The most prominent adornment in Zulu traditional dresses are iconic circular-shaped hats called izicolo, which are worn by married women. These hats were traditionally made of grass and cotton and measured as much as a metre across to protect the wearer from the sun.

In Zulu culture, women also wear different attire to indicate the different stages of their lives.  A single young woman wears her hair short and only a short grass-reed skirt

embellished with beads, while engaged women will cover their breasts and grow their hair. The grass reed skirt Modern Zulu Dresshas now been replaced with the common zulu pleated skirts.

A married woman is required to cover her entire body to indicate that she is now married and no longer available for potential suitors. She wears a thick cowhide skirt that has been softened with animal fat and charcoal. Click here to see Modern Zulu Dresses