Traditional Rwandan costume 

Traditional Rwandan costume 

By: Zainab Mekky

Costume: It is a popular style of clothing that shows human elegance, and fashion varies from one country to another. Each country has its own folk costume, and this expresses the culture and heritage of the people, and with the development of technology, costumes began to diversify and appear in various shapes and colors.

Umushanana is the traditional dress of women in Rwanda and Burundi. Consisting of a long skirt gathered at the hips, a bodice and a scarf draped over one shoulder, the fabric can be any colour, and is generally lightweight to accentuate the draping effect. The original or ancient Umushanana was a two-piece outfit, consisting of a wrap skirt with sufficient gatherings at the hips and a sash draped over the shoulders and was mainly worn by older women, But as times changed, it became worn during formal occasions. Then things turned around and changed somewhat, and younger women became more likely to wear the Umuchanana. 

After that, the Umuchanana changed now and became in the form of one piece, just like the traditional Indian sari worn by Indian women. 

Young women also tend to prefer wearing modern Umushanana over traditional ones, because they are more creative and daring, so they want to try new designs to come up with unique styles, so no girl or woman’s closet is now devoid of this traditional dress.

 Umochanana comes in different colours, and the way you wrap the piece around your body determines how it will look.

Therefore, the fabric must be wrapped properly so that it appears suitable for the body’s shape, and is arranged and its folds are even and precisely placed, making it appear elegant. 

As for the traditional dress for men in Rwanda, it is a long, loose robe called “gandura.” This outfit is made of light fabric such as cotton or silk, and is usually worn over loose pants called “amasu,” and a scarf or belt is tied around the waist. In addition to the “keffiyeh”, a traditional Rwandan hat made of woven straw or natural fibers, it is often worn at a diagonal and can be decorated or embroidered.

Wedding costume 

The bride: She wears a beautiful, brightly colored dress, which is the omochanana, as we mentioned previously. It is made of vibrant fabric, and is often with bold lines or geometric shapes to highlight the bride’s beauty and femininity. 
She has styled her hair in a distinctive way, consisting of a bun decorated with beads and tied in place with two ribbons that pass through it. Front and top of the cake.
 It must be noted that clothing styles vary according to region or cultural group, and this traditional dress is ceremonial clothing, worn by women and men in church services, weddings, or funerals, and is not an everyday piece of cloth.

_The groom's clothes. 

As for the groom’s clothes, they are “Gandora” and are floor-length, over a white buttoned shirt and a tight, vibrant necklace. They usually use walking sticks, while their shoes are sandals. 

In conclusion: Fashion is like everything, it is not constant and must undergo many changes to suit modern fashion trends. What is your perception of the modern form of Rwandan fashion/dress??