A sleeveless robe is called a boubou in Nigeria and Senegal. A boubou is worn by men over the top of long sleeved gowns or alone with loose trousers. Generally, boubou are long rectangular cloths with holes in the center. The boubou is worn with the head through the hole and the fabric draped to about mid-thigh level. Boubou can be dyed bright colors and decorated with embroidery, appliqued patterns, or beadwork.
Women wear a version of the boubou called a m'boubou. A m'boubou is a flowing dress that reaches to just about the ankle; its sewn side seams distinguish it from the male garment. Women wear m'boubous over wrapped skirts and shirts.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Blauer, Ettagale. African Elegance. New York: Rizzoli, 1999.
Kennett, Frances, and Caroline MacDonald-Haig. Ethnic Dress. New York: Facts on File, 1994.
Was this article helpful?