South Africa’s diverse mix of cultures, ethnic groups and religions has given rise to a variety of traditional dress. In African cultures for example, age and social standing is reflected in the clothes a person wears. Here, we take a look at the various types of traditional wear foundTheir main items of clothing include long skirts and aprons in beautiful printed or embroidered fabrics. Elaborate beaded necklaces called ithumbu are worn around the neck, as well as beaded bracelets and anklets. The iqhiya or headscarf is traditionally worn by married women. To complete the ensemble, embroidered capes or blankets are worn around the shoulders.
Xhosa men traditionally filled the roles of warrior, hunter and stockman and as such, animal skin formed an important part of their traditional wear. On special occasions embroidered skirts are worn with a rectangular cloth over the left shoulder, or a tunic and strands of beaded necklaces.