ABOUT KABATI LA KANGA

What does an American girl from New Jersey know about kangas? More and more all of the time. I am trying to learn as much as I can about these beautiful pieces of cloth and post it all on this blog.

I first discovered kangas when I moved to northern Tanzania for the first time in 2008. I found myself constantly looking at all of the lovely kangas that were being used and worn, mostly wrapped around the waists of Tanzanian women. There are so many different kangas of all colors and patterns to be seen here – many of them truly lovely.

I quickly learned that kangas are hugely important in the Tanzanian culture. To say that they are multifunctional is an understatement. And while I have not fact checked this, it seems to me that they are worn and/or used by nearly every Tanzanian family living in the area.  While they are significant in terms of fashion, art and communication, I have found that they receive very little acknowledgement from the global community.

After two years living in Tanzania, I moved back to the U.S. and spent time daydreaming about the possibility of a Kanga Museum in Tanzania, where locals and tourists could go to view beautiful pieces and learn more about their history and significance in East Africa. Since August 2012, I am back living in Moshi, Tanzania and for now that dream seems a bit big. Instead, I created this blog. In addition to many pictures, I will be posting all that I learn about kangas, so that others might enjoy them as much as I do.

If you have any pictures or information about kangas to share, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Sarah

Here I am in July, 2008 after receiving my first kanga as a gift from a group of women living in Mtakuja, Tanzania

Here I am (in the middle) in July, 2008 after receiving my first kanga as a gift from a group of women living in Mtakuja, Tanzania. You can see this kanga up close in the December 12, 2012 post.