What Do Tswana Men And Women Traditionally Wear?


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The Tswana people are a tribe from Southern African who originated in the 14th century. Traditional clothing for Tswana men includes tribal feathers and tunics, whilst women of the tribe are historically required to keep their thighs covered with long dresses and cloaks. However, as the tribe becomes increasingly more modernized, the number of women wearing tight pants and short skirts is rising - particularly in less-rural areas of the land. This has received widespread criticism from many traditionalist members of the tribe, but the movement towards a more modern era of clothing appears to be inevitable.

Traditionally, many Tswana women also wear thin headscarves and neck rings as part of their cultural dress. Because of the hot weather conditions throughout the duration of the year in Southern Africa, both Botswana men and women use fine fabrics to make their clothes to prevent them from overheating. It is not uncommon for men to be topless, but women are required to cover most of their bodies for religious reasons and so have to make do with lightweight materials to keep as cool as possible in the dry, humid weather.

The textiles industry is quite prominent amongst the Tswana tribe, with most families making their own clothing from raw materials such as cotton and linen. Young children are wrapped in handmade swaddling when they are first born and later upgrade to similar clothing to their parents when they can walk and work. Although many Tswana people are not wealthy enough to send their children to school, those that do aren't usually required to wear uniform. School and work clothing in Botswana and amongst members of the Tswana tribe is essentially the same as every day wear.

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