Fridays in Dakar... Discovering the African clothing traditions with Baba Ly

I have been working for four years in Dakar and I must say that Friday is quite a special day. Women wear their beautiful outfits: boubous, low waist, camisole or other dresses. It is a visual delight thanks to colors, fabrics (bazin, wax, cotton ...), the abundance of embroideries, laces and accessories being always chosen meticulously.

Clothing is an important aspect of Senegalese culture, this is the reason why it is at the heart of Baba Ly’s paintings.

If during the week we cross in the streets of Dakar people in both Western-style and traditional outfits, on Fridays, everybody choose the traditional option. It has become almost a habit among Senegalese. It is no longer a function of belief but of trend. Men and women, Muslims or Catholics, everybody gets involved! The art of dressing has always been an omnipresent factor in the daily life of the Senegalese.

The traditional clothing worn in Senegal is the Boubou. The boubou, m'boubeu in Wolof which means clothing, is worn by women as well as by men.

Baba Ly, a world famous  painter...

Baba Ly was born in 1987 in Thiès (Senegal) and he grew up in Dakar. He was surrounded by art from an early age, since his father, painter Amadou Ly Dede supports him.

Baba Ly's paintings on

Painting is for him the reflection of the reality of everyday life, and it is more than a profession. It's a passion. The different colors and tone that he gives to them are the essence of his painting. He chooses earthy colors with brown tones, beige, golden ocher with a light that gives life to his artworks. In his compositions, he incorporates aesthetic considerations. You rarely see the faces of his characters.

This year, the contemporary art fair will take place at the gallery Nesle, located in the heart of the 6th district of Paris, in the St Germain des Près area, the center of Parisian intellectual and artistic life.

The artist will present his artworks from October 19th to 22nd at this multidisciplinary fair which combines conviviality, dynamism and professionalism! Through its 9 editions, it has become one of the highlights rendez-vous of contemporary art in France.

And here is an insight on the traditional clothes worn in Dakar on Fridays.

A big thanks to my cousins who took the pause ;)

Artistically yours,


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