Bound in Death

The fabric in the picture is called aso ini by the Ile Oluji people of South-Western Nigeria. It is a version of aso oke — the colourful loom-spun cotton fabrics traditionally worn by Yorubas for important events. The peculiar thing about aso ini is that it is only woven for the dead. It took my father’s passing to know this. At his burial, the weaver placed 3-parts of the customary 6-part weave in his coffin, and gave me the other 3 parts being his first son.

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