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West African clothes

West Africa or Western Africa can be referred to as the western region in the continent of Africa. It climatic condition change from time to time as the sea level rise thus adding pressures on the coastal zones leading to a further deterioration of ecosystem. Although its climate is not constant we can say that the main climatic condition of West Africa is sunny. The type of climate in a region determines the types of clothes to be worn. West African climate is hot and therefore the clothes worn are light. In most cases the attires worn are the knee to ankle-length. Another factor that determines the types of clothes worn in this region is culture. West Africa has different tribes or ethnic groups but despite the wide variety of cultures in West Africa, they all have almost similar clothing and music.


West African clothes are made and worn to celebration of ethnic history. The clothes have unique styles and are very comfortable to wear. Even though West African clothes are initially designed for hot climate, the clothing is now worn by people who live in a variety of temperatures as everyday or special occasion attire. In general the West African attire articulates a sense of freedom and ease of movement for the wearer. The cultural differences in West Africa affect the mode of clothing slightly as in Sahara region Tuareg men cover their head with a blue veil during the initiation ceremonies. West African clothes have different styles, designs and pattern. The clothes are made in several designs such as the flowing kaftans and the African queen outfits. In West Africa there is the production of fibers that helps in making the fabrics. Some of these fibers are such as raffia palm, cotton, jute and flax and silk. West African men and women use these fabrics to make clothes. For instance women in North Africa spin and weave sheep wool to make clothes. Traditionally West African clothes are hand-made.



West African clothes designs are nowadays greatly affected by factors such as economic conditions and changing of technologies. Traditionally the West African societies used the locally available fibers to make the clothes in different designs and patterns. Nowadays West African societies have included the use of imported materials, textiles, and styles into their own clothing traditions. The introduction of western culture has altered most African attire as it is being gradually replaced by western clothing. At the present time most traditional African clothing is made in modern western styles although the attire still retains some of the traditional African attributes. For example the tie and dye African attire mainly worn by the Yoruba is now modernized in its styles and color although it still preserves the traditional effect in it.


These days’ West African attires have gained popularity and it is worn by all people in the African continent and the whole world at large. Kente attire is one of the most popular fabrics in West Africa. The clothes that are mostly worn in West Africa are Boubou robe, Dashiki and Senegalese Kaftan or Agbada. Agbada attire is said to have originated from West African empires late in 12th century. West African attires are made in different styles that help people to celebrate the African heritage.