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Brown Toast's Newest Collection Pays Homage to Nubian Heritage

Local label Brown Toast collaborated with multidisciplinary artist and typography enthusiast Nora Aly to shed light on the complexities of the Nubian language.

In an attempt to shed light on the complexities of the Nubian language, local collaborative label Brown Toast teamed up with multidisciplinary artist and typography enthusiast Nora Aly to honour the intricate culture. Whilst Nubia’s rich heritage needs no superfluous metaphors and lengthy introductions, their language is one seemingly foreign to some. With that in mind, founders Lara Riad and Marwan Gallad channelled similar sentiments to those existing between Nubians, their environment, and their covered language to weave together their IWTAKIBOO collection.

“We discovered that for her masters project, Nora Aly travelled to Nubia back and forth over multiple months to explore how the people currently live, which aspects of their culture are currently endangered and what can be done to help them,” co-founder Lara Riad tells SceneStyled. “Through her travels and her studies, she learnt a lot about the culture and shared those intimate experiences with us in order to translate those findings into a collection and in turn, an awareness campaign.”

The collection, which features the Nubian alphabet as documented by Nubian historian and linguist Mokhtar Khalil Kabbara, includes three designs, each representing a word or conceptual phrase. Specifically, the phrases emblazoned on their t-shirts are: ‘May you be green’, ‘Do us no harm, do you no harm’, and the Nubian word for forgotten, ‘Iwtakiboo’, which roughly translates to ‘becoming extinct’. Through these stylish t-shirts, the collection serves as a repository for both the culturally entrenched language and the artist’s findings.