Calabar outfit
Groom on traditional cloths

Great Collections Of African Traditional Clothing

Africa is great. Africa is diverse. Here are the great collections of African traditional attire that speak louder than words. You know, many people confuse Africa as a country. This is wrong friends. Africa is a continent with 54 countries.

Each country has an undeniable culture that is interesting, intriguing, and funny. I love African culture and traditions, especially their traditional attire. Therefore, I choose to share with you some great collections of traditional African attire that embody elegance and beauty. If you are new here, you can check on more African facts.

Let’s go…

Please bear with me if your country/tribe is not on the list.

 Great Collections From Nigeria

Nigeria has over 500 ethnic groups. Every tribe is packed with traditions and cultures that are unique to the tribe and the area. If we have over 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria, do you not think it will be unfair to just mention one? So, because of this huge number and also because I am a citizen, I will discuss five tribes and their great collections.

1. Urhobo Traditional Attire

Great collections from Urhobo
Urhobo gentlemen

 

The Urhobo’s are in the south-south area of Nigeria. Traditionally, the women tie two wrappers around the waist, a blouse, head wrap, and beads on both hands. We also wear beads on the neck for a finishing touch.

Also, the men tie two large wrappers, much bigger than the ones of the women. A long shirt, mostly short sleeves. The length of the shirt is usually below the knees. After tying the wrapper, a belt/rope is used to hold it firm underneath. To complement the look, they carry a walking stick, put on beads on the neck and both hands, then finally a hat.

In modern trends, instead of short sleeves, men sew long sleeves. Women do not reveal too much skin as well. However, recently, you are free to make your choice of style. Enjoy the great collections below.

How to say thank you, please and sorry in Urhobo
Urhobo king and chiefs

 

Urhobo dress style collection
Urhobo Couples
Great collections from Urhobo
Urhobo Couples

Urhobo traditional attire

Did I tell you about the recipes of these people? They are talented chefs. Especially in preparing Banga soup.

2. Yoruba Traditional Attire

Great collections of Yoruba attire
Yoruba couples

 

You will find the Yorubas in the western regions of Nigeria. Aso-oke is used to make fabrics. Etu, petuje, san-an-yan, alaaari, and other aso-oke materials are examples. They have buba, esiki, and Sapara for men’s attire, which is considered ewu awotele or underwear.

Dandogo, agbada, gbariye, sulia, and oyala, sometimes known as ewu awoleke or over wears, are also available. They also have a kind of sokoto or native trousers that are worn with the traditional attire stated above.

Without a cap, a man’s outfit is incomplete. The Gobi, tinko, abeti-aja, alagbaa, oribi, bentigoo, onide, and labankada are just a few examples of this headgear. Tailors and designers work on these caps. There are many garments listed above in a variety of styles and patterns.

All of this adds to the aesthetic value of traditional clothing and the person who wears it. It is important to emphasize that the culture of underwear, such as pants and brassieres, is a European import.

Women’s Clothing

Dresses for women come in a variety of styles. Iro and Buba, or wrapper with a loose blouse–like top with the sleeve almost reaching the wrist, are the most frequent. Women must also wear gele or headgear anytime the iro and Buba are in use.

Women’s dressing is incomplete without gele, just as men’s dressing is incomplete without a cap. This gele is tucked on one side and wrapped twice around the head.

I could make it from plain cloth or be as expensive as I can afford. They also have iborun or ipele. It resembles a tiny wrapper worn by women on their left shoulder. Over the wrapper, they sometimes knot it around their waists.

Women, unlike men, have two sorts of underwear, known as Tobi and sinmi. Tobi is a modern-day apron with strings and pockets for ladies to save their money. Before putting on the iro, they tie this tobi around their waists. Sinmi is like a sleeveless T-shirt that is worn under any other outfit. Enjoy my great collections.

Yoruba traditional attire
Full dress code from Yoruba people
How to say sumimasen in Yoruba
Artists from Yoruba

Yoruba attire

3. Edo Traditional Attire

Edo traditional wear
Edo traditional wear

 

The Edo people are from south-south Nigeria. Their traditional dressing is simple, yet magnificent. The ladies tie a wrapper on their chest, wear some beads on their heads and hands.

