1.The Dora Milaje Costume- Black Panther

Dora Milaje is an iconic big-screen look. It is inspired directly from existing African tribal cultures, Ndebele of South Africa whose women brass and copper rings as a symbol of faithfulness to their husbands. The bead work was inspired by the Turkana tribe of Africa. The costume illustrates the themes of Afrofuturism, a subgenre of science-fiction that encompasses Africa Diaspora culture with technology. The costumes evoked an African country that had never been colonized, one which looked towards the future but was based on the real past. Inspiration was taken from African art and craft, and indigenous tribal wear from all over the continent. The leather harnesses were crafted in the way of South African leather smiths.

2. “Ghana Must Go” bags

The iconic “Ghana Must Go” bags have become refashioned as a meditation on migration. The high-fashion art was transformed by Obinna Obioma using plastic bags which are iconic in West Africa. The bags were created into a powerful narrative on migration. The bags were commonly used in the villages as a travel bag. The term “Ghana Must Go” has an agonizing past; In the 1983 the Nigeria’s then president Shehu Shagari ordered that the nearly 2 million undocumented migrants, mainly Ghanaians abruptly leave the country. Many of the migrants used these bags as traveling bags with all their belongings packed inside and the name stuck over the years. The bags are now used to tell a story about nostalgia, homesickness and what people bring with them and leave behind when they move from one place to another.

3. MaXhosa’s African Knitwear

In 2012, Laduma Ngxokolo established the MaXhosa African knitwear band with the aim to develop premium knitwear that celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics. The brand has produced show stopping clothing which showcase the beauty, culture, language and aspiration of the Xhosa people. Ngxokolo has showcased at numerous fashion weeks, including his first stand-alone show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg, and even had his own pop-up store in London.
This has propelled his brand to be known all over the world, from the streets of Cape Town to Paris.
Last year they bagged the opportunity in the Hollywood movie Coming 2 America to dress the royal household of Zamunda.


4. Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi Xhosa inspired attire

An iconic look for an iconic queen, created by Birgit Gibbs (Biji La Maison de Couture). This astonishing custom-beaded contemporary Xhosa heritage gown weighs 6.6kg with roughly 132 000 beads and took an astounding 800 hours to make.
Zozibini Tunzi wore this garment in Hollywood on May 16 at the 69th Miss Universe Pageant as she seized her final moments on stage as the reigning Miss Universe before crowning her successor.
The dress featured a Ndebele-print – inspired band(ingqosha) which ran down the back and front centre of the dress and a Xhosa head wrap which was given by her mother. The dress was created from an inspiration of the past, the black and white ensemble worn by Zozi in 2019 during the Miss Universe Preliminary Competition and the contemporary Xhosa-inspired gown worn by Thulisa Keyi while representing Mzansi on the 2018 Miss World, both these gowns were created by Gibbs.

5. The Modern Maasai

The modern Maasai is a recreation of the East African tradition seen in Black Is King. This tradition is known as “Adumu” which means “jumping dance” and is performed by Maasai warrior- members of the ethnic group which originated from Kenya and northern Tanzania.
The iconic jumping dance is usually done in circles as a form of competition with members of the group reacting in song with the highest jumps.
Although the ceremony has become a popular Kenyan tourist attraction, it is a rite of passage and show of strength and skills of young warriors.
This jump also attracts their future brides like a mating dance. The higher the jump, the more attractive you are for a female Maasai. The Maasai are considered the tallest people in the world because of their long limbs.

Nandile Mnguni
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