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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

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

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

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kanga

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af2003,21.3

  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed yellow and black cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of 'bull's eye' motifs, enclosing a central design containing alternate crosses and floral patterns. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Arabic script: WAJA WA SITARA TUMESTIRIKA, KILA LA IZARZA HALITATUFIKA - "We are well protected and nothing bad will happen to us".

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  • Date

    • 1990s (?)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 107 centimetres
    • Length: 154 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Arabic
      • Inscription Language

        Kiswahili
      • Inscription Content

        WAJA WA SITARA TUMESTIRIKA, KILA LA IZARA HALITATUFIKA
      • Inscription Translation

        We are well protected and nothing bad will happen to us
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        MALI YA - MAHBOOB BHAIRAV. D.N. 5070 G 109
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. Inscriptions in the Arabic script continued until the 1960s when the Roman script largely took over, though they are still occasionally printed in the Arabic; this example probably dates from the mid-1990s and is a modern version of the traditional wedding kanga, kisutu, with its distinctive 'crosses and tangerines' design

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  • Condition

    good

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2003

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af2003,21.3

A rectangular machine-printed yellow and black cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of  'bull's eye' motifs, enclosing a central design containing alternate crosses and floral patterns. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Arabic script: WAJA WA SITARA TUMESTIRIKA, KILA LA IZARZA HALITATUFIKA - "We are well protected and nothing bad will happen to us".

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Object reference number: EAF64786

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