Kenya is a place of more than 40 ethnic communities and thus it is a unique African country having rare traditions and culture. Although, Kenya has no specific national dress, yet many acknowledged outfits are particular identification of this African nation that can be assumed as the traditional dress of Kenya.
The modern population of Kenya use the Western dresses as the men usually dress up in suits with ties while the women wear skirt and blouse along with a Khanga (A wrapped cloth around the body). . The Khanga is a piece of clothing about 1.5 m by 1 m, screen printed with beautiful sayings in Swahili (or English) and is largely worn by women around the waist and torso. Similarly the Kenyan children also wear the American dresses.
But what is so interesting for the student of culture and traditions about Kenya? Obviously, this is the clothing of the Kenyan tribes. Kitenge is a popular traditional dress of Kenya which is actually a cotton fabric made into various colors and designed through tie-and-dye and heavy embroidery. Kitenge is not declared as the official dress of Kenya but as it is commonly worn during ceremonies and non-official functions. Each tribe has kept alive the tradition to wear its own cultural costumes, but the Masaiare dress is truly the traditional dress of Kenya. Masai tribe is the most well known Kenyan community and similarly the Samburu and Turkana people are also specially known for their traditional costumes.
Massai women can be seen wearing vast plate-like bead necklaces, and the colorful Kanga. The men are famous for wearing a red-checked Shuka ( A typical Masai blanket) and carry a distinctive ball-ended club. The Red color is the symbol of chivalry and bravery for the people of Masai.
The traditional dress of Kenya also includes the conventional sandals that are actually smooth footwear, sometimes soled with pieces of motorcycle tires. The adult tribal men traditionally dye their hair red with ochre and fat in order to present the warrior look.
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