The Boubou also known as the African kaftan was worn by people of the Takur and Ghanaian Empires during the 8th century and by the Mali and Songhai Empires during the 13th century. The kaftan is usually worn with a matching head wrap called a Gele. The kaftan can be made of wool, cashmere, silk, or cotton and may be worn with a sash. The Boubou follows an archaic template to the contemporary male clothing of the middle east. The clothing became widespread throughout the West African region with the migration of semi-nomadic groups. The Boubou consists of three pieces:

1 Long-sleeved shirt

2 A pair of tie-up trousers that narrow at the ankle and,

3 Open-stitched overflowing wide sleeveless gown worn over the first two.