Aso ebi – “family uniform” – is the Yoruba custom of people dressing alike for social events. The custom is rooted in kinship (ebi), an important aspect of Yoruba social life since precolonial times in what’s now south-west Nigeria. In the last few decades, aso ebi has been embraced by other ethnic groups in Nigeria and the diaspora. The trend has extended beyond the geographical and social landscape of the Yoruba people. Part of the reason may be its propensity to add glamour and spectacle to events. But the practice has been commodified to the extent that cohesion, equality and social egalitarianism may be taking a back seat. Aso ebi is fast becoming a point of dissension, segregating wearers. It has a propensity to create social gulfs, distancing wearers and placing them on different tiers of the same ladder.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION