The traditional styles of clothing worn by African women were often representative of the wearer's social, political and religious standing.
Senegalese women traditionally wore a boubou (French for kaftan or caftan), a loose-fitting full-length embroidered robe. Older Senegalese women wore long gowns called grand boubous over baggy trousers. Younger women often wore anangos--close-fitting tunics with plunging V necklines--and matching wrap skirts made from cotton prints.
In Nigeria, the wrapper was the most common style of traditional dress. It consists of an uncut length of fabric that is wrapped and pleated around the body.
In southwestern Nigeria, Yoruba women wore bubas, blouses that were either fitted with a curved bottom or baggy with a V-shaped bottom.
In East Africa, women wore kangas, colorful African-style shawls. The middle part of the shawl usually featured a second, different pattern.