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For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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kanga

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af2002,09.7

  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of black and white 'piano keys' pattern enclosing a central design of small, repeating motifs in blue and yellow commonly described as 'crosses and tangerines'. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: BURE MWAFEDHEHEKA MWENYEWE AMENIWEKA - "you're showing yourself up unnecessarily: I'm the chosen one".

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  • Date

    • 2002
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 107 centimetres
    • Length: 160 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Roman
      • Inscription Language

        Kiswahili
      • Inscription Content

        BURE MWAFEDHEHEKA MWENYEWE AMENIWEKA
      • Inscription Translation

        You're showing yourself up unnecessarily: I'm the chosen one
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        MALI YA CHAVDA ZANZIBAR JAYSHRI 5136
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. This type of kanga is a modern variant of that known as kisutu and is traditionally worn at weddings by the bride and her friends and relations.

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2006/7, Kenya, Nairobi Gallery, Hazina: Traditions, Trade and Transitions in Eastern Africa

  • Condition

    good

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2002

  • Acquisition notes

    Bought in Darajani market, Zanzibar

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af2002,09.7

A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of black and white 'piano keys' pattern enclosing a central design of small, repeating motifs in blue and yellow commonly described as 'crosses and tangerines'. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: BURE MWAFEDHEHEKA MWENYEWE AMENIWEKA - "you're showing yourself up unnecessarily: I'm the chosen one".

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Object reference number: EAF64774

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