Clothes of Cameroon

Cameroon’s varied climate and differing religious and social customs have created a diversity in traditional clothing. In the north, where it is arid and much of the population is Muslim, traditional clothing is free-flowing and head coverings are common. In the rainy, forested region of the south, traditional dress includes richly patterned and embroidered fabrics, ruffles and, sometimes, fitted hats on the men.


A long swath of fabric, the pagne is a wrapper-style garment worn by women in Cameroon. The type of cloth used varies from simple cotton batik prints to heavily embroidered satin fabrics for formal occasions. Pagnes are beautiful and functional, and may be used in several ways: as a protective head covering, a skirt, a sling-style baby carrier, or to provide warmth and dryness during the rainy season.


In villages across Cameroon, Cameroonian men and women wear more traditional dresses while in cities the men favor more western style dresses or a modern flair of African-European attires. Cameroon city girls favor a mixture of traditional and western style dress – Pagnes along with blouses, shirts and a mixture of such called Afritude.

This is very much so in Douala – the economic capital of Cameroon and Yaounde the political Capital of Cameroon


The free-flowing dress called kabba mostly is worn by women in the home, or during casual shopping or visiting with others. The piece flows seamlessly like a dress from shoulder to knee or longer, and often is made from traditional batik or tie-dye cotton prints. The sleeves usually are wide, and the looseness of the garment allows women to move freely and helps keep the body cool in hot northern weather.


Popular in northern Cameroon and common in other areas during special occasions, the “un boubou avec pantaloon” is a traditional four-piece outfit for men. The ensemble consists of an undershirt, flowing outer shirt that falls to the hips or longer, loose-fitting pants and a matching hat. Each piece is made of cotton. The outer shirt is made with multicolored patterns and usually is embroidered at the neckline, hem or sleeves. The hat matches the pattern of the outer shirt, and the pants are either solid colored or a complementary print.

Quartre Pouches

boubouThis two-piece men’s outfit is found in southern and tribal Cameroon. It consists of a pair of loose-fitting pants and a shirt, often with square pockets on the front. The pieces are made of cotton in matching designs, resembling the geometric mud cloth patterns created in Mali, West Africa. The outfit sometimes is worn with a round, close-fitting hat made from matching fabric.

Foulard hat worn by elderly women

Pagnes (Sarongs aka San-njea , aka Wrapper) blouse- style female traditional attire. Pagnes are worn by Cameroon women allover cameroon.

Gant worn by both male and female as part of Cameroon’s cultural heritage.

Chechia a traditional Cameroon hat

Kwa Cameroon cultural male handbag

Gandura cameroonian male custom attire


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