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Oromo Dress

Peri M. Klemm

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

Encyclopedia entry

This focus on the dress of Oromo women and men from the early 1800s to the early twenty-first century includes changes in clothing from leather to cotton to an array of new textiles and symbols. It also touches on the most common jewelry types, hairstyles, and scarification/tattooing practices among the Arsi, Afran Qallo, Wallo, and Karrayuu Oromo.

East Africa

Sandra Klopper and Rehema Nchimbi

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

Encyclopedia entry

The production of textiles in East Africa has a long and varied history. In countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, which now form part of the East African Community, cotton garments were comparatively uncommon prior to the introduction of imported cloth in the course of the nineteenth century. Although cotton weaving techniques were probably first introduced to this region by Persian invaders who settled on the East African coast in 975 c.e. to form the Zeji Empire, centered

Kenya

Corinne A. Kratz

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

Encyclopedia entry

Kenya’s archaeological sites offer rich evidence of personal adornment, revealing ancient trade links. Modern Kenya contains over forty African ethnic groups, the result of early migrations involving Cushitic, Nilotic, and Bantu speakers. Ruled successively by the Portuguese and Arabs, Kenya became a British colony in 1920, gaining independence in 1963. This complex history is reflected in Kenyan dress and adornment, which may be associated with linguistic identity, region, religion, or ritual. T

The African Wrapper

Christopher Richards

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

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

Fashioning Postcolonial Identities in Kenya

Leslie W. Rabine

Source: The Global Circulation of African Fashion 2002

Book chapter

As African fashion circulates from West Africa to urban central Kenya in East Africa, it enters a mode of meaning production resting, paradoxically, on a multiple rupture with the past. Signifying the desire of Kikuyu (as well as urban Luo and Luhya) informants to heal this break with pre-colonial culture, African fashion also, inevitably, conjures up the very separation and loss it aims to overcome. By incorporating these opposed meanings, African fashion of urban central Kenya differs from Sene

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