The Umushanana or imishinana as plural is a traditional attire worn by Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda women. It is a wrapped skirt bunched at the hips with a sash draped over one shoulder. It is usually worn over a tank top or a bustier.
It comes in bold prints and plain clothes; it has to be lightweight to have the flowing effect. Sometimes, in a moment of mourning, the clothes are gray because gray depicts sadness.
It was formerly worn by the older women on a daily basis but it has now become a sample attire for formal occasions like weddings, funerals and church services. It is a standard costume for the Umushagiriro dance troupes.
In the pre-colonial times it was made with animal skins locally known as impu. According to Margaret Mukangwige an elderly woman from Uganda who spoke to new times “it is as old as Rwandan culture. It has always been a part of the Rwandan culture even long before the colonists came, except that in the pre-colonial times the attire was designed in two pieces and made out of animal skins locally known as impu”.
Even though the material changed, its design never changed.