The politics of pattern: The interpretation of political and national iconography on kanga cloth

Clarke, Simon (2006) The politics of pattern: The interpretation of political and national iconography on kanga cloth. In: East African Contours: Reviewing Creativity and Visual Culture. Horniman Museum Press, UK, pp. 85-97. ISBN 1903338026

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Abstract / Summary

This is a chapter in a book which brings to together for the first time international researchers on East African culture. The kanga cloth a ubiquitous item of material culture in East Africa has received limited attention regarding its iconic and symbolic properties. The book seeks to address the fact that East Africa is often neglected in surveys of African ‘Art’, are most notable for their relative rarity when compared with the rich and accomplished traditions of Zaire basin and West Africa. The real challenge is not to explain why on culture produces more or less in the way of material objects than another, but to establish how particular expressions or forms of creativity relate to their makers’ and users’ intentions and how they function and are given meaning in particular social contexts. The contributions in this book therefore offer new insights into the creative landscape of East Africa and help show case the ongoing research on East African visual and material culture.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Conference Presentations of related work include: ‘Analysing contemporary kanga design on the Swahili coast’ at the Eastern African Visual “Traditions”: New Perspectives Colloquium, The Horniman Museum (2003); ‘The Kanga Cloth Phenomenon: Mass Production and Cultural Symbolism’, on the Design in Developing Countries panel at the Situated Knowledges: Consumption, Production and Identity in a Global Context Conference, Design History Society, The University of Wales, Aberystwyth (2002). Research was conducted with the help of a Minor Award from The British Institute in Eastern Africa, to conduct fieldwork on the Swaahili coast in Kenya, Tanzania and on Zanzibar Island, 2002.
ISBN: 1903338026
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Depositing User: Simon Clarke
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 14:58
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:03


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