Dressing Code in Uganda

Modern-day Uganda has adopted the western dressing codes, although there are some communities in the rural areas like the Karamajong and the Baganga that still wear their traditional clothes. Baganda women normally wear ‘busuuti.’ The dress is floor-length and brightly colored. It also has short, puffed sleeves and a square neckline. A sash is used used to fasten the dress where it is placed over the hips, below the waist, and additional two buttons are used on the left side of the neckline. The Traditional busuuti was made from bark cloth that was strapless. The dress can be worn on any festive and ceremonial occasion. A muganda (Baganda person) man will wear a ‘kanzu’. It is a robe that is long and white. In the modern-day, the kanzu can be worn over a trouser. In addition, a western-style suit blazer can be worn over it. The kanzu and busuuti are clothes that are influenced by Islamic culture. Before the coming of the British to the Ugandan land, Buganda practiced the Islamic religion, which was influenced by their encounter with the Arabs. The introduction of the Islamic religion influenced the dressing of the Baganda to imitate the Arabs.

The Karamojong people are pastoralists who tend to wear sheet-like garments and khangas. Khangas are light fabrics used mainly by women and have diverse color designs. Traditionally, the Karamojong used to wear skirts from hides known as the abwo. The hides were dried in the sun for some days before one could wear them since the hides could produce an odour if it was kept away from the sunlight rays for a long time. Gomesi is also common

clothing dressed by the people of Ganda living in the central part of the country. The cloth is worn particularly in ceremonies known as the Kwanjula, where marriage partners are introduced by women to their parents and at weddings. It is known to be luxurious and elegant cloth. It was known as “Busty” in vintage times. During the sunny seasons, a huge obi known as ‘kitambala’ is wrapped around one’s waist.

The traditional Ugandan clothes are diverse, just like its diverse ethnic groups.

Emishanana is a popular cloth for the people in the western part of the country. It is a traditional costume used widely by the western people of Uganda, especially in ceremonies. The cloth is meant for women. It has a veil on one shoulder. Men tend to wear the Kanzus in major parts of the country, including the western part. The cloth is typically worn when one marries from the western part of the country due to its elegant feeling in the calm atmosphere of the tropical climate the country generally has and the nature appreciation in the western region.

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