Cape Verde is a country with different mix of colors, flavors, sounds, and ideas that is reflective of every aspect of its culture, with fashion being inclusive. With specific characteristic unique to each island of the archipelagic country, Cape Verde is considered as a place where the past mixes with the future and the locals blending with outside influences. Historically,Cape Verde is a place where ships with bidons filled with clothes sent from the USA or Portugal arrive its ports on daily basis, with market stalls being flooded with colorful fabrics from continental Africa.
Often times, Cape Verdeans dress in Western-style fashion, as used clothing from the developed countries like the US and the European nations are often sent there to meet the needs of the locals. Hence, the country do not have a stable and regular fashion thread.
Across Cape Verde, wedding ceremony is not a usual event, as the practice is not common. This hold to the fact that cohabitation between young couples is prevalent in the country, such that they don’t always see making the union official as a big deal. As interesting or appalling this might sound, Christian wedding is the most popular form of marriage, as about 85% of Cape Verde people are Catholics.
Nevertheless, the recognized traditional dress of the country is the panu di terra. After their independence in 1975, the pánu di téra becomes the testament of the islands’ African heritage, and also the symbol of Cape Verdean national identity.
This fabric can be said to have a symbolic significance, and was used during ceremonies, and as a sign of social status. It then later acquired a political significance, which changed over time, from the colonial period to the present day.
The name, pánu di téra, are Portuguese words, meaning the blue cloth in English. This is commonly worn by women in Satiago and usually woven in Stiago. The pánu di téra was considered as a means of economic trade in times past. There are actually three types of pánu di téra (also called panos/pano) :
1 pano chã
2 pano bicho
3 pano d´obra
However, the Pano d'obra is the most intricate and takes the longest to make.
While this fabric can come in different colors, blue is the most widely used. They are largely considered a very important piece of Cape Verde's cultural crafts and arts and are very beloved. They can even be seen on stamps.
In furtherance, the color of the cloth is solely blue, because of the representation of the country’s flag. The flag is blue, representing the Atlantic Ocean and the sky.
Therefore, at any Cape Verdean traditional wedding that want to hold outside the church, the bride do tend to go all out in the gorgeous blue color. Outside the primary choice of blue color, Cape Verde people are enthused with brightly-colored dresses, depending on each island of the archipelago.
The simple traditional wedding in Cape Verde is not without its out sense of gorgeousness, as the bride always stuns to be the lady of the hour for the nuptial occasion. The bridal dress is always with an ensemble of beautiful white floral accessories. In some cases, lace might be chosen to be representative of many cultures that make up the Cape Verde islands. There can be more than one styles of floral accessories, just to make the bride look appealing for the big day. Also, traditional bold and beautiful bouquet with flowy ribbon are always added to make the bride look just fabulous.