Bling earrings, shaved eyebrows and funky hairstyles will not be what many would usually affiliate with Nigeria’s Fulani herders, who spend most of their time within the forests herding cattle.
However on events akin to final week’s Eid al-Kabir, as Eid al-Adha is thought regionally, after they head out to the town centres in northern Nigeria to have a good time with different Muslims, their vibrant outfits actually stand out.
And in contrast to many Muslims on this conservative a part of the nation, they select to not put on conventional robes, or kaftans, however stylish garments impressed by hip-hop and Afrobeats stars.
The jackets, ankle-high boots and head heaters are paying homage to the 1990s hip-hop scene, whereas many younger male Fulani herders say they’re now extra influenced by Nigeria’s Afrobeats scene. Naira Marley, based mostly tons of of miles away in Lagos, was talked about repeatedly as having essentially the most impression on their type by revellers within the capital, Abuja.
“I like Marley,” mentioned Musa Sani, who had an MP3 bluetooth participant dangling from his neck together with his underpants seen above his low-slung trousers.
He and about 300 others gathered in an open subject to the outskirts of Abuja in Lugbe near the airport, as authorities closed parks and different leisure locations to implement Covid-19 rules.
There, with loads of sunshine and away from safety brokers, the younger herders had loads of time to strut their type and take footage on their telephones.
Whereas the kids are about on the town celebrating with their friends, the older ones are often at residence entertaining company or holding communal conferences.
It’s thought-about disrespectful for Fulani kids to attend the identical occasions as their dad and mom, so adults stayed away when the younger visited the town centres in Abuja.
Few Nigerians, particularly these within the southern a part of the nation, get to see the herders dressed this stylishly.
Most solely see the Fulani herders when they’re marching their cattle throughout the nation, which has turn out to be a lethal challenge since 2017 as clashes between them and farmers over grazing land have killed 1000’s.
Cattle herding is usually completed by Fulani males. Most Nigerians visualise them carrying their flat rubber footwear, straw hats and skin-tight denims.
So after they step out in all their type, they flip a couple of heads.
Glitzy sun shades, fashionably ripped denims and effervescent shirts that collectively kind a powerful array of colors.
Most males in northern Nigeria usually put on a kaftan, a loose-fitting robe that reaches the ankles with matching trousers.
These with extra money favor the babariga, a lavishly embroidered three-piece outfit with an extra-large outer gown that the wearer spends a lot of time rolling up their shoulder, favoured by politicians.
However even after they put on kaftans, a number of the younger males, do it in type.
The ladies weren’t neglected, though most caught to the standard materials, and elaborate henna patterns on their palms.
Nigeria is a conservative nation, particularly within the Muslim-dominated north the place the cultures of the Fulanis and Hausas – the dominant ethnic teams within the area – have lengthy preserved their conventional values in music, garments and language.
So whereas the younger Fulani herders may be choosing up new influences, particularly in music, from different components of the nation, “it’s nothing new”, mentioned photographer Mudi Odibo, who has spent the final decade photographing them.
“It’s the exuberance of youths, all of them return to the kaftans and sandals with time,” he mentioned.
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