40 Elegant Xhosa Traditional Dresses and Attires

In the African fashion industry, Xhosa traditional dresses and attires are considered to be another stripe of glory and in the global apparel industry, it competently competes with wears from other continents of the world. These strikingly beautiful attires from the republic of South Africa feature a special history that predates colonial times in South Africa. Before the advent of the colonial masters, the Xhosas were already a known tribe whose sense of fashion was palpably felt in the region. Though the tribe has not been left untouched by modernization, the people of Xhosa have managed to preserve some important aspects of their fashion.

This Xhosa fashion sense is seen in some wedding attire for brides and grooms, you will feel it in the people’s outing wears, and even their corporate dresses emit some Xhosa vibes. Their apparels are symbolic, the people wear it like an emblem of their culture and tradition, and they speak loud and clear to anybody who cares to listen.

A Timeline of Female Xhosa Traditional Dresses and Attires

Xhosa traditional dresses for women in the culture represent different stages of life. Female apparels include dresses and skirts in bright colors such as orange, red, green, and white. Beadwork is a major part of the Xhosa dressing and you will find plenty of their skirts with braiding and beads. Even their headdresses come in the form of a colorful braided turban. While young single ladies (intombi) are entitled to put on shorter skirts, a woman who had a child out of wedlock (an inkanzana) must always put longer skirts or if she wishes to wear a dress, the length must fall below the knees. Ankle-length skirts are worn by brides to create coverage for their legs; leg-covering in Xhosa culture is an indication that a woman is not a girl anymore and to ward off would-be suitors.

Once the bride becomes a makoti (new wife) she begins to put on an idaki (a special dress she received from her in-laws). The makoti covers her shoulders with a blanket or shawl. The stages of a woman’s life can be interpreted through her iduku or iqhiya (headpiece) – once a woman begins to cover her head, it means she is a makoti, and a Xhosa makoti must put on a black iduku (this comes in the form of a turban-like scarf, dipped low on the face to veil the eyes). The veiling of a makoti’s eyes speaks of respect to both her in-laws and elders and is taken as a sign that the husband’s family accepts her. Upon the birth of her first child, the iduku of a Xhosa makoti is moved a little bit up and off her eyes, and rather than the black headpiece, she can go for any color of her choice. The iduku is more than a heritage symbol in the people’s tradition as it bestows their women with self-confidence, inner strength, and another layer of respect. The more elaborate headpieces is generally taken as an indication of seniority.

One of the main apparels of a makoti is her uxakatha (this is a towel or thick scarf) that goes around the waist as protection of her fertility. Her shawl is a representation of the quality of nurturing society expects from her. Below is a brief on all the cultural garments of a Xhosa woman

  • Incebetha – This is a small blanket adorned with colorful beads that is used as a bra. The making process of incebetha is known as uRhaswa.
  • Ifulu – This is a garment adorned with beads worn underneath or below the belt. The umbhaco or isikhakha covers the Ifulu which is made of a blanket.
  • Iqhiya – This is a cloth fitted to the head; it is festooned with colorful beads.
  • Uxakatha – This is a small lightweight blanket worn by women on the waist.
  • Intsimbi or amaso – Feet and waist bracelets made with beads and small wires.
  • Imitsheke – is worn on the wrist.
  • Ingxowa – A small handbag.
  • Ithumbu – An elaborate beaded necklace women wear to perform iqakabod (a traditional dance),
  • Iqoqo – A decorative, tasseled, and beaded band women wear around the lower back,
  • Vulwakabini – Beaded top women wear over their breast and upper body
  • Isikhakha or Umbhaco – a traditional skirt for Xhosa women
  • Isidlokolo – A hat made from animal skin and decorated with very large beads mostly used by healers while working with patients or in traditional dance.

Xhosa traditional dresses are still valued to date and many natives wear them from time to time as a mark of respect to their ancestors. However, modernization has made huge efforts to eradicate these traditional attires but then, what we see on Xhosa natives of today are mere modifications of those ancient apparels. Talk about tradition meeting modernity.

