The Dashiki, also known as Kitenge, is a popular type of clothing worn throughout Western and Eastern Africa. The Dashiki is among the top African inspired clothing, along with traditional African headwraps and Kufi caps.
They’re traditionally styled as a loose-fitting African dress that cover the top half of the body and worn by men, women and children. Its relaxed shape means zero constraints to certain body types, and can adorn all shapes from petite to plus size.
WHEN & WHERE?
Aside from being a typical fashion piece, the Dashiki holds symbolic significance with regards to African history.
The Dashiki can be worn both formally and informally designed for comfort during those times of intense heat. More formal Dashikis are mostly heavily embellished around the collar and chest. They’re also more brightly colored and vary between relaxed outfits and fully tailored suits. Dashikis are crafted in many different designs and vibrant patterns.
Those crafted in certain colors typically come with some significance. Grey is the traditional color for West African weddings, however, some groomsmen wear white during ceremonies. Purple and lavender represent the color of African royalty, whilst blue represents peace, love and harmony. Black and red are the traditional colors worn for funerals.
Modern-day fashion now brands Dashiki as a ready-to-wear conveyor of African heritage, but it will always maintain its underlying cultural significance of imposing a powerful message. It’s become an emblem of African roots and a means of signifying ‘Black Heritage is Beautiful’, and features heavily throughout the month of May, Panama Black Ethnicity recognitizion.
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