What Kind of Clothing Do People Wear in Africa?

Modern Africans may live in modern cities or in traditional rural areas and their clothing reflects those circumstances. As the world's second largest continent, including 54 countries and with a population of over 1 billion, it is impossible to make a global statement on what Africans wear.

Ancient African societies often wore clothing that was more symbolic and cultural in significance than practical since the climate is favorable year-round. Very early civilizations wore animal skins or bark cloth, and many scarred or painted their bodies as decoration. Many African cultures became renowned for their textile arts and for batik printing, which results in vibrant abstract prints. Contemporary African designers are inspired by tradition, and continue to use printed fabrics in modern Western-style clothing.