Modern Era Igbo Regalias

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
4 Igbo Chiefs of Abatete Tribes
4 Igbo Chiefs of Abatete Tribes

My parents were born in Nigeria. They both came to the U.S. during the late '80s with the desire to start a family and go have prosperous careers in medical hospitality. My father, who is Igbo, survived the Nigerian Civil War, a war that had severe famine, mass casualties, and (credible) accusations of genocide. On the other hand, my mother, who later re-located to England for her medical aspirations, encountered racially hostile attitudes in school. There were several times when my parents were told that they didn't belong, and when others looked down upon them with racist tropes. The same happened to them again when they came to the U.S., but they didn't let their experiences prevent them from reaching for success or expressing their culture. Their experiences relate to how we've been learning about how Chinese immigrants and Black Americans were constantly mistreated by citizens, and more importantly, by the government. Like those groups, my parents continued to enhance their culture with regalias. In one of the photos above, my mom is wearing blue regalia that both complements and contrasts with my father, who is wearing red. My mom is expressing womens' individualism and intelligence — a concept that countries today lack — by wearing blue. My siblings and I also continue carrying the regalia's symbolism. My brother and I wear the color red and hold chieftaincy fans that complement my dad, while my sister wears a pink dress and necklace that compliments my mom's blue.

Place(s): Nigeria to California

– Gordian Ogbatue

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant