Africa is a continent of many cultures and diverse traditions. From the Masai people in Kenya to the Zulu people in South Africa, there are so many unique tribes that make up this continent. For example, did you know that Maasai women wear red robes and anklets made from beads? Or that Ndebele women often adorn themselves with intricate beadwork patterns? Tribal wear is not just about looking good; it’s about experiencing tradition and culture. As an African-American woman myself, I find tribal fashion very empowering — especially when it comes from another culture! Here are five African tribes whose unique tribal wear will give you serious style inspiration:
1. Maasai women in Kenya
The Maasai are a tribe of semi-nomadic cattle herders who live in Kenya and Tanzania. They have a distinctive look with elaborate beadwork, jewelry and body paint. The women wear red ochre on their faces and cowrie shells around their necks. Their hair is braided and decorated with beads or strings of coral beads called kilishi which they weave into intricate designs while they sing songs about peace and harmony.
2. Zulu women in South Africa
Zulu women are known for their bright and colorful traditional clothing. The Zulu people are a Bantu group living in South Africa, with a population of about 10 million individuals.
The Zulu people have a rich culture that dates back to their roots in East Africa. Their traditions and customs have been passed down from generation to generation through storytelling, song and dance. They are known for their vibrant color combinations that often incorporate reds, blacks and whites with metallic gold accents (which is why you’ll see so many Zulus wearing feathers).
Zulu women traditionally wear long skirts called izidlo during special occasions like weddings or funerals–these skirts can be made out of cotton or animal skins such as leopard skin!
3. Mursi women in Ethiopia
Mursi women in Ethiopia are famous for their lip plates and elaborate jewelry. The Mursi are a subgroup of the Omo people, who live south of Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley.
The women wear large ornate headpieces made from beads and cowrie shells, as well as colorful tunics with intricate beadwork designs. They also wear elaborate jewelry around their necks and on their arms, including necklaces made from ivory or animal teeth that represent wealth. A typical outfit includes multiple layers of beaded bracelets on each wrist (sometimes numbering over 100), which can weigh up to 10 kg (22 lbs).
4. Ndebele women, South Africa
The Ndebele people are a subgroup of the Shona tribe, who live in South Africa. They’re known for their brightly colored clothing, which they wear during special occasions such as weddings and funerals.
The women’s outfits are made from natural materials such as cotton and wool, decorated with beadwork or embroidery. The bright colors of the fabric make these garments stand out even more when worn by someone who has dark skin!
5. Togolese indigo producers
The Togolese are a people who live in central Africa, primarily in present-day Togo and Benin. Their culture is known for its vibrant colors and natural dyes, which they use to create beautiful clothing and hair styles. Indigo is a natural dye made from the leaves of an Indigofera plant that grows wild in Africa. It’s been used since ancient times by people all over the world–including the Togolese–to color their clothes blue or green (depending on how it’s processed).
The indigo producers of Togo are famous for their work with this natural substance: they use it to dye not only fabric but also hair!
Tribal wear is a great way to experience the culture of a country
Tribal wear is a great way to experience the culture of a country. You can find it in markets, shops and online. It is a good way to learn about the culture of a country and support local artisans.
These women are the keepers of their culture and traditions, and they continue to wear their beautiful tribal wear with pride. They’re not just beautiful Instagram models or tourist attractions–they’re real people who live their lives with passion and spirit. If you want to experience this in person (and don’t mind getting a little dirty), then check out our guide on how best to do so!