Khangas are often distinguished by a border along all four sides (pindo in Kiswahili), a central design (mji), and a written message (jina). They are usually sold in pairs and are popular for their many uses: as skirts, shawls, turbans, blankets, and even baby carriers. Although generally associated with women, khangas can be worn by men as well.
Traditionally, khangas are kept in a grandmother’s chest and folded carefully with a touch of perfume or incense. The garments are given as gifts to a young girl when she leaves home, to a bride at her wedding, and to a mother at the birth of a new baby. A collection of khangas may be passed from mother to daughter and is regarded as an inheritance.