1. Xhosa Bride and Chief Bride’s Maid In Their Traditional Wedding Attire

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The lady in the picture is a Xhosa bride with her bride’s maid and her outfit heavily reflects the garments of old. The turban-like scarf known as iduku is still worn by the bride and the color remains black and even though it did not try to veil her eyes, it is a sign that the Xhosas still uphold their tradition. In the exact fashion of the ancient Xhosa bride, the lady in the picture is putting on an ankle-length gown to cover her legs as the tradition demands.

The people’s tradition in the olden days also demanded that brides cover their shoulders with blankets or shawls and it is evident in this picture; the lady covered her shoulders with a tartan blanket. Her ankle-length traditional Xhosa attire comes with a contemporary touch. The increased visibility of her white African print material is thanks to those simple but delightful black lines. This bridal dress of the Xhosas can be called modern but we must also agree that it satisfied the demands of the people’s culture.

2. A Blue Multi-step Xhosa Gown With A Touch of White

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This image sports another beautiful Xhosa bride, not in the traditional black and white but in very attractive blue apparel. The lady obviously went overboard with her adornment. The blue fabric is highlighted with white lines at the helm of the steps of her gown. The gown itself is designed in such a way that it comes with a fitted bodice, with a constriction at the waistline that flares out into a large flay skirt with four steps. The first three steps adorn the upper part and middle of the bride’s body while the last step sweeps the ground. Now, the front part of the bodice is designed like a bra, and tracing it back to the ancient days’ apparel, it comes close to the beaded bras worn by Xhosa women (Incebetha). For her hair, the bride favored a matching beaded headband with overflows dangling on her face.

3. Xhosa Mother And Daughter in Monochrome Colored Attires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The Xhosa as a tribe are people with good taste in apparel and this mother and child combo in the above image speaks volumes. The general background of these beautiful Xhosa gowns is cream but the touch of black is the highlight. The woman’s design shows a fitted bodice from the neck down to the middle of the thigh where it flares out. The down part is gathered to appear like a flay skirt and from observation, the length at the back is longer than the front side. The design for the upper bodice is a bit complicated as she used net-like material with tuff-like overflow dangling down. There is a touch of black at her waist in the form of lines and a lacy design, and these are reflected in the little girl’s dress. However, the girl only has black at the bustline and the helm of her gown.

4. A typical Xhosa Skirt and Top Complete With Iduku

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Now, the black iduku which is part of the Xhosa traditional dresses is obviously evident in this attire. However, in her case, she went for a touch of white in her headgear. While her entire adornment is predominantly in black, there are markings of white in the last two steps of her skirt, in her short top, headpiece, and head bead. The lady’s handbag and sandals are also in complementing black color but she favored a touch of red with her beaded necklace which is close in resemblance to the traditional ithumbu. Other colors like green, blue, red yellow are evident in the tape-like material dangling on her tummy like a corporate tie for men. There is also a touch of bright green in her handbag for a better effect

5. Xhosa Bride and Her Bride’s Maids in Monochrome Attires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The ladies in this image are donned out in gowns with varying designs but in similar color combinations. While black is predominant in the first gown, white rules in the design of the last three gowns. Perhaps the most complicated of them all is the lady’s gown with dangling black and white tuffs that are beaded at the helm. The middle of her bodice is in white but the top and hem are all in black colors with her black and white turban. The other lady is equally beautiful in her single-arm-designed gown with a cape hanging down. The highlight of her attire is the large hat on her head close in resemblance to the Zulu isicholo hats. The two other ladys’ attires are simpler but with similar color combos.

6. Off Shoulder Xhosa Gown With Iduku

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This is another beautiful design of Xhosa traditional dress with the helm of the back longer than the front. This dress is more suited for slim ladies with the bodies a bit fitted from the down to the knee level. The highlight of this attire is evident in the bodice with its bold flowery lacy designs in black, the same color is reflected downwards in four ribbon-like steps before the helm. Contrary to the signature beaded necklace (the ithumbu) of the Xhosas, she went for a ring-like neck adornment with the appearance of a chocker. But then, the Xhosa beadwork is evident on her arms like an Imitsheke. The lady’s headgear is an imitation of the traditional Xhosa iduku or iqhiya.

