Thursday, April 22, 2010

East African Ethnicity

by Kelly P. Brett

London designer Christine Mhando of Chichia

East African Ethnicity is recognized around the globe for its unique and prominent attributes, both of which are commonly expressed through the popular usage of kangas. The values and implied messages of the kanga may differ depending on the context in which it is worn or presented. Values, such as diversity, are associated with the message in the Western context; at the same time, values such as communication and love, are associated with the message in the African context. Without deference to the specific values that are associated with it, the presence of the kanga fabric has come to represent a message of East African Ethnicity around the world.

The kanga in original form as a skirt

Above and below, the fabric modified for Western forms

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