African Clothing

African clothing was tremendously impacted in the 20th century when Africa began to trade with Western countries. In the beginning, mostly Europeans and Arabs influenced African clothing, especially in the northern regions of Africa. Today we still see the influence of Arabian culture in African clothing designs, embroideries, and long robes. Most modern African wear Western-styled pant suits, shirts, dresses, and shoes. Others combine the old with the new. They wear traditional clothing with Western styles. Kaftans, also referred to as boubous, are full-length embroidered robes are worn mainly by East African women today, but originally were only worn by West African men. Kaftans are made from cotton or silk and button down the front or are made to be slip on.



For information on traditional clothing and its history take a look at:



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