7. Xhosa Ladies in Beautiful Attires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The lady in red is sporting a tubed jumpsuit which is not related to any of the Xhosa traditional dresses but the colorful iduku or iqhiya that adorns her head screams Xhosa! Next to her is a lacy white top with a skirt that epitomizes the traditional skirt of the tribe known as Isikhakha or Umbhaco. In her own case, it is the helm that is decorated with thin black stripes and she wears a beaded necklace in red, white, and black colors. The creamy long-tailed skit of the next lady can also go for a variation of the Umbhaco also with black stripes at the helm. The same black stripes are evident on the cape of her blacktop.The first lady just went to town with bright colors as there is evidence of orange, purple, blue, yellow, red, and black on her apparel. Her skirt can be taken for a mid-length Umbhaco in orange color with stripes of black at the helm. Her top may be completely black, but the beaded neck adornment (Isidanga) and waist beads gave her a distinguished look.

8. Short Orange and Black Gowns with Monochrome Skirt and Blouse

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Apart from black and white, the color orange seems to be a favorite with Xhosa intombis. These beautiful young ladies in the picture favored the orange color in their gowns but with a touch of black both at the helm and bodice. However, the third lady in the image is the one with a more complex style in black and white colors. While the helm of her gown has the signature black stripes of the Xhosas, it is her top that takes the cake; the armless top is quite classy with featherlike designs festooning the front.

9. Open Arm Gown With Hat

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As far as traditional Xhosa dresses go, this one is quite beautiful and also very becoming on the wearer. Though white color is predominant in this gown, the helm is decorated in ribbon-like stripes of green, yellow, and black, lighter towards the bodice and thicker below. The best part of this design is at the upper part of the bodice. The neck is cut like a choker adorning the neck, the arms are bare with a single line running from the choker down to the bustline. It forms two bold pleats on either side, running down to the helm. The lady’s head is adorned with an isicholo-like hat of the Zulu tribe, black at the bold end with matching colors to her gown in front.

Male Attire in the Xhosa Traditional Fashion

In the Xhosa community, it is the men who fill the roles of hunters, warriors, stockmen, and more. Owning to their kind of occupations, animal skin forms a major part of their apparel. The animal skin worn by the men comes in varying colors, shapes, types, and makes, but it is the royals that are bestowed with the right and wherewithal to afford leopard skin.

Xhosa traditional dresses and attires for men consist of a frontal covering and an animal skin-processed cloak draped over the shoulders. Apart from animal skin material, a blanket can also be used in place of the cloak. Special occasions call for embroidered skirts, a rectangular cloth draped over the left shoulder, including colorful adornments like a tunic and strands/filaments of beaded necklaces. The sandals are usually made of animal skin.

Xhosa boys who are going for initiation paint their bodies white, wearing sheepskin or blanket to ward off evil. Below are the names of some of the apparel worn by men;

  • Ingcawa – a black and white blanket adorned with ukurhaswa
  • Isichebe – a short bead
  • Isidanga – a long beaded necklace with multiple colors
  • Amaso – wrists and foot beads that were worn by men
  • Umngqa or igwala – Headbeads for men
  • Isikhakha or imibhaco – Elegant textile skirt
  • Umbheka phesheya – pipes smoked by men and decorated by ukurhaswa

10. Embroidered Traditional Xhosa Skirt with Tunic

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The image sports a typical Xhosa warrior in his elegant textile embroidered skirt (Isikhakha or imibhaco) complete with matching adornments on all parts of his outfit. The traditional skirt is in a white, blue, and black design, and reaches below the knee level. He wears a comfortable tunic beaded from the neck down like a cape. There is evidence of the Xhosa Isidanga traditional necklace on his neck which goes down to his waistline. The man wears double sets of amaso on his two wrists and another beaded adornment for his upper arm, and we must not forget to factor in his Umngqa or igwala – the blue and white headband that is in matching colors with his embroidered skirt, beaded tunic, and all other adornments on his body. There is also evidence of the traditional goatskin bag of the ancient Xhosa men where they normally carry items like knives and tobacco, but his own is created in the same material as his skirt.

