Color, Hakuna Matata and Hausa Robes


african textilesMore than just a pretty pattern: African textiles in motion

If you took your kids to see THE LION KING, you will certainly remember the phrase Hakuna Matata meaning, basically, “don’t worry, be happy”. Well, one of the things that makes me happy is color. I can’t live without it. And, judging from their fabrics, it seems as if many African ethnic groups need color, too.

African textiles then nowAfrican Art, Modern and Traditional: Seductive Patterns From a Rich Palette

The Hausa, the largest ethnic group in west Africa, have intermingled with other cultures giving inspiration to incredible decor for traditional garments.

Hausa-robeNigerian Hausa Robe

Nigerian garmentsNigerian Hausa garments

Yoruba (Nigeria), Man’s shirt (gbariye) and pants (sokoto).

hausa gunnersHausa gunners dressed in typical clothing + More about the Hausa here.

Related:  Hausa/Fulani Blanket Khasa, Wool Handspun African Textile + #71 “African Fabrics”: The History of Dutch Wax Prints–Guest Blog by Eccentric Yoruba + Christopher and Nora Leonard Roy Collection of West African Textiles + The Curious History of “Tribal” Prints.

junya watanabe

Junya Watanabe jeans skirt with African fabric inset

More Watanabe:  incredible jeans jacket foto + JUNYA WATANABE Denim dress with drawstring collar + JUNYA WATANABE SPRING 2009.

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2 Responses to Color, Hakuna Matata and Hausa Robes

  1. Marie-Josée says:

    Hello Cynthia,
    I read some texts about african clothing and their meaning a couple of years ago. One of them was called Wearing Proverbs, by Susan Domowitz. I had a copy of it not too far away (really!), and here is a link to it on the net for you and your readers:

    http://academic.csuohio.edu/curnowk/curnowk/html/domowitz.html)

    I was suprised to learn about the significance of the Anyi commmunity’s clothing, about the fact that they would buy and wear specific clothes in order to communicate opinions/complaints to specific people in their surroundings, instead of wearing them for the beautiful prints and patterns… each piece of clothing has a proverb for a name, and they wear them when the proverb fits with what they think and feel.

    So many interesting things we can learn about clothing, textiles, and cultures…
    ps: I just love those Nigerian stripes and patches!

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