Liputa Traditional Outfits are bold, bright, and colourful fabrics worn by the Congo people to give a striking balance between their local African outfits and Western fashion style.
The different regions and countries in Africa have various attires and dress forms that are unique to them. Several attires are exclusive to certain tribes, cultures, and ethnic groups.
For the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, their traditional clothing is known as “Liputa”. This Liputa is a modern fashion style worn by women which means wearing colourful attires and vibrant fabric patterns.
Culturally, Congolese women dress up well not only for formal events and ceremonies but also for casual outings. In the country, you’d likely see a Congolese woman in her Liputa wear going for a marriage ceremony, strolling to the market, or even attending a formal party.
Mothers who have young children usually use a Liputa-style material as a sling to carry their baby at the back or front.
The Liputa worn in Brazzaville is not designed to look average. The glistening colourful fabrics and numerous fashion designs will definitely keep you spellbound to the traditional Liputa outfits.
Creativity is also added to styling the Liputa wears. Traditionally, Congolese attire is made up of four pieces styled from the same Liputa material. These include a piece worn as the blouse, a wrapper-length fabric to be tied on the waist, another wrapper to be worn over the first wrapper or draped across the shoulders, and the last piece worn as the hair scarf.
Originally, the blouse has a wide-cut neck (cowl neck) and a big armhole. The blouse is embroidered with colourful threads and decorative beads around the neck. Buttons are not used in the blouse but can be used to decorate it.
The first piece of wrapper drops to the feet and covers the legs. The second piece of material wrapped around from the waist to the feet helps to fasten the first wrapper in place. This second wrapper is also functional for identifying a married woman from a spinster.
Nowadays the Congolese styles have a mix of Western trends, but their striking print and vibrant hues which portray their culture remains. The conventional blouse and wrapper with hair scarf or turban are not very common among young women, however, the fabrics are used to create stunning attires that accentuate the feminine structure.
The styles are shown below.