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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.

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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    A rectangular machine-printed white cotton cloth, kanga, with a patterned border of black and blue floral and cashew nut motifs, enclosing a central diamond-shaped design surrounded by four images of Kenyan 100 shilling notes. Just above the centre of the lower border is an inscription in Kiswahili written in the Arabic script: UKITAKA NIFURAHISHA, NIPE NOTI YA SIKUKUU - "If you want to please me, give money for the Eid".


  • Date

    • 1950s (?)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 106 centimetres
    • Length: 153 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

        If you want to please me, give money for the Eid
      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Content

        ART No 315 100% cotton MADE IN INDIA
  • Curator's comments

    kangas are printed and purchased in pairs, then cut into single cloths before wear. Those showing western consumer goods, money and luxuries are typical of the 1950s; 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.


  • Exhibition history


    2013 14 Feb-21 April, London, BM, Social fabric: African textiles today--textiles of southern and eastern Africa

  • Condition


  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: EAF64832

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