Zanzibar, c. 1900
A woman (man), wearing a check dress, patterned shawl, leggings, turban with chinstrap, chunky bracelets, anklets and a necklace.
This puzzling image of a young man dressed as an elite Zanzibari woman might be a joke played by the studio, or the trace of a costume party. It also brings to mind Swahili stories of the possibilities of transformation through dress. Sultani Majinuni, Sultan Darai, and Kisa cha Kihindi all feature tales of mistaken identity effected with a change of clothes—of slaves dressing as sultans, and a man who, when dressed as a woman, was disinherited.