One of the many fascinating forums at TheBabyWearer is the Traditional Babywearing forum, where I found all of these juicy tidbits about kangas, rectangular cloths that are used as clothing and as baby carriers in east Africa.
I love this article about how the mothers in east Africa carry their babies with kangas. This BBC news story doesn’t talk about using kangas as baby carriers, but it does give some information about the history and production of kangas and explains that the demand for them isn’t what it once was. This fascinating website explains the significance of the sayings and the designs that adorn the kangas, as well as the history of the kanga.
Here’s a video of an American mother demonstrating how she uses a kanga to carry her baby. She does a torso carry … in other words, the cloth goes over neither of her shoulders. In the picture at the right, I’m doing a one-shouldered carry. So you have options! You don’t have to have an authentic kanga to do a kanga-style torso carry. You see an excellent video demonstration of it being done with a beach towel at The Mamatoto Project.
There’s a kanga in our carrier lending library, so MCS members can try this way to carry a baby. It’s simple, practical, beautiful and comfortable … what’s not to love?