THE DRESS THAT TALKS: THE KANGA FABRIC IN CONTEMPORARY SHAMBAA WEDDING CEREMONIES IN NORTH-EASTERN TANZANIA

Felistas Richard Mahonge

Abstract


This paper examines the kanga dress as communicative clothing in the Tanzania context. Using observation of various situations and interpretation of texts in kanga, it examines the significance of the kanga dress particularly in Shambaa wedding ceremonies. The sample of the wedding ceremonies is determined by the writer’s knowledge of the culture and traditions of Shambaa ethnic group. The paper analyses how the kanga dress in Shambaa offers women and the community a communication means. It argues that kanga is an essential part of ritual and social activities in Shambaa culture. Employing examples of the kanga worn in wedding ceremonies, the paper contends that there is a relationship between the occasions and types of kanga worn by women. This relationship also exists between occasions and the sayings inscribed on the kanga women wear for particular occasions. In fact, the kanga texts communication facilitates the understanding of the Shambaa culture.

 

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Keywords


kanga dress, communicative cloth, culture, tradition, contemporary

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References


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