Swaziland Garments

Figure 1.--This photo was taken in 1972 near Piggs Peak, a town in northwestern Swaziland. It shows what were, at the time, the past and the future of the children clothing in the region. The past was the traditional skin loincloths, the future was old western style garments. I am nit sure what they are holding, perhaps items to sell tourists.

Traditional clothing is still very important in Swaziland. A wide range of traditional clothing is still worn in Swaziland, both as basic daily clothing as well as ceremonial attire. This reflects in part the continuing importance of agricultural, espcially the still dominant subsistence sector as well as the continuing poverty of the country as well as the continuing importance of tradition. Traditional Swazi attire is specific to gender and age group, and some items are only to be worn during specific traditional ceremonies, such as the incwala or the umhlanga (reed dance). Swazi boys wear both traditional and Western clothes. Babies wear only protective medicines. Todler girls might wear string beads. Toddler boys wear small loin clothes. Children as they grow older wear more clothes. Girls wear string beads and skirts made from grass or cloth. Boys wear loin clothes. t about 8 years of age the boys begin to dress more maturely. Loin clothes are tandard nd larger. Girls begin to wear not only grass or cloth skirts, but short cloth toga At this age they do not wear long togas. Unmarried young men wear loin clohes with bead ornaments. Young womem wear cloth dresses and their up, done in a small bun. The traditional dress of younger married men does not change much. Newly married women wear skin aprons and skin skirts. The apron is worn under the armpits. After the young woman has her first child, she begins wearing the apron over one shoulder. Wesern clothing is becoming increasingly important, especially for childrn. This is the general pattern throughout Africa. As the economy develops, Wesern clothing becomes more widely worn, except for ceremonial affairs. The children commonly war estern clothing to school.


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Created: 2:01 AM 5/24/2014
Last updated: 2:02 AM 5/24/2014