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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous border of black lines enclosing a design of red and blue circles. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: HUJUI KITU - "You don't know anything".

  • Date

    • 2002
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 109 centimetres
    • Length: 161 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

        HUJUI KITU
      • Inscription Translation

        You don't know anything
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. Kangas with this inscription are usually worn by older women

  • Exhibition history


    2013 14 Feb-21 April, London, BM, Social fabric: African textiles today--textiles of southern and eastern Africa
    2006/7, Kenya, Nairobi Gallery, Hazina: Traditions, Trade and Transitions in Eastern Africa

  • Condition


  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    30 June 2005

    Treatment proposal

    Remove creases, roll for transport and storage.


    The cloth was creased due to folded storage.

    Treatment details

    Creases were relaxed using Goretex humidification. Blotting paper or a cotton sheet was dampened with distilled water. The Goretex (polytetrafluoroethylene and polyester laminate) was placed over this and the textile was laid directly on the Goretex. The textile was covered with polythene to prevent loss of humidity. Glass or Melinex weights were used to flatten out the creases. Due to the length of the fabric the treatment was carried out in sections, rolling each completed area onto an acid-free roller provided by AOA.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Bought in Darajani market, Zanzibar

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: EAF64766

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