African men love wearing caps. What you might not know is that these caps have names. From the eastern part of Nigeria to the north, we see caps of different shapes and sizes. However, we are talking about a cap called the kufi. Most of us have seen these caps, but do not know what they are called.
In East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, and South Asia, the kufi or kufi cap is a short, rounded and brimless cap worn by men. Men all over Africa also popularly wear the Kufi cap. In India, it is referred to as “tupi” or “topi”.
The Kufi cap is worn to complement national costumes in countries in the West African region. It is a traditional cap for men within this region as well. The Kufi cap can be used by African Christians and Muslims or other religious persons for religious activities. Grandfathers, and elders who wear them every day to show their title in the community, and family patriarchs to symbolize their position in the family.
People of African descent are known to be the major wearers of the Kufi cap within the United States. It is worn as it holds great cultural importance to show history, religion (whether Christian, traditional or Islamic), and culture.
The Kufi cap is often made of either mud cloth, kente cloth, or can be crocheted with a variety of yarns. A good traditional cap to wear with a formal West Africa attire is the crown style Kufi. For non-formal events, the crocheted type of the Kufi is mostly used while informal events requiring a dashiki suit, for example, a crown-style Kufi is most suitable and is required to complete the look.
However, some other caps that can be worn with the Senegalese kaftan, grand boubou, and dashiki may include:
I.)A triangular hat named the Abeti-Aja from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria.
II.) Aso Oke hat from Nigeria
III.) The woolen cap is known as Fez or tarboush from North Africa
Presently, many African Americans wear the Kufi cap to various events such as funerals, weddings, graduations, church, and so on in the United States. More so, Islam is majorly known for this cap in particular although, people of mainly West African heritage of wear the kufi regardless of the religion.
In the Christian religion, even women can wear the Kufi as it is unisex. The crocheted Kufi is most preferred for little girls and infants. When worn by a man, the Kufi symbolizes protection of the mind, mourning, renewal, or peace. You can want to show up differently you can rock this cap. It compliments most traditional wear and can be used for different events. The ladies can complement their outfits with this cap. What do you think about wearing this cap? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section.