The umushanana is the traditional ceremonial dress of women in Rwanda. It consists of a wrapped skirt bunched at the hips and a sash draped over one shoulder, typically worn over a tank top or bustier. Traditionally, this dress was mainly worn by older women. With the changing times, umushanana is now mostly worn during formal occasions.
The narrative has changed as younger women are embracing wearing of umushanana more, albeit, differently.
It is notably known that umushanana is mostly made out of silky and polished materials as this helps to pull out the soft and elegant part of the outfit.
The way you drape the piece around your body determines how you will look. The cloth should be draped properly; otherwise, it can look untidy and clumsy. Pleats should be even and neatly tucked.
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These days umushanana comes in one piece like the sari, the traditional Indian dress worn by women.
This is because they are more creative and daring; they know what they want and when they want it. So they want to experiment with new designs to come up with unique styles.
Like everything else, fashion has never been constant. It is amazing to note that even traditional dresses are now altered to suit current fashion trends.
The attire comes in different colors and consists of a sash drape that is worn over the shoulders plus a wrap skirt on which the drape smoothly falls to give a beautiful and elegant look.
As the case of Mushanana shows, Africa’s young are leading a renaissance on the continent in many fields such as tech and business; fashion and cultural identity are part and parcel of this.
Umushanana, the Rwandan traditional dress, is already gaining momentum among African women, especially in Rwanda having a perk towards its style. However, the body shape and nature of occasion need to be considered before donning in this fashion style.