Obviously not a Yoruba celebration but as with so many other Western traditions, Valentine’s Day is set to take a significant share of the money in our wallets in February. Who wants their love to feel left out when love declaration gifts are being opened all over the world?

This year you can support age old Yoruba industries with a Valentine gift of Ibile (homeland) origin made by small, hardworking  communities in Western Nigeria.

Here are 5 gifts of Yoruba heritage for your Yoruba themed Valentine’s Day:

Iyun, along with Segi, are our traditional heritage beads, and have been in production in the homeland since before the 8th century and are worn up till today especially as part of a bride’s Yoruba wedding regalia. They are still handmade the same way they were over 12 centuries ago. The striations and imperfections on each bead are cherished marks of authenticity. The Iyun in these pieces of jewellery are made in Ile Ife.


Iyun bead jewellery set

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Iyun waist beads


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Kampala fabric – who needs a tailor?  Buy 5 yards of beautiful sensuous cotton Kampala , hand painted with pysechedelic patterns and Yoruba motifs, and wrap yourself and your beau up skin to skin  in a hug from the ancestors. Just like we used to do in the not too distant past. Or if you’re really fussy you can make a matching pair of His & Hers dashikis 🙂

Kampala is the contemporary version of our famous centuries old Adire Hand Dyed Indigo technique. It is made alongside Adire Indigo in dyeing centres in small Yoruba communities of Western Nigeria.


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Adire Hand Dyed Shawls

If its freezing where you are, you can wrap your Yoruba Darling up in a gorgeously soft, surprisingly warm hand dyed Adire shawl. Traditional Adire is dyed in deep blue Organic Indigo but these scarves have been Hand Dyed and painted with Yoruba motifs of love, life, celebration, and success in a range of exciting colours to appeal to every taste. Produced by a small dyeing community in Osun State of Western Nigeria


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Ooni Cameo Leather Choker

Or go AfroPunk with a Cameo pendant of the Ife bronze head of an Ooni which is dated to the 13th century. The bronze head, not the cameo pendant. On a leather choker and flanked by Iyun beads, your one and only will look one in a million in this limited edition handmade choker.


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Fit for a King
Buy the  heavy coral necklace worn by royalty for the king in your life. Yoruba have had female kings in the past and still do from time to time, so this gift is unisex. The formal royal insignia is incomplete without the long string of red/orange/orangey red  beads, made from specially made jumbo sized Iyun beads, coral or stone . Nowadays everybody can be a king, and the heavy coral beads are worn for weddings and other occasions as well as to accessorise casual wear.
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