Traditional African Dashiki
Dashiki (pronounced duh-shee-kee) is a colourful loose-fitting traditional African cloth that covers the top half of the body and widely worn in West Africa. The name dashiki originates from the Hausa word “dan ciki“, which means shirt. In 1928, Oba Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi made dashiki popular in USA. When he was 16, he developed an interest in African studies, so he travelled to Haiti at age 20 to know more about African religion. After some time he came back and started small scale manufacturing business which also involved production of African attire especially the dashiki.
Dashiki found its way into the American market in 1960 during the Black cultural and political struggles. The dashiki was worn as a way to protest society’s disrespect for African Americans. It was a symbol of affirmation, it stood for “black is beautiful,” and signaled a return to African roots, and insistence on full rights in American society.
Usually made of cotton or a cotton blend, the dashiki features a deep V neck, often decorated with a printed design or embroidery. It can be worn with a cap and a pair of pants. It’s usually worn outside the pant and not tucked in. Dashiki has formal and informal versions with an easy to wear look. The formal has little or no embroidery while the informal dashiki has intricate embroidery. The traditional West African dashiki usually comes in short sleeves with repeat neckline decorations at the sleeve ends. Though dashiki was often worn by men, it’s now popular among women and even children.
Dashiki has been spotted on many celebrities with the likes of Chris Brown, Marion Barry, Rihanna, Beyonce and also it is seen among many in the United States during the Kwanzaa celebrations. Dashiki has widespread in many African countries and even in the western world.
Photo Credits: Google