In Edo tribe, the colour of the wrapper is mostly red velvet. This is the traditional wear of the Edo women. Easy! During traditional wedding rites, they elaborate on this simple dressing.

For a traditional wedding, Edo brides have their hair styled in the Eto-Okuku style, which is a unique hairdo. The Okuku, a crown made of coral beads, is sewed onto the hair. Many people prefer to get a pre-made wig that already has the hair groomed, and the crown sewed in.

Also, the make of the wrapper can be george or lace. The Ewu-ivie, a beaded cloak or blouse, is worn by some Edo brides. They also wear Ivie-uru coral beads around their necks and the Ivie-obo on their hands. Brides wear beaded earrings Emi-ehorivie and carry an Ekpa-ivie handbag made of coral beads to complete the regal traditional Edo wedding attire.

Men Attire

Traditional Edo attire for men is also simple. It is like that of the Uhrobos. The major difference is the shirt. While the shirt of the Urhobo men is long sleeves, that of the Edos is short.

To complete their look, they put on neck beads, and sometimes caps. Enjoy these great collections of Edo traditional attire.

Great collections from Edo
Edo bride

Edo bride

Edo traditional dress

4. Efik And Ibibio Traditional Wears

Calabar outfit
Groom on traditional clothes

 

Although several tribes live in this region, we will explore the above-named tribes. There is a great similarity between these tribes and the others. These tribes mostly live in the south-south of Nigeria. Their home state is Calabar.

Let us explore the great collections together.

The Calabar people have very strict dress codes for both men and women. A typical male outfit, for example, comprises the following items:

Usobo

Ibibio traditional dress
Groom and Groomsmen

 

This is a wrapper that Calabar men wear on special occasions. Typically, such items are worn by both the groom and the guests at wedding ceremonies. This wrapper is larger than that worn by women.

It typically reaches a man’s ankles and is embellished with genuine ornaments. Sometimes the ornaments are handcrafted, and other times it’s simply a matter of finding a suitable cloth with the desired pattern.

They usually make such wrappers of the best materials a person can purchase. Cotton or modern silks can be used, and the play of light and shadows in the folds astonishes spectators.

• Men’s Traditional Shirt

This is a common item to be found with usobo. A cotton or silk shirt. It is an essential element of many Nigerian ensembles. Some fashions have developed over the years, but mostly, the overall appearance has remained consistent.

The chieftaincy shirt’s key feature is that it’s long and loose, with something on the chest. It has ornament, embroidery, or simply a beautiful line of buttons. In between, they frequently paired the shirt with a neck scarf that is knotted on the chest. The other half has free dangling ends that reach the knees.

Accessories are frequently used to complete and finish an outfit. Walking sticks are quite popular not only in Calabar but throughout Nigeria. A walking staff is a must-have accessory for every gentleman attending a festive function.

Aside from that, Calabar men frequently wear long necklaces of beads, some of which are fairly large and made of natural materials.

Women’s Traditional Attire

Women’s blouse

This is a broad term for a wide range of products that are made in a variety of styles. Combined with a variety of ornamental elements. Such a blouse, for example, could resemble a bandeau top without sleeves, shoulder straps, or anything else, leaving a woman’s shoulders entirely exposed.

Other versions may include thin or wide shoulder straps, as well as tiny sleeves. Such blouses are frequently short and resemble crop tops, exposing the stomach.

For a Calabar wedding dress, someone might lavishly embellish a shirt like this; embroidery, beads, rhinestones, and other eye-catching details. They are frequently worn close to the body, almost as if they were a second skin. This aspect is what makes these blouses so appealing. They draw attention to each line of a woman’s torso.

Wrappers and sleeveless blouses make the entire ensemble appear to be a dress. Calabar women frequently dress in this manner, although they may occasionally wear one-piece outfits. A Calabar bride will wear a short gown or skirt that exposes her legs and has beautiful elements on them during a wedding ceremony. Calabar brides who wear traditional attire are frequently barefoot.

Two Types Of Traditional Wedding Attire

Efik bride

1. We know ibibio brides for wearing short wedding gowns. In our language, we call them Ofod Ukod Anwang. They wear a short skirt with a crop top that barely covers the chest. It displays some parts of the stomach.

