Two years ago, I worked in Nungwi, Zanzibar for Labayka Development Trust. And this past holiday season, I was fortunate enough to return to Zanzibar to show Jon around and celebrate the coming of the New Year.
One highlight of returning to Zanzibar, was discovering the Stone Town fabric auction! Pictured below (please excuse the very poor quality photo), is the auction in process. The truck contains stacks of fabrics (also clothing, which I was less excited about) that are randomly made into piles of 4 or 6 two meter strips. They are held out for a moment until a lucky buyer with their hand held up gets the whole pile for $7.50 or $10.
These fabrics are basically strips of elaborately designed fabric which are used to make clothing, worn as is around the waist of women, to carry babies on the back or other household items.
While I really enjoyed the experience, impulse buying is not my strength (or maybe not being an impulsive buyer is a strength, either way) and found it very hard to decide on which fabrics I wanted. Therefore, I was very lucky you are allowed to look through the fabric you ‘bought’ before paying any money and have the option to send them back if you mis-chose – which I did twice before settling on these beauties (pictured above)!