Collection online

kanga

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Af2003,21.19

  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a continuous patterned border of yellow brown and black motifs in the form of a garland of prickly fruit, probably zingifuri or possibly jack fruit, enclosing a central brown rectangle with repeating circular motifs in white, yellow and black. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Roman script: USIONE NI KIMYA NINA MENGI MOYONI - "I don't say much, but I have a lot in my heart".

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  • Date

    • 2003
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 108 centimetres
    • Length: 332 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        Roman
      • Inscription Language

        Kiswahili
      • Inscription Content

        USIONE NI KIMYA NINA MENGI MOYONI
      • Inscription Translation

        I DON'T SAY MUCH BUT I HAVE ALOT IN MY HEART
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        MALI YA MIWANI MDOGO (SAIDINA) RIVATEX ELDORET MADE IN KENYA
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. The zingifuri fruit which appears on the border has a prickly exterior but its contents are culturally significant in several ways, being used to dye fibre, food, for colouring the hair and for making the Hindu caste mark. This is an example of how the pattern echoes the inscription on many kanga, in this case: "I don't say much but I have alot in my heart".

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  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:

    2013 14 Feb-21 April, London, BM, Social Fabric: African textiles today--textiles of southern and eastern Africa
    2015 23 May - 6 Sept, Exeter, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Social Fabric: African Textiles Today
    2015-2016 19 Sept-24 Jan, Ipswich Museum, Social Fabric: African Textiles Today
    2016 20 Feb-29 May, Walthamstow, William Morris Gallery, Social Fabric: African Textiles Today

  • Condition

    good

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2003

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number

    Af2003,21.19


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Object reference number: EAF64805

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