Libya is the third largest country of Africa with an approximate population of 6.5 million. Almost three quarters of the total population is living in the urban areas and Tripoli is the capital of Libya which is also the largest city of the country. A civil war was urged in 2011 as a result of which the undemocratic regime was collapsed with the death of the country’s famous dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi. Since the independence of Libya as the United Libyan Kingdom, the country observed strict and conservative religious codes of lives. Almost 97 % of the total population of Libya practice Islam and they belong to the Sunni School of thought.
The ancient Libya was a region of the indigenous Berber and Bedouin people, so their traditional values are the part of the Libyan cultural heritage. Although ,if we deeply study the pre historic Libya, the marks of the Phoenician, Greek and Roman civilizations will be prominent upon the culture of Libya. In the sixteenth century was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and remained under their control for a long time. Libya was occupied by the Italian, British and French forces on its different parts till the mid of the twentieth century.
The present Libyan people consider themselves as the part of the Arab world and Arabic is the official language of Libya. Although, Berbers and Tuareg groups still speak their own tribal languages.
The traditional dress of Libya consists of a long and loose gown along with the trouser for the lower body. They also use a cloak to cover their bodies and use the traditional cap on their heads. The Libyan youth is rapidly turning toward the Western clothing and the boys are normally seen in the jeans and shirts in the main cities.
The Libyan women also wear the typical long gowns which are also usually used to cover the heads. Modern girls although love to wear the fashionable and bright colored costumes but most women still continue to cover their hair in Hijab.
Even the modernly designed costumes are also the blend of the traditional and Western styles. The traditional dress and jewelry is also very common in the rural areas.
The nomadic Berber people of Libya trace their African roots back to 2000 B.C.E. and their traditional dress passed through many amendments caused by the influences of invading cultures. Still many Berbers continue to wear a “haik”, a large cloth wrapped around the body and wrap their heads with the cloth turbans. Similarly the Berber women cover their hair with scarves and their faces with veils called “mandeels”. Under their haiks, many Berbers wear ankle-length tunics or loose trousers called “shalwar”. A Berber women’s dress is very colorful and decorative.
Walking on the streets of Libya, you can see the Libyan people moving in different styles of garments. Even to see any man or woman in the traditional dress of Libya is not unusual.
For more interesting posts on the same subject on the Lovely Planet, please click the following links ;1- Algerian Traditional Dress 2- Traditional Dress Of Serbia 3- Traditional Dress Of Kosovo 4- Traditional Dress Of Libya 5- Traditional Dress Of Morocco 6- Traditional Dress Of Albania 7- Traditional Dress Of Tunisia 8- Traditional Dress Of Lebanon 9- Traditional Dress Of Bosnia And Herzegovina 10- Traditional Dress Of Azerbaijan 11- Traditional Dress Of Turkmenistan 12- Traditional Dress Of Kazakhstan 13- Traditional Dress Of Kyrgyzstan 14- Traditional Dress Of Uzbekistan 15- Traditional Dress Of Tajikistan 16- The Traditional Dress Of Laos 17- The Traditional Dress Of Vietnam 18- Traditional Dresses Of The World – 1 19- Traditional Dress Of Jammu & Kashmir 20- Ottoman Dresses From Turkey 21- Colors Of Cholistan 22- Cultural Dresses Of Balochistan 23- Lehenga Choli Or Ghagra Choli 24- Sari Or Saree : Traditional Dress Of Women In South Asia 25- Ajrak , The Traditional Attire From Sindh , Pakistan 26- The Traditional Tais Of East Timor 27- Shalwar Kameez: The Popular Dress Of South Asia 28- Churidar Pajama: The Favorite South Asian Attire 29- Pakistani Bridal Dress 30- Rilli, Sindhi Quilt Art 31- Fantastic, Alluring Khussa Shoes 32- Customs And Traditions Of Kalash Tribe 33- Hanfu, The Classical Chinese Dress 34- London Fashion Week 35- Fashion Week Milan: The Glamorous Event Of Italy 36- New York Fashion Week 37- Paris Fashion Week