Contemporary Geographies of Zanzibari Fashion: Indian Ocean Trade Journeys in the Run-Up to Ramadhan Festivities

  • Julia Verne
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


The historical imagination of Zanzibar as a maritime hub of the dhow trade is today generally directed to the past. Nonetheless, from the early 1990s, Zanzibari traders began to revive old routes and develop new ones. While first relying on translocal family relations to the Arabian Peninsula, they have, since the late 1990s, ventured further east to cities including Bangkok, Guangzhou, and Jakarta. This chapter examines these recent developments and traders use of them to provide Zanzibar with cloth that meets the island’s sense of fashion. Taking the shopping practices during Ramadhan as a focal point illustrates how historical relations still play a crucial role in current negotiations of fashion and taste and, thus, for present-day consumption practices.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Verne
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BonnBonnGermany

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