May 23, 2019
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  • 11:43 am How the Dashiki from West Africa Became Cool Again
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African culture

A people’s culture can be defined by how they dress, the language they speak, or the food they consume. When it comes to West Africans and their awareness of fashion, you can do no wrong once you’ve obtained a dashiki on. Following is a narrative of how the dashiki has gone on to inspire popular culture in West Africa and beyond.

The Origins of Dashiki

Dashiki –‘dan-ciki’ or’dan-shiki’, meaning the top is derived In the Hausa and Yoruba languages, spoken by groups of individuals majorly located in Nigeria.

Traditionally, the dashiki for mens is a lace garment using a V-neckline Which can be embroidered and mostly worn by guys. Although lately, girls wear it also as a dress-shirt or tailor-made it into maxi dresses and all kinds of other cuts that are creative.

As casual-wear, the dashiki was created with little to no Crochet lace, whereas formal attire for weddings or events it’ll be created from silk brocade and contains elaborate embroidery on the neckline and around the cuffs.

Its roots can be tracked down to its suitability to the West African army, which is often very humid with intense heat. Therefore, as a loose-fitting garment made from light cloth such as the brocade, it’s excellent for the climate. In West Africa, dashiki is often worn in nations such as Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Ghana.

African lifestyle

Stars influenced by the dashiki

The resurgence of this dashiki since the 1960s has not been missing On individuals of African descent in the diaspora who shied away from traditional African dress, which was viewed as exactly what the”older generation migrants” wore. Since 2012 to roughly 2016 as it appeared, the emblematic garment turned into the trendiest casual/streetwear for individuals of African descent globally and lots of actors took no time in associating with the party of individuality through fashion. By Amandla Stenberg into Beyonce, Chris Brown, Drake, French Montana, Jhen√© Aiko, Rihanna, Wale and Zendaya, it appeared that nearly everyone was making a fashion statement with the dashiki.

Due to those actors being recorded wearing the garment, Its prevalence has grown globally and several designers are producing beautiful pieces together with the Angelina cloth that comes in a large number of vibrant colors.

Where do I purchase dashiki?

Dashiki could be bought in African-owned, ready-to-wear online Brands such as Jekkah, Kelis Africa, Mam Maw, Grass areas, etc, that ship internationally. It’s also available to purchase at different regional markets across London in areas like Peckham, Brixton, Camden, Barking, and lots of more.

The Way the dashiki has motivated pop culture

While dashiki as clothes can be made from several Kinds of Cloth, it’s that the Angelina print produced by Toon van p Manakker, a Vlisco fabric designer, that is currently the most identifiable cloth in the diaspora as’dashiki’. The designer based on the print onto the 19th-century Ethiopian noblewoman’s tunic.

From the 1960s, the dashiki made its appearance at American Civilization when Jason Benning, combined with Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith, started to mass produce it like a crochet garment beneath their New Breed Clothing Ltd, based from Harlem, NY. It then turned into a sign of affirmation into the battles of African-Americans from the USA, and also a signifier of black pride and reclamation of the African origins and identity.

Nowadays, dashiki is showcased in popular culture all Around the World And both women and men wear it throughout Black History Month, Kwanzaa Parties and casual street wear to show their pride in Their African origins. Millennials from the diaspora could be found wearing it to Prom, graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other important occasions.

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