Sunday, February 25, 2018

Black Panther film inspires celebration of all things Africa with its avant-garde costumes inspired by real-life tribes

As Marvel's latest film Black Panther continues to blow box-office predictions out of the water (see previous toy blog post "‘Black Panther’ Becomes Highest-Grossing MCU Film in First Week!" HERE), the film has also been instrumental in bringing African culture to the fore.

Starring Chadwick Boseman and a stellar cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o and Angela Bassett, the superhero film is an Afrofuturistic vision - where science fiction and fantasy are infused with cultures of the African diaspora.

While the setting of Wakanda is a fictional country, it draws on plenty of real-life influences from African cultures around the continent, from the ritual scarring on Erik Killmonger's ripped body, which originates from tribes in Ethiopia; to the Zulu headdresses predominantly worn in South Africa, seen on Queen Mother Ramonda.

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The attention to detail in creating the costumes was spearheaded by designer Ruth Carter, who has also outfitted prominent African-American figures on-screen, such as Malcolm X (1992) and Martin Luther King Jr in Selma (2014).

This time, she suits up heroes of a different sort, meshing traditional and hi-tech Afropunk influences, resulting in eye-catching and avantgarde costumes.


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