African Fabrics 101: Nsu Bura

African Fabrics 101: Nsu Bura

By Ivy Prosper

Most African fabrics have a story behind them and this one is no different. Ghanaians call this fabric Nsu Bura (or spelt Nsu Bra), which is from the (Akan) Twi language in Ghana and means, waterwell. The pattern is said to resemble the ripple effect of water when a stone is thrown into it. In Nigeria, this print is known as Plaque-Plaque because the circular design reminds people of vinyl records. Meanwhile the people in Togo call this cloth Target Consulaire Gbédjégan, or Gbedze. This references the large straw hats that were traditionally worn by Royalty to protect them from the sun.

Created by Vlisco in 1936 by Mr. Piet, a Dutch fabric designer, the final design is said to be a variation of a drawing of a tie dye circle motif from 1926. It’s amazing how a simple design from so many years ago can still be a staple in African fashion. One of my favourite styles to see it made into is a flirty skirt. Easy to wear to any occasion. Just pick the right top and you can go from an office look with a blazer to a casual date paired with a tank top or t-shirt.

Yopa Skirt (blue)

Ghanaian designers like Poqua Poqu have a cute flared skirt made using a contrasting fabric as trim along the hem. Made in Ghana, if you live in Accra you could actually visit their shop in Osu. But, if you don’t you can get your very own through Kuwala.

Yopa Skirt (orange)

Do you have clothes with the Nsu Bura print? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Ivy Prosper is a lifestyle, beauty and fashion media personality & advocate for maternal health. Her work has been featured in various publications, including Canada Press, Pulpmag, What Women Want Today, and on her fashion blog Style & Culture. Follow her work at www.ivyprosper.com.

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Comments

SARAH 12 days ago

THIS. WORLD IS BEING JUDGED BY THE BLACK MESSIAH

WOW, THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE AGED OLD TRICK OF SLAVE MASTERS AND OTHER NATIONS THAT STILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AFRO-ASIATIC AND AFRICANS.
IT’S JUDGEMENT ON THOSE THAT DO THIS WICKEDNESS.
THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO ME
THE PRINT OUT OF THE CIRCLES,,,
EX:
THE HEADS OF THE SLAVES IN THE SHAPE OF A CIRCLE TO MIMIC THE HEADS OF ALL THE CHILDREN AND PEOPLE THEY STOLE FROM THE MOTHERLAND OF AFRICA LAID SIDE BY SIDE !!!

DON’T FORGET GET HOW THEY STACKED THEM ON TOP OVER THE OTHER. I WON’T.

THE OTHER DESIGN REMINDS ME OF THE BOTTOM OF THE SHIPS THE WAY THEY STACKED THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS BODIES SIDE BY SIDE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE SHIPS FOR WEEKS AND LONGER AS THEY DIED OF
UNHUE-MAN AND ( INHUMAN) SICKNESS TREATMENT, AND DISEASE , NO CLEAN WATER, NOR BATHS WITHOUT PROPER FOOD, WITHOUT
FREE FRESH AIR, AND SUFFICIENT MEDICAL CARE
JUST AS SOME DO TODAY
SOME ARE STILL USED FOR UNHOLY SCIENTIFIC GAMES IN THE TWISTED MINDS AND AT THE MURDEROUS HANDS OF SCIENTIFIC DEVILS
JUST FOR MONEY
THE MOST HIGH WILL JUDGE YOU

NO PEOPLE HERE NOR IN AFRICA CARED,
NOR CARES ABOUT THE AFRO-ASIATIC PEOPLE IN THE 4 CONORS OF THE WORLD
EXCEPT WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW MUCH MONEY THEY CAN MAKE OFF OF THEM

SO ,,, PRIDE IN A DESIGNED MADE FABRIC TO REMIND THOSE WHO ARE AWAKE AND TO
KEEP ANOTHER RACE IN BONDAGE AND SLAVERY TO MAKE MORE EXCUSES TELLING MORE LIES OR TO LIVE BETTER WHILE STILL TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A PEOPLE
WHO NEVER HAD
NOR NEVER WILL HAVE ANY INPUT ON THE THIEVERY OF YET ANOTHER ORIGINAL THING THAT BRINGS HONOR TO A PEOPLE WHO VALUES THEIR CULTURE AS WELL AS FAMILY
WHICH ALL OTHER PEOPLE ABHOR …!!!
IT IS NOT NOR WILL IT EVER BE
PRIDEFUL , JOYFUL, PEACEFUL AND ESPECIALLY NOT FASHIONABLE NOR EXPECTABLE TO ME
MOST OF ALL NOT MY PEOPLE

I COULD NEVER TAKE PRIDE IN WEARING SOMETHING SO UNTHOUGHTFUL AND WICKED

Bogdan September 20 2018

Yes! My partner bought a piece of nsu bura fabric and I put it on myself as a joke, but it stuck. I felt like a maasai wariror (I am a male) and she crafted a maasai inspired piece of clothing for me.
You can see it here _

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1987530991312734&set=a.100857213313464&type=3