On this page is a list of interesting facts about traditional Ethiopian clothing written for kids and adults. Before discussing Ethiopian traditional clothing let's get a quick overview of Ethiopia or as it is officially known the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Here are some quick facts about Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Quick Facts
Ethiopia is located on the horn of Africa.
It has the second largest population in Africa with approximately eighty two million people.
It is widely believed that human existence started in Ethiopia. Archaeological digs in Ethiopia have yielded the oldest traces of humanity.
The capital is Addis Ababa.
It is a landlocked country bordered by Eritrea to the north, Kenya to the south, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, and Sudan and South Sudan to the west.
Ethiopia's landscape varies from high plateaus to lowlands.
Ethiopia's climate varies from very dry to very wet.
Ethiopian Clothes Facts
The last two points in the list above have a major effect on Ethiopian traditional clothing. As is true with most African garb, the clothing people wear usually reflects the climate and landscape of the particular region they live in. Generally highlanders wear heavy clothing to protect themselves from the low temperatures where as people in the lowland plains, where it can get very hot, wear light clothing. For example the people of Harar, a city located on a hilltop in the eastern extension of the Ethiopian highlands with an elevation of 1885 meters wear colorful heavy clothing. The men in Harar often dress in red, purple, and black. The Afar and Somali, who live in the lowlands, wear long, brightly colored wraps. Where as others like the Bale and Oromo wear bead-decorated leather garments.
Despite the wide range of clothing worn in Ethiopia, traditional clothes are usually considered to be the beautiful white woven cotton clothing seen in many parts of the country. Traditional women's clothes are called habesha qemi. These clothes are made from a cloth called shemma which are woven in long strips and then sewn together. Shiny threads are often woven into the fabric and patterns are frequently added to the garments. Women also frequently wear shawls, and sometimes a cloth covering their head (both Muslim and Christian women).
Ethiopian traditional Clothes for men frequently includes long shirts with white collars, sweaters, shawls, and knee-high socks.
Conclusion - Ethiopian traditional Clothes
Ethiopian traditional Clothing is still worn on a daily basis by many people in the countryside. In cities and large town’s western styled clothes are becoming increasingly popular. However many older people in cites and large towns still wear traditional clothing. For special events like weddings or holidays such as Christmas (Genna) and New Year (Enkutatash) most people like to dress in traditional garb.