11. Xhosa Men In Traditional Isikhakha 

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The Xhosa people are known to wear capes and the three men in the image are enough proof. While the third man’s cape is in clothing material, the first two men sport short beaded capes from neck to chest. All three men wear the signature embroidered skirt of the Xhosa people (Isikhakha or imibhaco) and their animal skin sandals. While the middleman favors black and white colors, the two on both sides went for black, yellow, and white. The first and last man has the traditional rectangular cloth of the Xhosas draped on their left shoulders and all the three have headgear (Umngqa or igwala) in varying colors and designs. The black singlet top worn by the man in the middle is covered in beadwork. The first two men are wearing amaso on their wrists.

12. Monochrome Imibhaco with Matching Singlet

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The man in the picture is in full Xhosa attire in the traditional white and black color. Black seems to be the predominant color in this entire adornment. The signature elegant textile skirt of the tribe (Isikhakha or imibhaco) is in black with white stripes towards the helm. The matching black singlet is adorned with white beads from top to bottom, the man sports an Isidanga with monochrome colors. We cannot neglect to mention his amaso which is in unison with his entire attire, and the Umngqa or igwala on his head crowns it all alongside the black beaded cape that extends to the upper chest.

13. Double-Decked Isikhakha with the Traditional Xhosa Rectangular Cloth on One Shoulder

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The Isikhakha or imibhaco skirt for the man in this picture comes with a difference like it has double steps of Isikhakha; the longer one under looks like it is tied like a single wrapper and knotted in the front but the shorter one on top is definitely done in the pattern of the tribe’s elegant textile skirt. The helm of both skirt and wrapper are heavily embroidered in black and white, but the tops are in plain white color. The rectangular cloth on his shoulder is in unison with the helms of his skirt and wrap, including his headband (Umngqa or igwala) and amaso on his upper arm. However, the one that takes the cake is the man’s beads. His Isidanga sure has multiple colors and hangs from his neck down to the man’s upper thigh, and there are other beaded tapes hanging on his right shoulder.

14. Heavily Beaded Top and Isikhakha with an Extended Isidanga

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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When the colors of beadwork are predominantly orange, it looks very bright, but when you combine it with apparel in orange color, it makes the wearer stand out in a crowd. A black sleeveless top on an orange skirt is good enough, but factoring in the multicolored beads in bright color and chest-length cape reflecting similar colors will make a nice combo for a fair-skinned person. This man’s Isidanga has orange, green, white, yellow, blue, and black colors. His cape reflects similar colors with the beaded overflows going right down towards the helm of his skirt to merge with the overflows on his Isidanga. His umngqa, amaso, and the rectangular cloth on his shoulder are all in unison with his overall adornment.

Black and White Traditional Xhosa Attire From South Africa

A good number of Xhosa traditional dresses and attires occur in monochrome colors and below are a few examples

15. Beautiful Monochrome Wedding Gown In Xhosa Design

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Xhosa weddings are very colorful events to behold and one thing about these weddings is that both the bride and groom usually appear in outfits with matching colors. The two-step gown for the bride in this image is so sophisticated and elegant, sporting some monochrome stripes at the helms of the top and down steps. The bride’s net-like veil is also commensurate with her entire attire and there is evidence of a black band at the waistline of the bodice. The bodice itself is designed like a halter-neck top; the chest and arms are left bare but two tape-like materials connect the bodice to the choker at the neck.

16. Black and White Iduku on Long Gown

Xhosa Traditional Dresses

This is another Xhosa bride donned out in black and white apparel. She is obviously wearing a predominantly white gown heavily embroidered in black color. The bodice which is a bit fitted flares out from the knee level, ending in two uniform steps – one at the middle of the shin and the other touching the ground. The helm of the two steps are heavily embroidered and so are the helms of the elbow-length sleeves. Lines of embroidery run across the neck and down on the bodice to meet the knee level where it flared oIt. Her beaded choker-like neck adornment has some overflows that came down the throat, and the bride satisfied the demand of the Xhosa culture with her black and white headgear like a typical iduku.

