When we are clothed in a certain way, we have high expectations. That is to be accepted or treated in a manner that we desire and our clothing has the power to achieve that before we speak.
So I re-visit my library for some inspiration. I love going back to history books that I have collected over the years and search for a spark of ideas. I found "Africa Adorned" by Angela Fisher. It is such a useful book for any artist to have in their library collection. Well it motivates me a lot. Not only for inspiration but gives one a wealth of positive insight of what Africa is all about. From Northern Africa all the way down to South. It is fantastic!
The author wrote about her fascination with Africa during her first visit to Southern Africa in early 70's. Of course, she did not stop there but travelled to my country Tanzania- in East Africa- where she encountered the famous African tribe- the Maasai warriors. Her curiosity made her travel deeper into the heart of Africa all the way to up North; she claimed it was like stepping into a complete different planet. Mhh!She encountered more diverse tribes, life styles and culture with distinguished and striking customs (in terms of) outstanding tribal costumes, remarkable hair forms, body paintings, and all sorts of decorations that she had never seen before.
"I began to discover that all these exotic fashion - in jewellery, body art, even clothing - were not merely adopted for beauty. Each Item was of individual significance and proffered a wealth of information about the wear"
Yes! In general we are what we wear and body language has become a media of expression in its own right. We call it 'The Language of Clothes' as in a book by: Alison Lurie. We often identify or send messages by what and how we wear; this is exactly what Angela Fisher encountered so evidently and powerfully may I say, in Africa.
In my earlier post about Khanga, a native Swahili garment in Tanzania, I referred this as being the cloth that speaks a culture of silence.
The language of dress is an automatic one since history of mankind. Before the so called 'Fashion' or civilisations, people were geographically identified through communication of their traditional costumes, hair styles, body adornment and body painting.
I have selected other stunning,breathtaking and extremely stylish images from Africa taken by photographer Ken Hanmann and what have I got to say about these images.