Tanzanian Traditional Wedding Styles

Tanzanian Traditional Wedding Styles

Traditional wedding in Tanzania varies across different ethnicities in the country. Tanzanian weddings often take place on Sundays during the preferred time of year, which is Shawwal, the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
Basically, the kanzu is the traditional wedding dress for men in the country. During wedding ceremonies it is customary for the groom to wear a white kanzu and a kofia. Kofia is a brimless cylindrical cap with a flat crown, usually worn by men. Kofia is a Swahili word for hat. The cap can be worn with a chitenge shirt or dashiki. In both Tanzania and Kenya, the groom wears a black or white bisht on the kanzu to bring out its beauty.
For the bride, the boubou/kaftan is mostly worn with a headscarf or head tie. At the traditional wedding ceremony, the bride's kaftan is the same color as the groom's dashiki.
With huge exposure sprawling across African countries, Tanzania is lately seen embracing the Asian style of India for their traditional wedding attire. This is wearing sari for the bride, which is traditionally a blend of red and green, with golden brocade.
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This is in corroboration with the red, green and white sari choice in Indian culture. Sari fabric is a traditionally silk, today fabrics like crêpe, Georgette, are satin are being commonly used, with colors like, gold, pink, orange, maroon, brown, and yellow as well.
Types of wedding saris include, Kanchipuram wedding sari, Banarasi wedding sari, Sambalpuri wedding sari, Assam silk, Gota sari, Resham sari, Zardosi sari, aithani sari, Bandhani sari, Neriyathum sari.
The primary essence of wearing the sari in Tanzanian traditions wedding today is because of its comfortability and light weight when worn. The sari pitches the bride with an aura of awesomeness when it is adorned with accessories of jewelry to look fabulous.
There are both, cotton and silk fabrics that look absolutely gorgeous on saris. Some of the Odissi sari types are Bomkai and Katki. However, the kind of saree that actually stands out in the crowd is Sambalpuri silk saris. These are mostly the best-fitted saris for weddings with their rich design.
At traditional weddings, brides are always seen draping their bridal sari with a Kamarband accessory to just look perfect for the day.
For the groom, a kurta can be worn. A kurta is a loose collarless shirt worn in many places, including Tanzania, but took its origin from Central Asia. The kurta traditional dress is becoming prevalent as a garment for everyday wear as well as for formal occasions.
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The kurta is traditionally made of cotton or silk. It can be worn plain or embroidered with decoration, such as Chilean. It can also be loose or tight in the torso, typically falling either just above or somewhere below the knees of the wearer. Traditional kurta are made of rectangular pieces, and its side-seams are left open at the bottom, up to varying lengths, to enable ease of movement. With deep sense of magnificence, the kurta can be styled in such a way that the sleeves of a traditional kurta fall to the wrist without narrowing, the ends hemmed but not cuffed. It can be worn on loose shalwars, churidars, or over jeans.


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A traditional kurta is regularly composed of rectangular fabric pieces with perhaps a few gusset inserts, and is cut so as to leave no waste fabric. Although the cut is usually simple, but the decorative treatments can be elaborate can be very elaborate. The sleeves are not always cuffed, but just hemmed and decorated. Most recently, modern variants may feature stand-up collars.

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