Clothing of Africa

The clothing of Africa is as interesting, colorful, and exuberant as the people who wear it. We gave you a taste of the very of-the-moment fashion scene in Senegal here, and now we’ll give show you some of the more traditional types of clothes worn throughout the continent. Here are nine of Africa’s most popular garments (some of these classic styles have been worn for centuries!). Are there any we should add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Clothing of Africa

By Ali O'Neill

  • Kiondo

    By Ali O'Neill

    Indigenous to the Kikuyu and Kamba tribes of Africa, these handwoven bags are made from sisal and trimmed with leather.

  • Kanzu

    By Ali O'Neill

    This floor-length white robe can be made from silk, cotton, linen, or poplin, and is a popular garment for men in the African Great Lakes region.

  • Kanga

    By Ali O'Neill

    A piece of printed cotton fabric, the kanga is commonly worn by women in the African Great Lakes region.

  • Boubou

    By Ali O'Neill

    Also known as a bubu or grand boubou, this flowing, wide-sleeved robe is popular for men throughout West Africa.

  • Dashiki

    By Ali O'Neill

    This colorful West African men's shirt frequently features a V-shaped neck and embroidered detailing.

  • Wrapper

    By Ali O'Neill

    Also known as a pagne, this West African women's robe can formal or informal, depending on the fabric it's made from. Worn with a headscarf, it's a popular outfit for weddings.

  • Lamba

    By Ali O'Neill

    Similar to the kanga, the lamba–a rectangular piece of cloth wrapped around the body–is worn by both men and women in Madagascar.

  • Madiba Shirt

    By Ali O'Neill

    This colorful batik silk shirt was popularized by Nelson Mandela, and named in his honor ("Madiba" was his clan name).

  • Kufi

    By Ali O'Neill

    This short, brimless men's cap, also known as a kofia, is popular throughout North, East, and West Africa.

Hayo Magazine
Hayo Magazine

An indie coffee table–style magazine for travelers curious about arts and culture. To contribute, submit your article pitch to info@hayo.co

Post your Comments