Phyllis Ressler Releases Kanga Stories Book
Phyllis Ressler, professor of Cultural Anthropology, released her book Kanga Stories,
written in collaboration with Lara Ressler Horst. Kanga Stories, is based on ethnographic
and historical research of the kanga, an East African textile, and was produced for
the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, Folklife Festival; Kenya Mambo Poa Programme, 2014. The research was funded in part by Webster University.
Ressler explained, "The Kanga, a primarily East African textile, tells a dynamic story of cultural co-production in the Indian Ocean Region. Since the cloth was first produced in the mid 1800's, millions of people across East and Central Africa have treasured this textile for its designs and meaning. The value of the Kanga is closely tied to culture and context and is linked to innumerable life stories. Kanga Stories, is a collection of historic and contemporary information on textile trade, cultural exchange, and history of East Africa. The stories interrogate the significance of this cloth and the photographs provide a documentation of the design, iconography and text over more than 100 years of its production."