Tanzanian Khanga


Photo courtesy: Fanny Scherzte — Wikimedia Commons

Khanga sounds like a children’s version of cricket played in Australia, kanga cricket, but I’m referring to fabric.

Photo courtesy: Daniel Msirikale — Wikimedia Commons

The dazzling cotton brightened many a shop window in Dar es Salaam as well as women. Like kitenge, khanga was made in Tanzania especially for African women to drape one piece around their heads and a second around their bodies. The difference between the two was the thickness. Khanga was lighter, thinner, cooler in the steamy Dar climate.

I purchased several pieces before leaving Dar. Later, I used them sparingly because they were my last tangible contact with a place I had grown to love.

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