In other circumstances, the blouse or the skirt’s waistline will be longer or wider, and they will meet in the stomach area. This dress portrays the bride as a beautiful maiden who would appeal to any man.

2. “Onyonyo” is a different wedding choice, with a tight top and a broad, voluminous skirt. This is a long and flowing dress that looks a lot like European ones. With a majestic staff and an extravagant crown, such a gown transforms any woman into a queen.

Great collections of traditional clothing

Brides have the brightest accessories. They usually have ornately decorated staff to give a lady a queenly aspect. With those staffs in their hands, Calabar brides look like queens. A headgear that towers over their towering haircuts like a giant crown also makes them look like queens.

Such decorative pieces are usually golden, and it is customary to lavishly embellish them with beads, rhinestones, and anything else that screams luxury. Beads are another feature of Calabar clothes for women, and the brighter and more visible the beads are, the more elegant the dress is.

To draw attention to a bride’s feminine attractiveness, many necklaces of beads are sometimes wrapped around her hips.

We weave beads into nets and collars that wrap a bride’s shoulders and upper chest in distinct circumstances. Also, we usually pick a colour to contrast with the colour of the dress and add a refreshing accent. They are all vibrant and colourful.

Traditional dressing from calabar

What do you think about Efik’s great collections?

5. Igbo Traditional Attire

Igbo traditional attire

In Nigeria’s Southeastern areas, the interesting Igbo culture is explored. Millions of Igbo people continue to practice and believe in ancient practices and beliefs that date back millennia. They perform ethnic dances, speak in their native tongue, and, of course, dress in traditional attire.

Isiagu, also known as Chieftaincy, is the traditional dress of Igbo males. High-quality suede materials were used to create this. Before the invention of this and other materials, Igbo men preferred to wear loincloths.

This is a piece of clothing that covers the male body’s private parts. A belt or a fastening at the rear kept the loincloth in place. Back then, this was worn to the farms and markets.

As this section of the world became more civilized, men wore a variety of textiles. Since the Isiagu outfit, Igbo men’s dress has gained sophistication.

The Igbo people are a huge ethnic group with a diverse culture and history. Isiagu is one of their most popular dressings, loved by people all over the world. Men wear this outfit traditionally, especially while earning a chieftaincy title. It is now worn by people of all social classes and ages.

It’s the ideal dress for big occasions like weddings, naming and coronations, among others. Explore African naming culture and the meaning of African last names.

Isiagu

great collections from Igbo people

Isiagu is a pullover-tunic-shirt akin to the dashiki, which is native clothing. Long- or short-sleeved shirts are available. A chain connects the gold buttons on some shirts. In the front, there is normally a breast pocket.

The pattern on this outfit is an adult lion’s head. They are sometimes printed, embroidered, and embellished in the Igbo culture’s colours and designs. Meanwhile, the tunic can be red, white, black, burgundy, or have unique designs in some situations.

They commonly wear the Igbo leopard cap or a red fez hat with this native blouse. In the Igbo language, the leopard cap is called Okpu Agu. The red cap is reserved for chiefs alone in the past, but it is now worn by all members of the tribe.

Red is a significant colour in Igbo land because the Igbo people have always used crimson to highlight their styles. It is a representation of hardship. They must go through this to build and grow their community.

They wore black trousers, or a knotted wrapper with the Chieftaincy (George cloth). We used walking sticks and coral beads to complement the outfit. These combos make Igbo guys fashionable and give their female counterparts goosebumps.

Women’s Traditional Outfit

traditional igbo women'swear

Some Igbo ladies used to dress up in ekwerike to celebrate their feast. To put it another way, they wrapped a thick fabric around their waists. Others preferred to decorate their waists with bead accessories and paint their bodies with ufle, nzu, edo, uri, and other coloured ornaments instead of wearing clothing. A george wrapper, a handwoven textile called Akwette, and Hollandis are types of wrappers used.

How to say thank you, please and sorry in igbo
Young Igbo Maiden

Igbo men

In Igbo, a wrapper is referred to as Ogodo. Single women tie one piece of Ogodo, while married women knot two.

