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Lamu, Kenya

Street Fashion : Swahili Style

Visiting during Ramadan I’m not sure if I was missing out on the liveliness of Lamu because I had nothing to compare it to. From my impression the place was full of passion, beauty and a style I’d never seen before. Lamu is a Muslim town and the women wear many different styles of dress, some cover their face and body entirely, some just their hair. Each variation of conservative dress is a stunning ownership of the religious and cultural restrictions. I noticed a trend toward serious bling on the cuffs of long sleeves, and departure from all to black to blindingly bright. Perfect posture lets the ocean breeze carry the fabric into the air as they walk through the car-less streets (Lamu has no motorized vehicles, only donkeys). And of course, its all in the eyes…

Staying at Lamu House I was able to watch from my balcony people walk by in the mornings and observe the pace of life, the street scene, the dhows going out on the sea for the day, and appreciate the mystery of a coast all Kenyans said I must visit. I’m glad I did.