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Behind the design: Somali and Hmong Manguitos.

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We’re excited to provide a behind-the-scenes look into what exactly goes into the illustrations and designs that you see in our course imagery. Read on to hear directly from one of our designers about how he chose the style and colors for our two newest Manguitos: Somali and Hmong.

The creative process starts long before a single line or shape is made, with good old-fashioned research. We look at all aspects of a culture, including clothing, food, landmarks, and even symbolism. The Manguito illustration you see here is no exception; ripe with culture and meaning. The left side of the illustration represents Hmong culture. The Manguito here is wearing a traditional dress - even the dark purple can be associated with Laotian Hmong culture. The mountains in background  are a representation of the majestic Mèo Vạc District, a region in northern Vietnam where some of the Hmong people live.

The Manguito on the right is wearing the traditional dress worn by women in Somalia and is known as the guntiino, which is a single piece of cloth draped around the body. The camels in the background further represent the Somali culture, as they are symbolic for their toughness. They’re even regarded as a status-symbol, as well as the Somali are among the first people known to domesticate camels for their transport needs, milk, and even meat.

And finally, you’ll notice that there are he stars in the sky on the right side of the illustration only. This star cluster is a further nod to Somali culture as the five-pointed star is included on their flag and represents the 5-points of Somalia. The background is a representation of Laas Geel, cave formations on the rural outskirts of Hargeisa, Somalia, that contain some of the earliest known cave paintings in the Horn of Africa.

As you can see, we get pretty excited about each carefully crafted addition to the Mango family, researching and preening every color and symbol until perfection.  These two Manguitos were created to welcome you to our two English courses: English for Somali speakers and Classroom English for Hmong speakers. 

 Find out if Mango is available near you by clicking on "Find Mango" below and start learning for free today!

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