17. Xhosa Bride and Groom On Traditional Wedding Attires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Umbraco Xhosa traditional dresses and attires for bride and groom usually come in matching colors and this couple epitomizes that. The black and white material of the tribe is evident in their apparel and while it is predominantly white, black stripes and designs bring out the beauty of the Umbraco outfit. The woman adorns her head with an Iduku which is reflected in the man’s Umngqa or igwala (head bead), and Isidanga (long beaded necklace). The couple sport short beaded capes to complete their attires.

18. Double Step Gown with Net Top

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The lady’s updo hairstyle is so apt for her monochrome Xhosa attire. Like a ball gown, the bodice which is designed with black material is fitted, flaring out at the waistline to end in a couple of elaborate stepped white skirts. The helm of each step is distinguished with five stripes of black line to complement the long-sleeved top. The material used in making the top is quite transparent like a net but it has some lacy parts to give enough coverage to her bustline.

19. Painted Face, Short Gown, and Iduku

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The face painting culture of the Xhosas is evident in this image; a single dotted line running down the middle of her nose branched out under both eyes to terminate at the ears where the traditional iduku did a good work of covering the ladies hair. She sports a predominantly white ankle-length gown with several black stripes at the helm, waistline, neck, and arms. The highlight of this attire is the lady’s heavily beaded necklace which adorns her neck in black and white colors, complementing her apparel.

20. Simple Mid-length Gown with Cape

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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As far as Xhosa traditional attires go, this gown is of the simplest kind. Fitted gown in white color reaching below the knee level. The neck is cut in a V-like design with some of the material turned down to form an elaborate cape that stops at mid-bustline. The helm of the cape is decorated in the signature black and white stripe commonly found in Xhosa traditional dresses.

21. Black Iduku On Black and White Wedding Gown

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The lady’s iduku is in all black color but her garment is made of black and white design with white as the major color; the black is only evident in the stripes that are sewn all over the apparel. The lady’s necklace, cape, and wrist adornment are all heavily beaded to reflect the monochrome colors in her cloth.

22. Elaborate Black and White Iduku on Cape and Long Gown

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Her Iduku is quite elaborate in majorly black color with white stripes for a better effect. The lady’s heavily beaded cape is also in black color with circular designs in white worn on a fitted armless bodice that constricts at the waistline to flare out all the way down to ankle-length. The skirt is designed in steps and the outer part is done in the regular textile material of the Xhosa tribe but the inner step is all in a silky material; everything is done in monochrome colors

Modern Xhosa Traditional Drees and Attires

Xhosa is one tribe that has held fast to vital aspects of its tradition and no matter the effect of modernization, there will always be a huge element of culture in their fashion. This is especially evident in the way their traditional attires have withstood the test of time and the effects of modernization. Even though they no longer wear the ancient Xhosa attires, what we see them put on is as close to the ancient times as possible. The idukus are still evident among the women, the men still put on the Isidanga, and adorn their heads with the umngqa or igwala. Heavily beaded capes are still part of the dressing of the modern Xhosas, and from what is perceivable, they never completely abandoned their traditional dresses for modernity. Rather, they blended one with the other, and the result is just too good.

23. Elaborate Red Iduku, Beaded Cape on Black and White Attire

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Modernity meets tradition in this Xhosa traditional dress in black and white. The lady tied her hair in a red Iqhiya in a turban-like fashion with the overflow falling towards her face. Her beaded cape is in black with a necklace in black and white. She has a cloth processed handbag akin to the small ingxowa handbag of the ancient Xhosa women.

