Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Middle Eastern and African History Middle Eastern and African History Forum - Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and all nations of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 20th, 2017, 06:20 PM   #1
Citizen
 
Joined: Apr 2016
From: USA
Posts: 49
Clothing in Ancient Africa


Friends, what kind of clothing did people wear in ancient and medieval sub saharan Africa?

From what I've read so far the Africans wore a cloth covering their limbs and nothing covering their upper body. It seems that this was the case with women too.
RajputMaster24 is offline  
Remove Ads
Old April 20th, 2017, 06:32 PM   #2

Ichon's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2013
From: .
Posts: 2,613

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajputMaster24 View Post
Friends, what kind of clothing did people wear in ancient and medieval sub saharan Africa?

From what I've read so far the Africans wore a cloth covering their limbs and nothing covering their upper body. It seems that this was the case with women too.
There was a wide variety of styles depending on the level of urbanization. Even in low urban areas people could trade with those parts of Africa and even India or further which produced quality cloth.
Ichon is offline  
Old April 20th, 2017, 06:33 PM   #3
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2015
From: USA
Posts: 1,310

Sub-Saharan African clothing is extremely broad and varied, and while clothing has obviously been influenced by Islam and Western powers over the centuries, traditional styles can still be found.

Kente robes from the Ashanti:
Click the image to open in full size.

Traditional Songhai clothing for women:
Click the image to open in full size.

Yoruba clothing:

Click the image to open in full size.

Kongolese clothing:
Click the image to open in full size.

Zulu clothing:
Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see, there's a variety of fabrics, styles, patterns, colors, and ornamentation, a given since Sub-Saharan Africa is equally varied in climate and ecosystems.
ameteurhistorian is online now  
Old April 21st, 2017, 07:29 AM   #4
Academician
 
Joined: May 2016
From: US
Posts: 80

Carthage seemed to have contact with West Africans.
Quote:
The trade of the Phoenicians with the west coast of Africa had for its principal objects the procuring of ivory, of elephant, lion, leopard, and deer-skins, and probably of gold. Scylax relates that there was an established trade in his day (about B.C. 350) between Phoenicia and an island which he calls Cerne, probably Arguin, off the West African coast. "The merchants," he says, "who are Phoenicians, when they have arrived at Cerne, anchor their vessels there, and after having pitched their tents upon the shore, proceed to unload their cargo, and to convey it in smaller boats to the mainland. The dealers with whom they trade are Ethiopians; and these dealers sell to the Phoenicians skins of deer, lions, panthers, and domestic animals--elephants' skins also, and their teeth. The Ethiopians wear embroidered garments, and use ivory cups as drinking vessels; their women adorn themselves with ivory bracelets; and their horses also are adorned with ivory. The Phoenicians convey to them eointment, elaborate vessels from Egypt, castrated swine(?), and Attic pottery and cups. These last they commonly purchase [in Athens] at the Feast of Cups. These Ethiopians are eaters of flesh and drinkers of milk; they make also much wine from the vine; and the Phoenicians, too, supply some wine to them. They have a considerable city, to which the Phoenicians sail up." The river on which the city stood was probably the Senegal.
Judging from this and the traditional clothing of other west African groups like ameteurhistorian posted above I would think that the peoples of southern Mauritania and northern Senegal may have dressed similarly to this
Click the image to open in full size.
This is just my assumption.

This image is of the Toubou peoples during the early 19th century
Click the image to open in full size.

Wolof
Click the image to open in full size.

More from the Sahel
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

There seems to be a consistency with some clothing of peoples from the Sahel during the 19th century and what the Dogon wear now
Click the image to open in full size.
I know some of this was influenced by Islamic foreigners to the territory, but to me much of this seems indigenous.

These are some Yoruba women
Click the image to open in full size.

Some of course simply wore what I guess you call loincloths, but even then some peoples in their societies seemed to wear more.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

There seems to be a wide range of dress in that vast area known as Africa, I assume you mean Sub Saharan Africa btw
Click the image to open in full size.

Also, here's some depictions of Nubians who themselves were a varied bunch of peoples.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I assume ancient and more recent Africa was just like every other continent in which people dressed many different ways.

Last edited by wskim; April 21st, 2017 at 07:36 AM.
wskim is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Middle Eastern and African History

Tags
africa, ancient, clothing



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Examples of clothing and styles in ancient India Aberc Asian History 410 January 20th, 2017 03:02 PM
Ancient West Africa historyguy444 Middle Eastern and African History 8 May 11th, 2015 07:52 PM
Judaism in ancient Africa xin fu Ancient History 14 January 20th, 2015 04:26 AM
Need Help Urgently! On Ancient Islamic Clothing DesignGuy History Help 1 May 14th, 2013 06:02 AM
Anything common for different parts of ancient Africa Fantasus Middle Eastern and African History 8 March 30th, 2012 03:54 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.