google-site-verification: googlecb803562c78427f3.html The Senegalese Boubou | Kingdom of Africa



Posted by Florian Cheval on


Today we are heading to Senegal where, as in Mauritania, the boubou is the king of local clothing. Colorful, or single-colored, shiny, wax, bazin, traditional Senegalese boubou is everywhere. Focus on this costume which is still as popular today as it has always been.

African boubou men

Like its African neighbors, Senegal has chosen the boubou as traditional clothing. This large, light and pleasant to wear garment is an identity of the Senegalese tradition. Even if it is present everywhere, do not forget that a simple boubou is not a rich boubou .


The Three-Piece Boubou

The Senegalese generally wear a full boubou. This is what we call the “ full grand boubou ”.

Boubou 3 pieces

It's a three-piece suit. A tunic, pants and a boubou that will go on top of the costume. A complete traditional Senegalese costume will require 9 to 12 meters of fabric.

The Simple Senegalese Boubou

Both simple and elegant, the Senegalese boubou is divided into two types, simple or rich. If the fabric and embroidery are simple, without additional details, the boubou will be called " simple ". It is generally worn by people with low incomes and is made of wax or cotton.

Senegalese Boubou in Bazin Riche

On the other hand, if the fabric and embroidery are rich, and the details and finishes of the sewing are of quality, the boubou will be said to be " rich ". Made in bazin and damask, with a high cost, it will be worn in great circumstances.

Large bazin boubou for women


From hand to machine

In the past, the boubou was entirely sewn and embroidered by hand. A prolonged sewing exercise that took months. A unique item of clothing that people could boast of having. Today, since the arrival of the sewing machine, the boubou is made more quickly. Discover our full article on 👉 how to make an African boubou However, artisanal work is still favored by some people.


As strange as it may seem, African boubous are not made from local fabric. The material comes from Europe and Asia.

Le Bazin: The more it shines, the more beautiful it is!

It is the favorite fabric of the populations of West Africa. The more it shines, the more the Senegalese will appreciate it. The term Bazin comes from the Italian word Bamagia which means "cotton wadding". There are three kinds of Bazin: There is Bazin riche , top quality with a guarantee of 100% cotton, which when dyed gives an exceptional shine.

Bazin gold

Then we have a second choice from Bazin, made in China, which is half the price of the first. The last is the less rich Bazin, which appeared in the 1980s. Of a significantly lower quality, the Chinese damask Bazin, sold four times cheaper than the rich one, is now accessible to everyone.

Senegalese Boubous in Wax

Wax comes from the English term which means a shiny grease substance. It has the particularity of being tinted on both sides, using a wax-based process.   It became popular at the end of the 19th century. Inspired by Javanese batik, Dutch and English settlers printed colorful and cheerful patterns on cotton fabrics. The Africans, after joining the Dutch army, brought these colorful fabrics with them.

Boubou woman senegal

Since then, the boubou wax no longer never left the land of Africa.

Africans are known for their cheerfulness and good humor. Without a doubt, the Senegalese must draw their happiness from their sunny costumes.

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