GOMESI AND KANZU AS THE BUGANDA WOMEN AND MEN WEAR

Gomesi is a very common suit for Buganda women now days. It is also known as Busuuti, it is a colourful floor dress. It can appear in many different colours which looks more beautiful indeed on a woman. It was in Uganda before the coming of the Christian missionaries and also the Indians but made out of the Bark cloth. But after, the missionaries started the use of cotton rather than the bark cloth thus the Gomesi was made and the Indians came to Uganda they added fabrics from silk hence making it to look colourful and more beautiful especially when a woman puts it on.

Nevertheless Gomesi was initially put on by the girls in Gayaza School between 1940s and 1950s thru the director of the school hiring Indian tailors to design it. Gomesi is still worn by the Baganda and it’s their traditional dress for women, also other tribes in Buganda do wear Gomesi on different functions.

HOW IS IT DESIGNED? 

Gomesi is a very colourful floor length dress with a short sleeves and quadratel neckline, a Gomesi has two buttons on the left side of the neckline placed vertically. It is made out of cotton, silk fabric. A piece of traditional cloth (Kikooyi) is tied with waistband in the waist, to ensure that fabric do not stick on a person’s body, then dress up the Gomesi and tie on top with a sash (kitambala).

WHEN IS IT WORN?

Gomesi is worn on any occasion such as

  • During funerals
  • On wedding, during Introduction ceremony(okwanjula) which is supposed to be worn by every member on the side of the groom
  • During the ceremonies on which the king is to attend.

THE KANZU

Kanzu is a white or cream coloured cloak with a floor length garment. Buganda men takes it as their most important dress. It was started in Buganda kingdom by Arab traders during Kabaka Ssuuna’s reign and the first kabaka to wear a Kanzu. After taking up an attire it become the formally wear of all the Baganda men, the kanzu spread from Baganda people to other tribes of people and thus it is a national custome of Buganda men.

Originally Kanzu was made out of bark cloth but today due to modernizations it’s made from silk, cotton and linen.

HOW IT APPEARS?

Traditional kanzu has maroon elaboration colour around the collar, abdomen and the sleeves. That maroon elaboration is the called OMULELA. Then worn with a plain lightweight jacket or a coat.

It’s worn at wedding ceremonies during introduction Okwanjula, for the groom’s family members must appear dressed in kanzu and also must present a kanzu to bride’s family.