Xhosa traditional attire is another stripe of glory in Africa in addition to the world’s fashion industry. Like existing popular African prints; Kente, Ankara and kitenge, Xhosa traditional attire has a special history dating back to pre-colonial times and a unique origin from the Xhosa people of South-Africa. The attire is symbolic in nature, taking different shapes and forms depending on the occasion. Africans, being social people, hold ceremonies and symbols with high regards. However, with the recent changes in social psychology, symbolism has been replaced with purposeful fashion statements and creative wear in the fashion space, leaving ceremonies as the only thing of social significance that are still held in high esteem.
This stylish Xhosa traditional wear meets all the symbolic needs of the culture. Starting from the head wrap, to the knee length dress, the bride serves respect to the Xhosa elders and sends a deterrent message to potential suitors respectively. The twist with this dress is that it combines the modern dressing needs with traditional symbolism to achieve a great look. The layered quality of the dress makes it more attractive. Like other Xhosa dressing style, the outfit took beadwork into account. The bride wears the beads on her neck and spreads them across her shoulder. To crown it all, she wears an off shoulder cloak that extends down to the ground level and has beautiful blue-orange line patterns at the bottom.
Xhosa traditional wear designs are easily identified by their creative beadworks. Their rich tradition of beaded clothes is mostly for aesthetics. It is not surprising for you to find a sophisticated textile skirt such as Imibhaco or Isikhakha adorned with beads to make it stand out from the crowd. Additionally, the color of a dress is reliant on the Xhosa sub-group, the specific region, and the social status of a person. Below are 20 Xhosa traditional attires for women.
The Umakoti, the bride, in Xhosa, like other African and western culture, is usually the center of attraction during a wedding ceremony. How she looks is of particular importance to the days’ proceedings because she has to meet traditional symbolism and look exquisitely good to outshine every other woman in the ceremony. These are 5 of the commonly worn dresses by a bride during a wedding ceremony