Glass beads necklace, Ichafu (headscarf), or they wear head beads to enhance the outfit (not cap). In addition, we wear wrist and ankle beads (they previously used Ivory). We also wear waist beads known as Jigida and carry NZà (Horsetail whisk).

As a maiden, you can design your dress to fit your style. Enjoy these great collections of Igbo attire.

 

Great Collections From Morocco

Moroccan clothing has a long history and great collections. Many of the costumes worn by Moroccans are an important aspect of the culture and character of the country. While many Moroccans, particularly the younger generations, prefer to dress in current Western clothing daily, major occasions and ceremonial events usually witness a return to tradition.

Traditional Moroccan clothing is not only lovely, but the long, loose, and flowing garments are also religiously acceptable and functional for keeping cool in the hot climate. Here are some facts about Morocco you need to know.

A-List Of Moroccan Wears
  1. Kaftangreat collections from morocco

The kaftan is one of the Moroccan great collections. It is a long, flowing robe-like clothing popular in Morocco. Women only wore this dress, unlike the djellaba. It was the ceremonial attire of judges in the past.

Also, the kaftan was traditionally connected with royalty and nobility, but during the Saadian dynasty, its use expanded to the average public.

Beautiful braiding, beads, and glitter are sewed onto expensive textiles to make kaftans extravagant and decorative. They can fashion the kaftan in a variety of materials, such as wool or cotton, but they make the most lavish kaftans of fine silk or exquisite velvet.

Moroccan women wear elegant kaftans for special events rather than wearing them outside the home to conduct ordinary activities. A lady’s casual wardrobe may also include plainer kaftans made of plain materials.

They used kaftans as an outer garment in several countries, but we wear them as a dress in Morocco. Long or short sleeves, fitted or loose, can be found on Moroccan kaftans. Although the kaftan is a flowing gown, some women choose to include a thick, complementing belt to give it more form and shape.

2. Gandora

Wears from Morocco

The gandora is related to a djellaba, except for shorter sleeves and the lack of a hood. It is available in a variety of colours and can be worn by both men and women. It is more usually worn in the summer months, though not for lengthy periods outside. This is because the shorter sleeves put people in danger of becoming sunburned.

3. Tackchita

Moroccan wears

 

The tackchita, another great collection, is possibly the most traditional and gorgeous ladies’ outfit. It’s not something you’d wear every day, but for exceptional occasions like weddings.

Furthermore, the tackchita, like elegant kaftans, frequently features magnificent patterns and decorations. It’s a two-piece outfit with an under-dress and an over-dress.

The over-dress is usually much more detailed and elaborate than the under-dress, and a thick belt is worn over the two pieces to tighten the waistband.

Also, the tackchita is usually fitted around the top and tightened down at the waist before flowing majestically to the ground. Later, the top can be buttoned all the way up the front or merely to the waist, enabling the lower half of the under-dress to peek through.

4. Djellaba

Morocco clothing

Although the Djellaba is worn in other North African countries and Morocco, it remains one of the most popular pieces of apparel among Moroccans. It is suitable for both men and women. The djellaba is a long, loose-fitting robe that is frequently worn over other garments.

It has a pointed hood and long sleeves. In the sun, the hood provides shade, and in the cold, it keeps people warm. It also kept sand from being blown in a person’s face in the past, when there were more desert-dwelling and nomadic peoples.

They make traditional djellabas from wool, although cotton djellabas are becoming more popular. In the cooler winter months, woollen clothing is preferred, but on hot, sunny days, light-weight cotton djellabas are advisable. The outfit comes in a variety of colours and can be earned in a variety of circumstances, from everyday activities to special occasions. Do you like these great collections from morocco?

5. Tahruyt

Berberwomen

A tahruyt is a huge piece of woven clothing used by Berber women, particularly those people in rural highland places. They make it with two dark-coloured pieces of cloth that have been sewn together and decorated with vibrant and beautifully embroidered patterns.

The practice of needlework is said to be linked to Berber people’s ancient customs of facial tattooing. We also thought individual patterns to take the symbolic place of facial markings.

