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By: Angelica Owens

The Dashiki term comes from the Yoruba term Danshiki, which is a loose fitting pullover which originated in West Africa so men could have something comfortable enough to wear in the heat. The Yoruba borrowed the term from the Hausa term, Dan Ciki which means underneath. Many men wore it under large robes.

In 1967, Jason Benning coined the modern term “Dashiki” and started producing Dashiki style shirts, along with Milton Clarke, Howard Davis and William Smith under their brand New Breed Clothing Ltd. Since the late 1960s, the Dashiki has been worn by African Americans to show their black pride.

The print pattern that it mostly comes in is called Angelina. The pattern comes in different colors, with a different meaning behind each one. The Gold pattern means fertility and health. Blue means harmonious living. Green symbolizes life and prosperity. White is purity and spirituality and Red is just the color of blood.

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