The Western tradition dictates that you need a delicate white gown for your wedding ceremony. But in Africa, for instance, wedding traditions are often opposite. Let’s see how Edo brides in Nigeria look on their big day, what they wear, and how they bejewel themselves. It’s something very different from what we’re used to. But nevertheless, these women look awesome and festive and original. Even today, many Nigerians prefer such a wedding outfit to any Western-style white dresses.
The Kingdom of Benin existed in 1180-1897. It was founded by the Edo people. The Benin Kingdom was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West Africa. Today, it is the territory of Southern Nigeria.
The Edo people traditionally wore a lot of beads in their bridal attire. Usually, the beads were red coral. Modern Nigerians still use such jewels in their folk wedding clothing.
Traditional hairstyle of Edo bride
The hair of a woman is braided with a native weaving technique.
Red coral beads or fake beads are added. They are sewn to the frame on the hair, and so the hair is covered with these beads.
The process of sewing all the beads takes several hours.
And then, guess what – even more beads are added.
Wedding dress of Edo bride
After the intricate hairdo is ready, it’s time to put the bridal gown on. The dress can be rather simple – you don’t need many design tricks with the amount of massive and bright jewelry that Edo brides use.
Bridal jewelry of Edo women
The headwear is not the only accessory of a Nigerian bride. She also wears plenty of jewels – made from coral as well and in the same style as her head adornment.
First of all, there’s a matching shoulder piece made from coral beads. And, mind you, it’s not an easy task to wear this item over the heavily adorned head.
Several strings of necklace are next. Benin original neck beads weigh a ton.
The bride adds earrings, bracelets, and interesting palm adornments. Everything is in the same style.
Wedding guests also wear traditional jewels made from coral beads.