What is a Dashiki?
A dashiki is a colored garment worn by African men for various occasions, including informal and formal events.
The name dashiki is derived from the Yoruba word dan ciki, which means shirt.
The dashiki trend has spread across the globe and women are also wearing these pieces. They are designed with a V-shaped neck and covers the upper half of the body. The neck has beautiful embroidery and the garment is adorned with vibrant colors. Dashikis have significant history with African people.
Here are some things you need to know about dashikis:
The Origin of Dashiki
The origin of the dashiki is West Africa. Dashikis came to the United States in the 1960s, when members of the Peace Corps brought them home as souvenirs from West Africa. The dashiki became popular during the Black Power movement when Jason Benning, of New York City, introduced them to the market in a Harlem storefront called New Breed Clothing.
Dashikis have two primary styles. Suit and Robe.
The dashiki suit is the African dashiki shirt paired with drawstring pants called Sokoto topped off with a kufi (cap).
The dashiki robe is also known as the “Senegalese Kaftan.” It has long sleeves and is of ankle length. Its teamed up with a kufi.
Dashiki only for African culture?
Some African people believe that the Dashiki is meant for black people and is not to be used by Americans. Dashiki signifies African culture. Some Africans considered a sign of insult if they found Americans wearing dashiki dress. However, dashiki is popular worldwide and is worn by people from different races and cultures.
Today’s Dashiki Print
In Western Africa, Dashiki is still part of the formal wear. Being worn in several religious events, some people wear Dashiki in churches, mosques and many other places of worship. This fabric still holds the traditional test even today.
Dashiki prints have various beautiful colors. Grey colored Dashiki is considered best in wedding occasions. Some grooms wear White dashiki on the wedding events. For other traditional events, purple and blue colors are mostly chosen. The purple color symbolize royalty while the blue color represents love and harmony in Africa.
Most people in Africa also wear Dashiki during funeral ceremonies. The colors chosen for such events are Red and Black, which are considered the colors of mourning. The Black color symbolizes the death while the Red color is symbolic of longing and love.
Despite the fact that many other African dresses are gaining popularity in the market, the dashiki remains the most popular globally due to some reasons. First, this garment is light hence comfortable when worn. In addition, they are available in free-size and therefore can be worn by anyone. This makes it a favorite to many designers.
- Dashikis, An Old Symbol for Renewed Wokeness, Make a Comeback (complex.com)
- The revolution will wear a dashiki (timeline.com)
- Talking about the New Breed with Howard Davis (medium.com)