Last month in my budget adventures post, I shared that I had bought a colorful tunic from a local vendor during our local street fair. I wore it the next weekend to a visit a local farmer’s market, followed by a friend’s BBQ.
I kept things simple and bold, layering the tunic over leggings and my criss-cross black sandals.
This cotton tunic is known as a dashiki, which is a garment with roots in West Africa. This dashiki has such a simple, classic design, the colorful printed cotton folded over and stitched down the sides (leaving room for armholes), with elastic stitched along the middle to give it shape. (I’ve seen other dashikis with ties along the middle to cinch in the waist.)
The dashiki became popular in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as a symbol of black pride and culture. It then also transitioned into part of the hippie counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. You can read more about the dashiki and its political and cultural significance here and here.
To be open and transparent, I have to admit some reservations that, as a white woman purchasing and wearing a sartorial symbol of African culture, it would be interpreted as cultural misappropriation. But please know that is not my intent. My intent is to celebrate and honor culture and diversity — and all different kinds of style. Everywhere I have lived, including overseas in the Middle East, it has felt natural to incorporate bits of local style — perhaps even as a way to remember people and places I have lived and loved.
I bought this gorgeous garment because:
- I was drawn to the vibrant and colorful print, and y’all know I’m not afraid to wear color!
- I had a lovely conversation with the vendor, who is herself an immigrant from west Africa. She seemed thrilled and supportive of me buying the dashiki — and actually wanted me to wear it right then and there, to promote it at the fair! I felt like I had her blessing to wear it.
- I seek ways to support local artisans and small businesses.
- It is an external expression of my support of ethnic, cultural, and sartorial diversity.
You can see the shape of the dashiki better in the twirling pics below:
We visited the farmer’s market at Point Ruston, and we’ve taken pics along this waterfront view before, as seen recently here and here. It’s just a stunning backdrop of the Sound, so I hope you don’t mind yet another series of pictures along the Ruston waterfront.
Oh, and I spiked up my pixie even more so today, which was fun for me! 😀
Weather: Sunny and breezy
Where: Weekend BBQ at friend’s house
- Cotton tunic: Local street fair, new
- Leggings: Spanx via Macy’s — exact pair still available!
- Sandals: Lands’ End, old (and sold out)
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