye is a universal concept from an organic compound with a distinctive blue color.
It was a natural dye extracted from the leaves of certain plants, and this process was important economically because blue dyes were once rare.