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Textile industry in Djibouti

Textile industry in Djibouti ; EMBROIDERIES AND COSTUMES

Djibouti is a country located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa. It is bordered by Somalia in the south, Ethiopia in the south and west, Eritrea in the north, and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in the east. Across the Gulf of Aden lies Yemen. The country has a total area of 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).

The Republic of Djibouti is predominantly inhabited by two ethnic groups, the Somali and the Afar people, with the former comprising the majority of the population.

Most Djiboutis are Somalis, the remainder are Afar but the two groups are very similar in terms of language and culture so that there is a particular traditional style instead of several. The most common traditional clothing is a single-strapped dress that both Afar and Somali women wear.

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Somali women in antiquity wore it in white or red although today Somali women wear it in red and orange. Afar women today seem to wear it in red and black although sometimes some women wear a red and black skirt instead with a white, silky tunic. Headdresses are common.

Little Somali girl in Djibouti wearing the traditional guntiino, armlets, headband, henna, and jewellery
Little Somali girl in Djibouti wearing the traditional guntiino, armlets, headband, henna, and jewellery

The woman on the left is wearing traditional Afar garb. The one in the middle is wearing a diraac which predominantly Somalis wear but sometimes other Cushitic and north Sudanese peoples also wear. The woman on the right is wearing traditional Somali clothing, right down to the silver earrings with bells, which is rarely worn by modern-day Somalis but was widespread in pre-colonial Somalia.

Somali women in 1970 Djibouti
Somali women in 1970 Djibouti

The women in the photograph above are wearing baatis. Baatis are long dresses are somewhat like sweatpants, except that are an elegant way to dress casually in Somali culture. In traditional Somali culture, Somali women mostly wore baatis inside of the home, as a housedress and rarely went out in them. That has changed in recent decades.

Colonial photograph of Somali men wear traditional white or plaid robes, brown shoes, and feather combs
Colonial photograph of Somali men wear traditional white or plaid robes, brown shoes, and feather combs

 

Three Djibouti women
Three Djibouti women
Afar-man-and-women
Afar-man-and-women

Both Somali and Afar men dress alike. Both wear a sarong, usually white or plaid. More traditional men wear white robes with the sarong, though today it seems to be replaced with a long scarf. In both cultures, the men typically grew their hair until it was about chin length and either covered it in clarified ghee to condition it or wore the typical Cushitic style. Today, Afar men sometimes still wear their hair long and conditioned.

BY : PRACHI TENDULKAR

 

 

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