What is a Dashiki? Originally from West Africa, and derived from the Hausa word dan ciki, which means shirt, a Dashiki is a loose fitted shirt. A version of this shirt with with its famous cross design and colorful fabric gained popularity across Africa and is by far the most loved afrocentric clothing in the US.
Dashiki History. The Dashiki design was inspired by Ethiopian coptic crosses. "Ethiopian crosses are symbols of Christianity in Ethiopia. Their elaborate, stylized design is markedly distinct from the similar European Christian crosses. Ethiopian crosses are almost always made from elaborate lattice work, the intertwined lattice represents everlasting life. Each cross looks different, and artisans can take liberty when choosing shapes and patterns." (wikipedia).
Who made the first dashiki fabrics? The Dutch company, Vlisco mass produced a variation of this Dashiki design for the African market, using the motif from an Ethiopian coptic cross alter cloth. (Vlisco.com). Dashiki fabric in varying shapes and patterns is now made around the world.
Dashiki AKA. Also known as the Angelina, Ya Mado, or Miriam Makeba in various African countries. However if you want everyone to know what you are talking about, you should probably go with Dashiki.
Who can wear a Dashiki? If you can pull it off (and I mean who can't?), it's yours.
Kayarize is a family business, a black owned clothing brand, with deep roots in African influenced design. We were inspired to set up Kayarize by our Grandmother, whose original store Kayah Co, was a popular place to buy African fashion in the coastal city of Freetown back in the 50s.
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