Habesha kemis

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Ethiopian woman in Addis Ababa in a traditional habesha kemis.

The habesha kemis (ሐበሻ habesha, "Ethiopian" ቀሚስ kemis, "tunic, dress") is the traditional attire of Habesha women.[1][2]

The ankle length dress is usually worn by Ethiopian and Eritrean women at formal events. It is made of chiffon, and typically comes in white, grey or beige shades. Many women also wrap a shawl called a netela around the formal dress.

In North America and Europe, this dress has been retailed as "Ethiopian coffee dress" or "Eritrean coffee dress." However, for a non-Ethiopian to wear this dress can be perceived as a form of cultural appropriation.

See also


  1. ^ Travel & leisure Volume 36 2006 "A woman with her hair in tight braids and wearing habesha kemis — a white ankle-length dress with intricate embroidery — came around to each of us with a silver kettle of warm water and a silver basin for washing our hands."
  2. ^ Lisa L. Schoonover The Indigo Butterfly Page 114 2012 "The habasha kemis dress is made from a traditional cloth called yahager lebse. Shiny threads are woven into the white fabric that creates an elegant effect. The hem of the dress is quite ornate. “It takes about three weeks for them to make the dress. I had to special order it,” Sherine explains."

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