Adire and Its Reemergence in this New Age with Madam Nike
Adire, the traditional Yoruba textile craft, is finding new life with a new generation.
On Madam Nike: “When she was seven years old, Nike Davies-Okundaye lost both her mother and her grandmother. It was left to her great-grandmother — the head of the craftswomen in a village in Ogidi in southwest Nigeria — to bring her up and teach her the craft of adire. Ogidi is one of the major centers of adire production in the entirety of the country.”
“Adire was originally produced to make use of old hand-woven materials (kijipa); when a garment or wrapper grew faded, it could be redyed. When the missionaries came to Africa, they brought imported calico and it was used for adire..” —Professor Dele Layiwola, “Adire Cloth in Nigeria”
“The decline of adire is often linked to the rise of ankara, the hugely popular, brightly colored wax prints that have come to symbolize African fabric around the world. Ankara has a troubled colonial legacy, and ironically is not African at all.”