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Isi-Agu is an Igbo traditional fabric. Igbo people are found in the eastern part of Nigeria in states like Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, etc.  Isi-Agu when literally translated to English means ‘Lion head’. The fabric is embedded with lion head prints. The fabric comes in different colors but the unique print is the same. The fabric comes in cotton or velvet.
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The fabric is a symbol of royalty. It shows the rich culture of the Igbo people. The fabric elevates the Igbo culture and gives prestige to the wearer of the fabric. The fabric is worn by Igbo royals, Kings and Chiefs.  The lion print of the fabric is very symbolic and cannot be overlooked when talking about the fabric. Lions are known for their bravery and strength. Little wonder the fabric is also called Chieftaincy, as it was the attire traditionally given to a man who gets a chieftaincy title. In a way, it represents the attribute the Chief should be known for, bravery and strength. The fabric is a continuous reaffirmation of the rich Igbo that, that is why it is a symbol of power, social status, self-worth, culture and prestige. That is why even till date, the fabric is not usually worn as an everyday wear, but on special occasions like weddings, chieftaincy titles, among others. Isi-Agu was worn by only men in the past. The outfit for men is usually a shirt and a trouser. The shirt can be either long or short sleeves. Some of the shirts have gold buttons that are linked by a chain. There is usually a breast pocket in the front. The attire is usually paired with a red fez hat or the Igbo leopard cap known as Okpu Agu in Igbo language. That has changed as women have incorporated the fabric into their outfits. Women wear Isi-Agu as gowns, tops, trousers or shorts. Many brides in Nigeria use the fabric to sew their traditional marriage or introduction attires alongside their grooms. The attire can be worn with a nice fitting sandal or shoe. Men wearing can pair their Isi Agu with a matching cap and beads and they are good to go. Depending on the outfit, women can wear a nice flat shoe or sandals, low heels or high heels with a nice handbag or purse. The most important thing is to wear your outfit with relevant fashion items to make the whole look stunning and breathtaking. Whatever you choose to wear, just make sure you are confident and comfortable in it. Below are some Isi-agu styles inspiration for men and women 
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  1. Short Sleeves

You can sew short sleeves with your Isi Agu fabric. You can wear the short sleeves shirt with a black trouser and black shoe. A red cap and bead can also be worn to complete the look.
  1. Long Sleeves

Long sleeves with Isi-Agu can also be worn with a matching trouser, beads and cap.
  1. Isi-agu Dresses

Women have various options for Isi-Agu dresses, but the most popular is an off shoulder mermaid gown. It can be worn with heels and beads on the neck and hair with a clean makeup look and nice earrings. 
References Wikipedia Fashion Style Featured Image source: isiaguwears
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This article was first published on 3rd May 2022


My name is Agbagba Bukola. I write about the business and exciting world of fashion.

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