What Is an Ethiopian Habesha Dress?


Quick Answer

A habesha kemis is a piece of traditional clothing worn by Habesha women, who live primarily in Ethiopia and Eritrea. The habesha kemis is an ankle-length dress with a loose bodice and sleeves. It is usually worn belted at the waist and with a shawl called a netela.

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Full Answer

The habesha kemis is usually made of chiffon cotton in a neutral shade like gray or beige. Brightly-colored embroidery may be used to accent the dress at the neck and wrists. Among modern Habesha women, the habesha kemis is usually only worn for ceremonial or special occasions. In North America, it is sometimes called a coffee dress, after the traditional Habesha coffee ceremony.

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