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kanga

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af2002,09.6

  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed cotton cloth, kanga, with a narrow black border and three distinct blocks of pattern, each including a complex design of small motifs in red, black and white. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: HAMWISHI KUNIZULIA HICHO NI CHENU KILEMA - "your problem is that you can't stop backbiting".

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  • Date

    • 2002
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 160 centimetres
    • Width: 110 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Roman
      • Inscription Language

        Kiswahili
      • Inscription Content

        HAMWISHI KUNIZULIA HICHO NI CHENU KILEMA
      • Inscription Translation

        Your problem is that you can't stop backbiting
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        MALI YA CHAVDA ZANZIBAR JAYSHRI 5054
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. This type of kanga is known as kisutu and is traditionally worn at weddings by the bride and her friends and relations; the distinctive central pattern is known as 'crosses and tangerines'. Unlike other kanga designs, that of kisutu remains perennially popular in Tanzania and Kenya. Although printed in other colours and variant designs, the traditional form and colour combination remains the most popular.

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  • Location

    G25/dc9

  • Condition

    good

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    5 September 2005

    Treatment proposal

    Remove vreases and install on a roller

    Condition

    Creased

    Treatment details

    Creases removed by dampening a piece of blotting paper by spaying with distilled water and laying it beneath a sheet of Goretex (polytetrafluoro ethylene,polyester laminate). Textile placed on topof Goretex and covered with a sheet of polythene.

    Creases gradually eased out by stretching fabric with glass weights as it relaxed.

    Rolled on acid-free cardboard roller between acid-free tissue paper.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2002

  • Acquisition notes

    Bought in Darajani market, Zanzibar

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af2002,09.6

A rectangular machine-printed cotton cloth, kanga, with a narrow black border and three distinct blocks of pattern, each including a complex design of small motifs in red, black and white. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili: HAMWISHI KUNIZULIA HICHO NI CHENU KILEMA - "your problem is that you can't stop backbiting".

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Object reference number: EAF64773

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