>Male Adornment

Male Adornment

Male Adornment

African traditional Attire seems to be slowly disappearing and many people are more familiar with modern fashion than what their ancestors and other tribes wore in the past. Afrivazi took this opportunity to work on an exciting project, “JungleVazi, a fashion shoot to show us our journey from African traditional fashion to modern day attire. This is an educative project that allows us to share different stories and fun facts about traditional fashion and our cultural practices. In our first post we explore the topic of male adornment. Among most African society men beautified themselves so as to be attractive and stand out. This was one of the ways through which they would attract ladies and get wives and also as a symbol of the different stages in their life. In some communities once the man married, his wife would take up the role of helping him beautify himself. Women would for instance make jewelry from beads each ensuring her pieces were the most striking to ensure her husband stood out because this was her joy and pride. Among the Maasai for instance once a boy had completed the initiation ceremony he was considered a man and he would plait his hair; men would spend time plaiting each other’s hair since it was a skill practiced only by the male gender. The initiate would then coat his legs with ocher, have ocher makeup and put on colorful ornaments in their pierced earlobes. Among the Wodaabe of Niger from West Africa men would beautify themselves during the Gerewol festivities in order to impress women so as to get a lover or a wife to marry. It is what others would refer to as a courtship dance for sex that allowed even married couples to get a fling usually done when there was rain thus plenty of food and water. Other than for beauty adornment was also used as a symbol of many things among Africans some of which included; age, social status, profession(in most communities for instance what was worn by warriors was different from what medicine men wore.) among others. When we talk of class and fashion forward African men we can probably attribute part of it to who we were culturally, we come from societies where a man’s beauty was something to behold and be proud of. I am not sure how many ladies take the time to help their men in dressing these days but it’s a fact that when a man looks good it reflects well on his lady. We are probably getting a little conscious of our traditions with more and more African men embracing fashion. A special thanks to Fed Orwa and Vaider Amondi for baby Femi Orwa. This project was made possible by the collaboration of; Vaider Amondi, the jewelry designer of Shaba Designs Valerie Nyamwaya, the fashion designer of Afrivazi Domiana Muiga, the makeup artist of Domiana Makeup Jeff Ndunda, the hair stylist of Shears and Hues Winnie Odande, the fashion stylist and blogger of Fits n Discover Okaka Felix, the photographer of Okaka photography Cleve Chiro, the photographer of I am Chiro Photography Geroge Karugu, the assistant photographer of pictures by George Kamau Naisenya Mungai, Dennis Mutoka and Femi Orwa, the models, and Ashtone Dickie, the shoot assistant.

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