History Of The Dashiki

Unknown to many, the dashiki actually originated from West Africa and was introduced to the United Stated by returning Peace Corp volunteers! It was during the 1960s, when the civil rights movement was at it's peak,  when African centric fashion such as the dashiki became an expression and symbol of black identity and cultural identity. The dashiki transformed from a simple colorful garment to a symbolic garment which represented racial equality and a way to unite those suppressed and fight for freedom.  

 

Did you know that even the colors found on traditional Dashikis have value and meaning? It's true! Colors such as gold and yellow represent wealth , royalty, and prestige. White is usually reserved for weddings and other religious events. Black represents power and seen worn by high ranking officials.

 

Many of you must be wondering how Dashikis started selling in the United States? Well, they were first introduced as a fashion item when worn by residents in Harlem, New York. They quickly picked up popularity as those who did not want to wear the black uniform of the Black Panthers, instead choose the dashiki as a non violent garment to represent and represented racial pride and ethnic cohesion. That's not to say that those in the Black Panther did not wear the dashiki- infact Stokely Carmichale was known to wear the dashiki as an expression of Afrocentricity.  The dashiki is now a known symbol of black power or pride. Political activists and celebrities have donned this symbolic garment.  


Interesting enough, during the time the black movement was picking up steam, the hippie movement was in parallel also beginning to gain popularity. This lead to the increased popularity of the Dashiki as hippies and  white Americans began to soon don the Dashiki. Afterwards, designs began looking at the dashiki as a source of inspiration for traditional ethnic clothing for African Americans. 

 

Today, the Dashiki is worn everywhere across the United States and not just reserved for Black History Month or ethnic events. Due to the movie Black Panther, many have flocked to the Dashiki as a fashionable item. However, the Dashiki is just more than a tunic as we have explained above and represents history and respect for those who have worn it. 

Pairing your Dashiki with other accessories are a must! Don't forget that inorder for you to look stylish with your Dashiki, you will need to look stylish yourself! For those of you are looking for those 360 waves, head over to 360wavesbrush.com. If you are looking for designer durags, you can purchase them at Durag Pride.