Capulana: Mozambique traditional fabric | women in Mozambique

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Capulana: Mozambique traditional fabric | women in Mozambique 

What is Capulana?

Capulana is a 2 meter long rectangular cotton fabric, printed with African patterns, geometric and contrasting colors. It is a symbolic fabric of Mozambican woman. It is used to cover the body. It is used by both men and women.

What are its origins?

Capulana entered Mozambique as a result of trade relations with Asian and Arab peoples. Portuguese traders in the fifteenth century brought it to Africa as a means of trade for other goods.
The wives of the kings, chiefs and merchants wore capulanas to the knees. On the other hand, the young women were dressed in very short capulanas.

Its significance for the inhabitants of Mozambique.

Capulana has a high value, because the number of capulana you have means the social status of a person. For Mozambican woman, capulanas are luxurious fabrics, for they were “offered by the man who made him the court, the husband who loved them, his son when he came back from the Transvaal mines, the son-in-law who wants her daughter.

People of Mozambique carry the capulana in everyday life. But, also during traditional and religious rites. The manner in which the capulana is knotted makes it possible to recognize whether woman is from  South, Center or North.

A must-have fabric used in everyday life.

There are a thousand ways to wear a capulana. It can be used as a skirt, dress, pants, towel, leaf, shawl, blanket, headdress, baby diapers, coat, curtains. When a child is born, parents buy a capulana, which is used to carry the baby in the back.



Crédit photo : Taibo Bacar


Crédit photo : Taibo Bacar


photo credit: Taibo Bacar


photo credit: Taibo Bacar

photo credit: Taibo Bacar

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