Dashiki is derived from the Yoruba word “yar ciki”, which means “shirt”. Though dashikis are African inspired, the symbolism attached to them is actually rooted in the United States.
In the 1960s, a time where African American cultural and political struggles were at an all time high, dashikis became popular among men and women who wanted to show their independence from Western culture. At a time when the acceptable fashion was conservative, neatly tucked shirts, the bright, bold colorful shirts, worn un-tucked, were a way for people to show pride in their African heritage.
These days n the United States, the dashiki is most popularly worn during February, Black History Month. However, no matter what time of year it is worn, the dashiki’s symbolism is a way of saying: “I am beautiful – black is beautiful – my heritage is beautiful.”
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