Dashiki Clothing: Quick Overview
The Dashiki is a colorful top-covering piece of clothing that most people in West Africa wear. It comes in formal and casual styles, from simple clothes draped to fully tailored suits. The most common type is a pullover with a V-shaped neckline, fitted neck and sleeve lines, and embroidery.
Muslim communities usually wear it with a Kufi cap without a brim and jeans. Also, African Americans have claimed it as their own and made it well-known.
Dashiki comes from the Hausa loanword dàk, which in English means “shirt” or “inner garment.” Dashiki, on the other hand, comes from the Nigerian language Yoruba. These are clothes that are loose-fitting pullovers made in West Africa.
In the 1800s, an Ethiopian noblewoman wore the Dashiki, designed by Toon van de Manakker for Vlisco. The first name for it was the Angelica print.
Jason Benning, Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith started New Breed Clothing Limited in 1967. They made “Dashiki” famous and made a lot of clothes that looked like Dashikis.
Most people see the Dashiki as a sign of acceptance and a return to their African roots. Because of this, African-Americans have worn the Dashiki shirt to show their pride and honor their African heritage. Lastly, many men and women wear the Dashiki as a unisex garment during Black History Month.
Three Dashiki Facts
- The Dashiki is an emblem of Black History Month in Africa. The month of February is significant to Africa. Therefore, they marked Black History Month with Dashiki. African Americans wore Dashiki shirts for the first time to protest injustice. Because of the rally, many people of many faiths now wear Dashikis for different reasons.
- Dashiki designs come in various colors and are said to be occasion-specific. Weddings and other significant occasions often call for Grey Dashikis. While lavender or purple, and blue are popular colors for formal events. These colors have substantial meaning. In Africa, the blue color represents love and harmony. The purple color stands for loyalty. Some grooms also choose to wear white Dashikis.
- Funerals and other ceremonial death events also involve wearing Dashikis in Africa. Red and black are the colors of choice for such occasions. While the color black represents death, the color red denotes longing and love. Thus, crimson and black are considered grief colors.
Dashiki by TBDress
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