[WORLDKINGS] Traditional clothing from around the world – P68 - Dashiki: Costumes symbolizing the unique festivals of the West African people


(WorldKings.org) Dashiki is a piece of clothing that covers the upper part of the body. It can also be worn with matching trousers. Traditionally, it can be matched with a Kufi, a brimless, short, and rounded cap worn by men in Northern, Eastern, Western Africa and some parts of South Asia.

The Dashiki came about after Vlisco textile designer- Toon van de Manakker created the Angelina print in 1962, a design greatly influenced by the silk embroidered tunics adorned by Christian noblewomen in the mid-1800s in Ethiopia. It became an iconic fabric in the early 1960s and ’70s and to this day, it stands as one of Vlisco’s most recognizable patterns.



The Angelina print is quite popular in West Africa, in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Togo and Benin. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it is known as “Miriam Makeba”, after the beloved South African songstress. In Ghana, it is known as Angelina and became even more popular when Sweet Talks & A.B. Crentsil’s song “Angelina” became a hit in the late 1970s. It is called Kitenge in East Africa and is highly patronized in Tanzania and Kenya.



Dashiki covers the top half of the body. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. A common form is a loose-fitting pullover garment, with an ornate V-shaped collar, and tailored and embroidered neck and sleeve lines. It is frequently worn with a brimless Kufi cap (which is worn in Islamic communities in Africa and the African diaspora) and pants.



The informal version of the dashiki is a traditional print or embroidered dashiki. Three formal versions exist. The first type consists of a dashiki, sokoto (drawstring trousers), and a matching kufi. This style is called a dashiki suit or dashiki trouser set and it is the attire worn by most grooms during wedding ceremonies. The second version consists of an ankle-length shirt, matching kufi, and sokoto and is called a Senegalese kaftan. The third type consists of a dashiki and matching trousers. A flowing gown is worn over these. This type is called a grand boubou or an agbada.



In Africa, the Dashiki is worn by some grooms and their groomsmen during wedding ceremonies. Grey is said to be the traditional color for West African Weddings. In some communities, White is the preferred color for grooms whiles other couples choose to wear non-traditional colors. Purple (signifying African royalty) and Blue (signifying love, peace and harmony) are the most common non-traditional colors. One can also don a Dashiki for funerals. The traditional Dashiki colors for mourning are Black and Red.

According to en.wikipedia and unorthodoxreviews.com

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