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Khanga

Unknown1500/2015

Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives

Imported printed cotton handkerchiefs largely from India. They became popular in Zanzibar centuries ago. Ladies sewed the cotton squares into one big piece leaving only a slit for the eyes. This style, called leso, spread rapidly to Madagascar, Comoros and the East African coast. Later khanga bore slogan s which give a message to the reader.The name 'khanga" means guinea fowl in Swahili referring to the spots found on the borders of the original design.

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  • Title: Khanga
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1500/2015
  • Location: Kenya
  • Type: Textile
  • Rights: Kenya National Archives

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