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The African Wrapper

Christopher Richards

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Africa, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

The wrapper, known by a variety of names including lappa and pagne, is one of the simplest and most visually present forms of bodily adornment found across the African continent. Although the material of a wrapper can vary from strip-woven, hand-dyed textiles to industrially printed cotton, the method for wearing a wrapper is remarkably consistent: the textile is wrapped horizontally around the wearer’s waist, and secured to the body through a process of folding or knotting that can reflect speci

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