With one corner crossed and tucked in at the shoulder, the large piece of cloth covers the head and is long enough to drape over the shoulders and upper body. Some women also wear tassels on their scarves to frame their faces.

6. Balgha

Great Collections of Moroccan Shoes

Another great collection is the balgha, also known as the babouche, which is a traditional Moroccan shoe. The leather footwear is soft and slipper-like and may be worn both indoors and out. When walking on carpets in a home, however, it is still customary to remove your shoes. Balgha comes in a variety of colours and styles, ranging from simple to elaborately adorned.

The slippers, which are traditionally created in Fez, may be found in souks all around the country. While today’s wearers prefer sturdier shoes for everyday activities, the balgha is still popular for special occasions and religious ceremonies.

7. Henna

Great collections of Traditional wears

In Morocco, henna skin paintings are extremely important. We typically see henna as having more than just an aesthetic appeal, despite its visual attractiveness. Henna designs are thought to bring good luck and help ward off bad luck in traditional Berber beliefs.

Intricate henna tattoos often include the khamsa hand symbol, diamonds, and eyes, as well as flowery patterns, swirls, and geometric forms. Henna parties are an integral element of wedding ceremonies, and married ladies frequently use them for festivals and celebrations.

Great Collections From Ghana

Ghana’s traditional dresses are not only attractive but a great collection of wear. The country’s culture and ancient heritage heavily influenced folk attire. That’s why the styles, fabrics, and designs are not selected at random.

Ghanaians have used them for a long time and hence bring with them old knowledge and custom. Ghana’s national costume is so colourful that it lifts everyone’s spirits.

Weaving is one of Ghana’s most popular garment crafts. Long before the colonization of this land, the locals used wooden looms and produced handmade textiles. Cotton and raffia fibres were used to weave textiles (widespread African palm tree). Even now, this craft is remembered. Ghanaians continue to weave Gonja and kente cloth on their traditional looms, which are used to manufacture the country’s national dress. Do you know Ghanaians have great traditional dance styles?

Most Popular Attire In Ghana

1. Ghanaian smock

Ghanatraditional clothing

Kente cloth and the Ghanaian smock are two classic Ghanaian clothes with great collections. The “Gonja cloth” fabric is used to make the smock. The kente cloth comes from the south of Ghana, whereas the Gonja cloth comes from the north.

Gonja cloth is a striped cotton fabric with a strong weave. Cotton is selected by hand, coloured by hand, and weaved by hand. This cloth’s pattern is usually blue/black and white stripes. They weave the fabric into long, narrow strips (approximately 4 inches wide) that are then sewed together or sold in rolls.

The Ghanaian smock (also known as “dansika”, “fugu”, “batakari”, and various variations) is a shirt-like garment. Men primarily wear it, however, female variants are available. We usually find weaving on the neckline and, occasionally, the front half of the smock.

2. Kente cloth

Traditional Kente Cloth

Kente cloth is also another Ghanaian traditional clothing. This great collection it’s a handmade fabric with vibrant colours and meaningful designs. They typically reserve this dress for formal occasions, ceremonies, and festivities. For Ghanaian culture, clothing is extremely important.

About 400 years ago, the first kente emerged. They made it of raffia palm fibres and had a basket-like tissue structure. At first, royalty only wore kente fabric, but it gradually became a commonplace item. Nowadays, kente cloth is made of cotton, and this type of clothing is ideal for the African environment and that is why is on my list of great collections.

Kente is a transgender attire, but men and women wrap it differently. Men wear it in the same way that an ancient Greek toga was worn. Across one shoulder and around the torso. Women wear a two-piece kente, one of which is worn as a wrap-around skirt (2 yards long and 45 inches broad) and the other as a scarf. To finish the look, a plain-coloured shirt is used.

The design is the most important feature of kente cloth. There are almost 300 unique designs to choose from, each with its name and highly symbolic meaning.

Each design has a story, which includes social or political events, a person’s accomplishments, African proverbs, and so on. There’s a pattern named “Fathia Fata Nkrumah,” for example.

It honours the first president of the Republic of Ghana’s marriage to Fathia, an Egyptian woman. For Ghanaians, this marriage was significant because it brought together people from many African countries. Are you enjoying these lists of great collections?

