Color and symbols have great value in African clothing. African people do not just randomly pick their clothes. Color has a lot of symbolism among Africans. For example they wear dark colors to funerals. The most common solemn colors are brown, brick red and black.
Such colors symbolizes grief and death among the Africans. On the other hand, when they are attending an occasion where there will be a lot of happiness, it is common to see people dressed in bright colored African clothes.
Some of the colors that represent happiness are blue, yellow and white. Black color stands for the African people.Though Color has a lot of significance among Africans, they have diverse views and opinions concerning particular colors.
In some African traditions, red symbolises courage and braveness, while in other cultures it is a symbol of authority. Yet even in other cultures the same color is a symbol of accomplishment and success.
The color green stands for fertility, while white stands for purity. This is why the color is very popular during weddings and other religious ceremonies like baptism.
Most African garments are made of mixed colors like black, red, gold, green, white and yellow. These colors also feature very prominently in most African flags. It is therefore not uncommon to see patriotic Africans adorned in the colors of their country’s flags.
Red also signifies blood shed. Most Africans use red to commemorate the blood that they shed when they were fighting for self independence. It is a common color in political conferences and rallies.
The Kente material is very popular among most Africans due to its brilliant colors. It is sometimes taken as a symbol of the African continent.
All African designs possess a rich African history. In fact Africans celebrate their heritage with their choice of clothes. The symbols used to decorate these clothes have a crucial role to play in the African culture. Understanding the value of color and symbols in African clothing helps the Africans in getting a greater sense of culture. It also helps Africans in appreciating their wealthy historical past that most of them identify with.
Different people are identified with particular designs. For example the mud cloth originated from Mali and was originally worn by hunters. Korhogo is popular with Africans from Ivory Coast while Ewe cloth which is similar to Kente originated from the southeastern part of Ghana. It is made of silk and in some cases rayon and is common among those with high status. The African tie-dye is popular in Yoruba, Gambia and Senegal.