A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous border of cross-hatched black lines and floral patterns on yellow enclosing a repeating design of tamarind pods and seeds, also in black and yellow. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: KILA LENYE MWANZO LINA MWISHO - "Whatever begins must come to an end".
- Made in: India (? D.NO.ED-10054)
- (Asia,South Asia,India)
- Found/Acquired: Zanzibar
- (Africa,Tanzania,Zanzibar (state),Zanzibar (island),Zanzibar (town))
- Width: 106 centimetres
- Length: 156 centimetres
Inscription ContentKILA LENYE MWANZO LINA MWISHO
Inscription TranslationWhatever begins must come to an end
Inscription Typemaker's mark
Inscription ContentD.NO 1505
kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. The bitter-sweet drink produced from tamarind seed pods echoes the idea of the transitoriness of life suggested by the inscription. Such inscriptions have probably acquired an increased significance since the AIDS epidemic took hold in Tanzania
2006/7, Kenya, Nairobi Gallery, Hazina: Traditions, Trade and Transitions in Eastern Africa
Bought in Darajani market, Zanzibar
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
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Object reference number: EAF64769
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