Meaning Of Colours In Kente material

Blue: The colour blue conjures up images of the sky and the sea. Humility, knowledge, elevation, communion, and patience are all symbols associated with it. The kings have complete control over their surroundings. They sometimes use blue with red, white, or yellow to symbolise power and prosperity founded on spirituality. This restores harmony and peace.

Yellow: The kente boldly displays the colour yellow. They associate it with monarchy, wealth, and fertility. One reason why monarchs and royal families wear it in public is because of this. Divine goodness, spiritual purity, prominent position, gold, splendour, and royalty are all represented by the colour yellow.

Green: Green represents vitality, peace, and expansion. It conjures up images of birth, youth, and forests. Growth, harvest, planting, spiritual regeneration, and greenery have all been associated with it. Green, along with blue and yellow, completes Kente’s meaning of nobility and riches.

Black: they associated darkness and grief with black, yet it also connotes secret and mystery. Most people are afraid of black since it is commonly employed in purifying and initiation rituals. The Kente’s black represents maturation and the guardian of thrones.

White: Spirituality, innocence, purity, and peace are all represented by White. Kente has a small amount of white on it. I think white to have a sacred quality.

Traditional Attire From Kenya

The country is home to over forty ethnic groups. The Kikuyu are the most many, accounting for 22% of the population. Luhya is 14 per cent, Luo is 13 per cent, Kalenjin is 12 per cent, Kamba is 11 per cent, Kisii is 6 per cent, and Meru is 6 per cent.

Others make up about 15% of the population, including the Somalis and Turkana in the north and the Kalenjin in the Great Rift Valley. It divides further these ethnic groups into subgroups. Non-Africans, largely of Indian and European heritage, make up 1% of the population.

Great collections from kenya

The “kitenge” is a traditional Kenyan style of clothing. It’s a cotton fabric that’s been elaborately embroidered and dyed using the tie-and-dye method (when the fabric is clothed into a tight bundle and then dyed with various colours).

Kitenge is a vibrant, and colourful material that is famous not only in Kenya but throughout Africa. Although this dress is not considered official Kenyan attire, it is very popular in the country. Kitenge is frequently worn in everyday life, as well as during ceremonial and non-official events.

Kenya clothing

Second, on the list of great collections in Kenya is “khanga”. Khanga is another aspect of Kenyan national clothing. It’s a 1.5 meter (4 ft 11 in) by 1-meter piece of cloth (3 ft 3 in). It has a design made up of many adages printed on the fabric. These proverbs are available in Swahili or English. Kenyan women wear khangas around their waists and stomachs.

The Masai clothing typically consists of red kanga and an abundance of brightly coloured accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, and bead headdresses. Masai men carry a peculiar ball-ended club and wear a red-checked Shuka (a traditional Masai blanket).

Kenya Clothing
Turkana man

 

The Turkana are one of Kenya’s tribes that have managed to keep their untainted cultural identities, despite making headlines for famine and insecurity. They, like the Maasai, are nomadic pastoralists who preserve livestock as the centre of their culture.

The Turkana, unlike the Maasai and Samburu, have no complicated customs or strong social systems. They, on the other hand, dress as colourfully as their relatives.

Turkana men colour their hair with rich crimson colours made from a unique pigmented soil. Traditional jewellery and a plethora of beaded necklaces adorn the women. A woman’s social position is determined by the amount, style, and quality of jewellery she wears. To emphasize their beauty, women also wear magnificent animal sleeveless clothes embellished with polished ostrich shells. Have a view of Kenya’s great collections.

Kenya collections

Kenya collections

Conclusion

what a long ride. If you could read to the end of these great collections, well done. For a quick recap, Africa is home to 54 countries, and thousands of ethnic groups.

Each country/tribe has their distinctive style of dressing. Although some of them have been embellished because of factors like colonization and globalisation, some tribes have preserved their culture.

For our great collections, we discuss several tribes in Nigeria and their traditional attire. We also explore great collections from Morocco, Ghana and Kenya. I believe you enjoyed this least of great collections.

If you do, please do not forget to subscribe, like and share this post. It will mean a lot to me. Thank you and best wishes.

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