A kanga is a large cotton cloth worn by women from along the whole of the East African coast, especially in Kenya, Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar. Its characteristic feature is the short text printed on the cloth. Kangas are also worn by some women in Oman, due to long standing, historical connections between the various countries. Kangas and similar garments have been part of the East African, Swahili dress code since the late 19th century. There they are still regarded as an essential item of a woman’s wardrobe. They are worn on a daily basis in and around the home, as well as for important occasions such as weddings and funerals. But their designs, colours and texts are not static. They are constantly being modified and adapted to the current political and economic situation and customer demands.
- Contents: The exhibition includes 23 examples of kangas from Kenya, Zanzibar and Oman, as well as photographs and a text explaining the history, designs, texts and social functions of the kanga.
- Availability: This exhibition was on display in the TRC from 14th November 2009 until the 28th February 2010. It is now available for loan.