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Kenyon College

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Kenya: Swahili Studies and Coastal Cultures


This study took place in the Kenyan costal town of Lamu. It focused on the cultural clothing of the Muslim women found on the East African coast, clothing known specifically as the buibui, hijab, and the ninja. Through interviews and observation it was found that the women use the buibui to express their individual and group identity in the community, including their degree of modernity, their social status, age group, and religiousness. The fashion of the buibui reaches all the residence of Lamu and is an area of tension between the conservative and liberal peoples.


Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology

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