A friend of mine lives way out in eastern Senegal, in a small village. As is the case with many cultures within West Africa, the women wear skirts or dresses every day. It’s the cultural norm.
This friend was telling me a story about an older American woman who lived in this same village many years ago, and was not interested in wearing dresses or skirts every day. So she decided to wear the next best thing (ahem, in those days) and started wearing coolots.
Don’t know what coolots are? They’re a long and flowy garment, like capris or pants, but are made to look like a skirt. Pretty tricky, right?
When the day came for this woman to leave, she left the majority of her clothes behind for the villagers to use.
The best part of the story… the MEN took the coolots!
My friend said that to this day, you’ll see men walking around in this lady’s hand-me-down coolots. See that guy out there working in the field? Yep, he’s sporting a pair of women’s floral coolots. You just never know what you’re going to see people wearing (or not wearing) in an African village!