“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Marcus Garvey
Hey, guys! So last week was one of the worst weeks of 2017. I can handle the common cold but the flu is on its own level. It knocked me out for a full week, but now I‘m back healthy as ever. Hope your past week was better than mine, if not we got this week to make our life better.
I revealed in an earlier post how this year I would be wearing more African print because everyone including Yo mama is wearing them, just kidding (not really, it’s true). I like them because they are vibrant and every pattern is relatively unique. One thing though I realised is that not many people truly know the origin of African print or Ankara. Many assume it comes from West African culture and that is partly true with the actual Ghanaian Kente print that was only worn by royalty the colours been blue, green, grey, black, and gold. So, what of the other elaborate designs on the wax prints? Where is there origin from? Try thousands of kilometres away from Africa. Yes, Ankara print first originated in the early 20th century from Holland, the land of the Dutch. Before the style of print was been dubbed ‘African print’ it was known as ‘Dutch wax print’. They were originally been designed for the Indonesian market and the style of print was ‘Batik’, the Indonesian market rejected them but they caught on in West Africa. Upon this discovery, the Dutch wax fabric producers tailored the designs to fit the West African’s taste and culture. That is how, ladies and gents, Ankara print came to be, fascinating. When I learnt about this a few years back I was a bit in denial, I mean wouldn’t you? I felt cheated it’s not authentically African but I calmed down and saw it for what it truly is, authentically African. It has done its work, it represents Africa and its colourful culture. It has become a global symbol synonymous to Africa, so I’m not mad the Dutch helped create such artistry that celebrates our heritage. After all, they have played their part but now it’s in the hands of Africans to use the fabric to promote our own culture.
I love this Ankara coat because of the bright orange colour, such a pop of vibrancy to my very black outfit. It makes a statement, that’s the beauty of Ankara, you can make it your own and create amazing statement pieces from clothes, to shoes to jewellery. So explore and have fun with it, own it!
Photography- Sizlo & Alpha (The travellers) Makeup- Me
African print Coat- Custom made
Skirt- Dressing Palace
Shoes- same here
Bangle- Maasai Market
Earrings- Maasai Market
Ring- Beads by She