As I have always said in the past, I truly despise the claim of The New York Times that Africa’s fabric is Dutch. This is simply a case of falsification of history. As I have proven before, African Fabrics and Textiles traditions is large, existent, and real; it is not just VLISCO-based. Below is an account by a European of African dressing in the 1400s! And yes… the Africans he met wear garments.
“They numbered seventeen, of considerable size. Checking their course and lifting up their oars, their crews lay gazing. … We estimated on examination that there might be about one hundred and fifty at the most; they appeared very well-built, exceedingly black, and all clothed in white cotton shirts: some of them wore small white caps on their heads, very like the German style, except that on each side they had a white wing with a feather in the middle of the cap, as though to distinguish the fighting men.
“A Negro stood in the prow of each boat, with a round shield, apparently of leather, on his arm. They made no movement towards us, nor we to them. Then they perceived the other two vessels coming up behind me and advanced towards them. On reaching them, without any other salute, they threw down their oars, and began to shoot off their arrows.”
This encounter between the Portuguese and the boatmen on the Gambia occurred in 1455. It is the only account of West African riverboats documented by Europeans before the coming of Columbus.
G.R. Crone, The Voyages of Cadamosto, London, the Hakluyt Society, 1937, pp. 57-59
Ivan Van Sertima, They Came Before Columbus, The African Presence in Ancient America, Random House, 1976, p.54