24. Xhosa Man and His Makoti Dressed in Yellow and Black

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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A Xhosa couple in matching outfits of black and yellow. While black is the predominant color in the man’s attire, he has a touch of yellow at the chest region with black in a zig-zag pattern, the woman’s apparel has more of yellow with black and white stripes at the helm and on major parts of the bodice. Apart from the black and white stripes on her skirt, other parts of the garment are in yellow with a few dots of white at the stripped region. Yellow is also evident at the helm of the man’s elbow-length sleeves, on the lady’s headgear, and on the rectangular cloth draped over her arms. The high point of the makoti’s adornment is the matching material processed handbag in yellow, black, and white design like an ingxowa, and her elaborate white beaded necklace is the one that takes the cake.

25. Traditional Yellow and Black Xhosa Wedding Attires With All The Trimmings

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Yellow and black are really a good combo as evidenced in this couple’s outfits. The lady dons a yellow flowing gown with black stripes at the helm that is almost sweeping the ground. The signature blanket that Xhosa women drape over their shoulders is epitomized in the yellow and black material she covered the gown with. Her Isidanga in matching colors gets all the way to the knee, a shorter beaded necklace adorns the lady’s neck and her iduku is heavily beaded with yellow beads. The designs are reflected in the husband’s attire with the rectangular cloth on his shoulder.

26. Monochrome Long Gown with Long Tail

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This seems to be the height of the modern version of the traditional Xhosa dresses. The gown is really complicated in white and black designs which are used as stripes at some points, lacy flowers at another point, and large patches towards the helm. The gown constricts at waist and knee level to flair out from the waist down in a short flay and from the knee down in a longer two-step flay. The high point of this wear is the leopardskin-like handbag with the color in unison with her overall look.

27. Headbeads on Beautiful Suit-like Atires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Matching head beads of black and white are evident on this couple’s head but the makoti’s own sports an overflow dangling on her face. Both of their attires are majorly in black with white stripes at different locations. While the lady is dressed in your regular modern-day skirt and blouse with traditional Xhosa touch, the man’s wear is sewn in the form of a suit.

Classic Xhosa Traditional Dresses and Attires

Xhosa designers have really gone to town with their designs, rolling out some really striking wears that can only be described as classic.

28. Predominantly Blue Flay Gown With Open Cleavage

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This attire is classic enough, though the stripy middle and helm satisfy the cultural requirements of Xhosa traditional dresses. It is an all-blue attire with touches of yellow, pink, green, and red at the mid stripes and the helm. The “U” shaped neck is pipped in a pinkish color down to the waistline, revealing a full cleavage. The lady completed her adornment with a headgear comparable to an iduku.

29. Armless Yellow Gown with Red and Green Design

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The lady in this image emits Xhosa vibes with her beaded hair, the stripes at the helm of her double-stepped gown, and the colorful materials used in making the attire. It is an armless gown with a fitted bodice that constricts at the waistline to flair out below. Though the dress is predominantly yellow, it is covered from waist to mid-tight with a reddish material reflected in the stripes at the helm. The lady holds the signature rectangular cloth of her tribe on the shoulder.

30. Xhosa Ladies in Colorful Short Gowns

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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White canvas on a simply classic white gown with yellow, blue, green, and red stripes in the middle. The colors in the stripes are reflected in the short-sleeved arms and the pipped neck. One of the ladies in the image sports a reddish iduku on her head to complement her wear.

31. Xhosa Couple in Black and White Attires

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The couple in this image really went overboard with their monochrome adornment. From the woman’s iduku to the man’s head bead, and their garment, everything seems to be in unison. White obviously dominates in the lady’s attire with Xhosa stripes at the helm and some disconnected stripes adorning the end part of the fitted bodice from mid-hip to mid-thigh. The makoti completed her look with some short neck beads and very long Isidanga that get all the way to the mid-thigh. The man’s attire is designed in the form of black corporate wear but with Xhosa vibes; touches of white are felt at the sleeves, button-line, and two side pockets.

