Monday, December 5, 2011

The Kikoi - Never Travel without One!

As I'm compiling a list of things to take on our upcoming road trip, I realize there is one item that I never travel without, a kikoi.  A kikoi is a rectangular shaped piece of woven cotton which comes in an array of colors and is generally accented with stripes.  The history of the kikoi dates back to the early 20th century when they were worn by men in Swahili culture, wrapped around their waist and hanging down to their knees.  Now kikoi's are worn all over the East African coast by men and women.

The fascination with the kikoi comes not only in it's beauty but in it's purpose or shall I say multi purpose.  A kikoi can be used as a wrap, a skirt, a towel, a scarf, a tablecloth, a curtain, a bed sheet, a lightweight blanket, a beach or picnic mat and the list goes on.  Use your imagination and you'll easily see why you should never  travel without at least one kikoi.  Due to their lightweight nature they are easy to wash and they dry quickly, great for the traveller on the move.  I think it's safe to say I'm kikoi crazy and I never travel without them.

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