Colourful Dashiki Shirts

Colourful Dashiki Shirts - Dashiki Shirts worn by African Drummers
Emilio Labrador [CC BY 2.0 (]
The Dashiki top has been a firm favourite at Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing for many years now.  These shirts are not just loved by us but by so many. Usually bright and colourful in nature they are a perfect top for all hippies. Casual and comfortable, why wouldn’t you want one.

Worn by men and women across the globe for all occasions. Weddings, festivals, relaxing days out and most definitely on warm holidays as they are great for helping stay cool. We even have some customers that bought for fancy dress but loved them so much that they wear them all the time now.

What is a dashiki?

Originating in West Africa, the dashiki is a colourful top manly worn by men. Don’t get me wrong the women do wear them too however they are predominantly worn by the gents. They are shirts that cover the top half of the body and sre designed to be nice and baggy. It is basically a shorter version of our African kaftans. There are both formal and informal versions but as I’m sure you’re aware, we only stock the fun and funky informal version.

Depending on the occasion, dashikis vary from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. A common form and the one we sell is the loose-fitting pullover top that has an ornate V-shaped collar. This can also have a tailored and embroidered neck and sleeves. I have to say thought that I would love to have a full suit. How amazingly funky and hippy would that be?!

So where has the name come from? Well Africa of course and is derived from the Hausa word ʼdan ciki’. Dan ciki simply means shirt. Hausa is the language spoken by over 50 million people and is the first language for many across Western and Central Africa.

When did the Dashiki first become popular in the west?

Colourful dashiki shirts were brought to the western societies by a man named Oba Ofuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi. Oba was born in Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1928 and was originally called Walter Eugene. Oba is the man who was first believed to bring this fantastic African piece of clothing over to the west.  After renouncing his baptist religion, at the age of 16 he became very interested in African studies. So, naturally, after spending some time studying the continent he made his way over there. After a time of travelling, when he was 20 he travelled to Haiti.

Wanting to learn about life as it was there, he wanted to be exposed to African religion and learn from indigenous Africans. He was initiated into the priesthood of the Yoruba religion and was the very first documented African-American to do so. He became so well known and loved that he was crowned Oba (king) of the Yoruba. Upon his return to the United States he started a manufacturing business that produced amongst other things the Dashiki top. All I can say is thank you Oba!!

Our Colourful Dashiki ShirtsColourful Dashiki Shirts

Our Dashiki tops are inspired by the original West African designs and are handmade in Thailand. We offer these great pieces of hippie clothing in a range of sizes and a huge array of different colours. We have colours to suit everyone’s tastes.  Each shirt has been made from a good quality cotton material which means they are great for wearing in hotter climates. They are light weight and another great thing about them is that they wash up beautifully and dry really quickly in sunnier climes.


So, Why Dashiki?
Well a better question would be why not?   These tops are just perfect for men and women alike.  They can be worn with a pair of jeans, harem trousers or shorts. They can in fact be worn with anything you like. Dress them up or down.  They are so versatile and really do look great with anything.  We get many requests for this shirt and always make sure we have plenty of colours to chose from.  I myself have a few of these as I find them great for using when on holiday.
Whatever your mood, these Dashiki tops are sure to brighten your day and, they day of those around you.  We hope you find the colour you are looking for and have a happy Dashiki day.