Fashionable Xhosa Traditional Dresses and Attires

There is no other word to describe these Xhosa attires than fashionable

32. Extended Heavily Beaded Cape On Isikhakha

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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No material apparel is visible at the top but the man in the image found enough coverage with different arrangements of colorful beads in varying blue shades. The Isidanga is visible on his neck, the beaded chest-length cape covered the upper shoulder downwards, and some dangling bead arrangements suspended on two vertical beaded tapes covered the rest of his upper body. The man is wearing the customary skirt of the Xhosas in white color but festooned with enough colorful beads.

33. Monochrome Attire With Blue Isidanga

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This is a traditional ankle-length Xhosa skirt in black and white designs matched with a black vest with elbow-length sleeves. The rectangular cloth on his shoulder reflects the designs on the man’s skirt. His Isidanga is in a contrasting blue color which is reflected in the headband.

34. Cloth Processed Goatskin Bag, with Rectangular Cloth, Isikhakha, and Isidanga

Xhosa Traditional Dresses

Stripy head beads with shorter beadwork at the neck and a longer Isidanga extending towards the mid-thigh are the highpoints of this Xhosa traditional dress. The white rectangular cloth with black designs complements the mid-shin length white traditional skirt which equally has a few black stripes at the helm. A black singlet serves as coverage for the upper part of his body and there is evidence of the cloth-processed goatskin-like bag hanging on one side of his body.

35. Material Processed Cape on Bare Chest With Long Slit Isikhakha

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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The man in the picture obviously took fashionable to the extreme with his muscular bare chest and abdomen, sporting nothing but the six-pack muscles. The yellow and black striped material processed cape didn’t do much in covering his upper body but his right shoulder is shielded with a rectangular cloth material in colorful designs. The man is obviously putting on a Xhosa skirt with a long frontal slit. This attire is completed with the colorful head bead on the man’s head.

Beautiful Xhosa Traditional Dresses and Attires

It is common knowledge that Xhosa traditional dresses and attires are beautiful, these few attest to the fact.

36. Large Orange and Black Gown with Black and White Iduku

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This plumpy Xhosa woman is truly beautiful in her brown and black designed gown. The material for this elaborate gown is more yellow but with touches of black dots and stripes all over. The ankle-length sleeved bodice is fitted from the round neck down to the waistline, flaring out in five fluffy steps with the last one sweeping the ground. The Xhosa vibes in this attire can be felt in her black beaded necklace and black and white iduku.

37. Iduku and Beaded Cape on Orange and Black Attire

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This predominantly orange adornment is closer to the ancient Xhosa traditional dresses in appearance. The lady’s iduku answers the colorful and beaded requirements of a makoti who has had her first child. Her body seems to be wrapped in a cloth akin to the ancient blanket that married women cover their bodies with, and the makoti’s beaded cape is not just colorful, but it reflects the color of her apparel plus other colors like green, blue, and white. We just have to agree that the high point of this attire is the colorful object she holds in her hands like a beautifully designed calabash.

38. Beautiful Iduku on Colorful Full Gown

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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This is an elaborate ground-sweeping blue gown with reddish and white stripes at the helm and also reflected in the wearer’s matching blue iduku. The woman seems to be wearing a very short cape in matching colors and there is evidence of beaded wrist bands on her two hands.

39. Heavily Beaded Cape on Yellow and Black Attire

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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Face painting is evident in this picture and the lady in the image is attired in a yellow and black combo top and long skirt. Her heavily beaded cape is quite distinguished as it looks like a turtle-neck design reaching down under the bustline. Stripes of black are evident on the yellow skirt from knee level to mid-shin while the helm is in all black. Fitted at the top but flay below, the design of the skirt is reflected in the blouse which follows a similar pattern with black at the helm.

40. Bride, Groom, Groomsmen, and Bridesmaid In Beautiful Wedding Attires

Xhosa Traditional Dresses
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A Xhosa wedding is a sight to behold from the groom to the bride, the groomsmen and bride’s maids all are decked out in beautiful wedding gears in monochrome colors.

Chacha O
Chacha is a writer with a wealth of experience who has contributed across several channels. Her specialty includes celebrity lifestyle including how top movie stars, musicians, and comedians live their lives.

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