Traditional dress of Uganda: Image by Bread of the World

Traditional dress of Uganda: Image by Bread of the World

The people of Uganda use the silk and cotton as the fabric for their clothing and prepare very colorful dresses, as normally the people of other African people wear. The traditional dress of Uganda comprises of many variations, however, the most popular of them in women and men is Gomesi and Kanzu. Although, historically the population is of Uganda, which was consisting of many ethnic groups used to wear the dresses made of the materials like leaves, plants and wildlife skins. These garments include the double piece clothes to cover the upper and lower body parts. The pure traditional dresses of the Ugandan people also consisted of many personal adornments like body marks, tattoos and facial paintings. Similarly they were also fond of wearing various ornaments like bracelets, earrings, nose pins, beads and headdresses. Ankle jingles, bird feathers and cowrie shells also played an important role in the adornments of the people of Uganda.

Traditional dress of Uganda : Image by sarahemcc
Traditional dress of Uganda : Image by sarahemcc

The modern dress of Uganda was evolved with the passage of time; especially with the advent of Christianity and colonialism. The Christian missionaries suggested the alteration in the dresses of the women of Uganda  as the ankle length Gomesi which is also known as Basuti, was introduced and for the Ugandan men, the change was the induction of the long tunic garments.

The Ugandan women wearing traditional Gomesies  Image by sarahemcc
The Ugandan women wearing traditional Gomesies. Image by sarahemcc

The Gomesi is basically a floor-length, brightly colored cloth dress with a square neckline and short, puffed sleeves. The dress is tied with a sash placed below the waist over the hips. The Gomesi has two buttons on the left side of the neckline. Gomesi is the present national attire for the women of Uganda which they also use, not only in day to day wear but as the special functional dress too.  A well-made Gomesi can require up to six meters of cloth.Although, in the urban areas of Uganda, the women have a trend to use the western garments but overall, the majority of the Ugandan women dislike the western dresses.

Children of Uganda in cultural dress. Image by  Bread of the World
Children of Uganda in cultural dress. Image by Bread of the World

Kanzu is the national and traditional dress for the Ugandan men which is considered as the adaptation from the typical Arabian dress “thobe”. The traditional kanzu has maroon embroidery around the collar, abdomen, and sleeves. The embroidery is called the omulela. The major center of kanzu knitting and production is Mende, Uganda. The modern Ugandan men also use suits and long sleeved jackets with shoes as their dresses.

Ugandan dancers performing in traditional attires  Image expo_2002
Ugandan dancers performing in traditional attires .Image expo_2002

The use of stylish adornments along with the traditional dress of Uganda is also widespread these days. The traditional modes and fashions in the dressing are equally popular in all parts of Uganda.

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