For the Culture

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Dashiki

da·shi·ki

dəˈSHēkē/

noun: dashiki; plural noun: dashikis

                        a loose, brightly colored shirt or tunic, originally from West Africa.

 

THE TEA ON DASHIKI 

What is a Dashiki you ask ? A Dashiki is a brightly colored, sleeveless tunic which originated in West Africa. In fact, the word “dan-ciki” translates to “shirt” in Hausa, a language spoken in Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and Togo. The Dashiki emerged onto the U.S. fashion scene in the late 60’s and early 70’s alongside a rise in black political consciousness as the Civil Rights Era gave way to the Black Power Movement and its Afrocentric aesthetic.

 

 

A black businessman named Jason Benning is credited with coining the term “Dashiki” and developing the now classic Dashiki prototype for mass production in 1967. Benning, along with three other men, Milton Clarke, Howard Davis and William Smith created what we know today as the Dashiki. In keeping with the Black Power Movement’s efforts at black upliftment and cooperative economics, New Breed Clothing was led by Benning and a team of black designers.

 

THE COME UP

In 2014, Rihanna caused a stir when she posted a photo to Instagram of her in a Dashiki by Dimepiece LA Vintage. Earlier that year, Beyonce was photographed in an Dashiki by black designer Ron Bass. This photo alone led to Bass’ line of Dashiki-inspired items for Forever 21. In the Spring of 2015 Kyemah McEntyre gave us her intake on the Dashiki’s popularity when her Dashiki-inspired prom dress went viral via Instagram, making McEntyre one of the most talked about none celebs in Essence, Teen Vogue and The New York Times.

 

 

Dashikis are worn in movies, mentioned in print and worn by famous people all over the world. You can wear it with a blazer, jeans, skirt, wrapper and there’s even a Gown Dashiki. Whether you’re going for a vintage look, reconnecting with your heritage or just staying cool, I will show you the many different ways to style your Dashiki.

 

HOW TO STYLE YOUR DASHIKI

The classic Dashiki can be worn in various ways to various events and it will be a great way to say it loud that you are Black and Proud. With the United States entering into the Spring and Summer months a Dashiki will be a great go to top for those outdoor Spring concerts and Summer cookouts. Let everyone know that you are proud of your blackness.

 

 

There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to fashion, well there are a few cases. When it comes to fashion, just be unique. The importance of being your own unique self can never be over-emphasized except if you’re just really not that fashion forward and that’s why you have me. Still the essence of fashion and style is to do what makes you feel comfortable so make sure you bring your own personal style into your wardrobe to reflect your own image.

Raymond Banks is a Senior Broadcast/ Mass Communications major from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He will be a contributing writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school semester.

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