Mushanana or Umushanana is the traditional ceremonial dress of women in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.
If you do not know it, you might confuse it for an Indian sari. Well, it is a sash draped over one shoulder, worn over a tank top or bustier with a wrapped skirt bunched at the hips. Made out of silk, a gauzy and lightweight fabric to create a flowing effect, and polished cotton. In the olden days, older women wore them on a day-to-day basis but in recent times women wear them as special attires for church services, weddings or funerals among other social events.
Me and small sister (Laura Nyamvula) posing for a photo with Rwandan gourd.
Having visited Rwanda, I feel that Mushanana is making a strong comeback on the continent (especially Rwanda), and this time, with the young. It is a beautiful, simple attire and brings out some sophistication when worn. No wonder many young women are wearing the dress more often saying that it is an important outfit because it represents the culture of their country.
Me and small sister (Laura Nyamvula) just being happy souls. Ooooh and maintaining eye contact.
My big sister Peggie Mati made for me a Mushanana for a wedding. I really loved it. Let us just say I looked respectful and more beautiful.
My big sister made me this. XOXO.
Once in a while you can remove the drape and let loose. Trust me, you’ll still look lovely.
Always and truly.