African Dress is clothing created by the African people who honor through celebration and grief. Ceremonies is the back bone of African traditions and the people live their lives by them. Ceremonies have interactions with dance, chanting, story telling and a number of other activities to bond the people. They are honoring their history and a future that holds promise in harmony.
In the beginning stages of their evolution of clothing the Africans looked to the natural elements of their land. Their clothing primarily came from the food they ate. Nothing was left to waste and waste was deemed a curse to their creator. They utilized every piece of what they acquired and came to develop a quick understanding of how to define the multiple uses each item.
Eco friendly materials like bark and others plants were their first experience with the concept of material. However, the raw form proved to be too hard and needed to be pounded to make it flexible and pliable. Once softened the materials could be sewn together to make full garments of clothing. Eventually the desire for color led to the experiment of dying.
Ceremonies are a time to connect with the spirit of life and ancestors through offerings. Some of those offerings are things like dance, chanting and storytelling. In short the offering is the unity of a people sharing life – the same breathe. Other reasons to celebrate are weddings, new births and rights of passage; symbolizing the closing of one chapter and a beginning of another.
The leader of a tribe is expected to present a position of authority and wealth. While custom suits are appropriate costumes for some; the appropriate appeal within an African tribes is a massive headdress adorned with feathers and shells or a crown. The rest of the attire would be vibrant and shocking. A spear and a shield are like pieces of jewelry used to solidify the attire.
It is common place for African to incorporate jewelry into their daily dress. Jewelry represent their religious belief system or their connection to the spiritual realm. Feathers, shells and cloth are crafted into pieces of jewelry. It is an unspoken expectation and allows for an informal introduction into the lives of the people that surround you.
African infused clothing is a world wide phenomenon that can be found in a variety of places within the world. Its universal appeal has made its way into main stream society and can be experienced in the design concepts of the most famous designers. Run way models appear to be happy to embrace the vibrancy of its signature appeal. Pop culture, traditional and a number of other fashion genres welcome the worldly appeal offered by the efforts of the African culture.
African Dress was created out of the passion a people felt toward the efforts and achievements of others. It is primarily used to nourish the self esteem held in the balance of every life experience. In celebration of achievement and the grieving that comes along with joy and disappointment. Every day holds an element of success – and it begins with the air you breathe.