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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

    Af2003,21.5

  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed purple cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of black floral motifs, enclosing a rectangle of similar motifs, superimposed on which are small, repeating 'cashews', the whole being surrounded by a zig-zag pattern of white lines. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Roman script: JUA LA JIONI HALIKAUSHI MPUNGA - " The evening sun can't dry the rice".

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  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 2003
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 164 centimetres
    • Width: 104 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Roman
      • Inscription Language

        Kiswahili
      • Inscription Content

        JUA LA JIONI HALIKAUSHI MPUNGA
      • Inscription Translation

        The evening sun can't dry the rice
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        'K.H.E.' MALI YA ABDULLA MOMBASA DESIGN NO 106113
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. The inscription on this kanga clearly refers to a man's waning virility, and the dark purple and black colour of the cloth is a humourous reference to the group of kanga known as MAGHARIBI, "sunset" - which are normally worn at funerals.

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  • Location

    G25/dc9

  • Condition

    good

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2003

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af2003,21.5

A rectangular machine-printed purple cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of black floral motifs, enclosing a rectangle of similar motifs, superimposed on which are small, repeating 'cashews', the whole being surrounded by a zig-zag pattern of white lines. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Roman script: JUA LA JIONI HALIKAUSHI MPUNGA - " The evening sun can't dry the rice".

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Object reference number: EAF64790

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