Dashiki

We have a selection of handmade dashiki's available.

Info and history

A dashiki is a loose-fitting, pullover shirt usually sewn from colorful, African-inspired cotton prints or from solid color fabrics, often with patch pockets and embroidery at the neckline and cuffs. The dashiki appeared on the American fashion scene during the 1960s when embraced by the black pride and white counterculture movements. "Dashiki" is a loanword from the West African Yoruba term danshiki, which refers to a short, sleeveless tunic worn by men.

The Yoruba borrowed the word from the Hausa dan ciki (literally "underneath"), which refers to a short tunic worn by males under larger robes. The Yoruba danshiki, a work garment, was originally sewn from hand-woven strip cloth. It has deep-cut armholes with pockets below and four gussets set to create a flare at the hem.

Similar tunics found in Dogon burial caves in Mali date to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (Bolland). In many parts of West Africa today such tunics of hand-or machine-woven textiles (with or without sleeves and gussets) are worn with matching trousers as street clothes.

In the 1960s, the dashiki appeared in the American ethnic fashion inventory, along with other Afrocentric clothing styles, possibly from the example of African students and African diplomats at the United Nations in New York (Neves 1966).

A unisex garment, the American dashiki varies from a sleeveless tunic to the more common pullover shirt or caftan with short or dangling bat sleeves.

Both sexes wear the shirt, and women wear short or full-length dashiki dresses.