South Africa is a hotbed of multiple cultures, ethnicities, cuisines, traditions, and clothing. The country is home to a multitude of people from different parts of the world, and the differences between these cultures can be seen.
The differences can be seen in the food these different cultures take pride in, what their traditions are, and their clothing. The clothing is what we are most interested in, mainly because, in this day and age, western clothing has become common with traditional attire being used during important ceremonies or stages in life.
One of the most iconic pieces of Zulu clothing is the circular-shaped hats called izicolo. These are hats made from grass, traditionally worn by married women, and often measure over a metre across to protect the wearer from the harsh sun.
For men, animal skins and feathers are the traditional items of clothing. In Zulu culture, the leopard is seen as the King of the predators, therefore leopard skin is reserved for Zulu royalty alone.
The men will wear a front apron, known as an isinene, and a rear apron, or ibheshu, which are worn to cover the genitals and buttocks. Tufts of cow’s tail are worn on the upper arms and below the knees to give the appearance of more bulk. Headbands are only worn by married men.