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East African sailors/traders in Asia - Culture - Nairaland

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East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 8:34pm On May 14, 2013
Note the link I have for this is broken and longer available...I got this from another site, but the site this was posted in link was broken, but the link info is from the e-book They Came Before Marco Polo, which you can look up and read. Anyways...There is very ignorant myth that past Africans have never ventured outside their homeland. That they have never tried to sail outside Africa, but that has been proven wrong multiple times. I came along a good read from another site, which a poster posted sources from an interesting article that talks about African sailors/traders from East Africa mainly the Swahili in Asia. And not only that, but how advanced they were. Again like I said the link that was used on the site cited everything from the e-book They Came Before Marco Polo, which I plan on reading.

Anyways. Here it is...

Swahili Sailors in Early China

ln 133l a very famous scholar and world traveler from the City of Fez, Morocco traveled down the east coast of Africa. This traveler's name was Ibn Battuta. Ibn Battuta left in his memoir descriptions of all the foreign cities he visited all over the world.

When he went to East Africa he visited the famous city of Kilwa. Ibn Battuta described Kilwa as "one of the most beautiful and well constructed towns in the world." In the city of Kilwa government officials, teachers and accomplished business men greeted Ibn Battuta.

The people of Kilwa are generally called "Swahili". Today, as in the past, the Swahili people mainly reside in East Africa. The name "Swahili" comes from the Arabic term "Sahel" or "Swahil". These words mean "shore" or "coastline". Since they resided along the coastal areas these east African peoples called themselves "Swahili" meaning "people of the coastline".

The period when the Swahili people initially occupied East Africa goes back more than 2000 years. Initially small groups coming from other parts of Africa began to settle in the area. These groups established small villages along this east coast area. Because of its close proximity, these peoples took to the ocean. Due to their frequent contact with the Indian Ocean their ocean navigational capabilities and ship sailing skills evolved to a high level. Soon the Swahili people were able to voyage for long distances and for extended periods across the Indian Ocean.

The Swahili eventually made contact with other countries along the Indian Ocean. S[b]wahili sailors were able to reach Arabia, India, Indonesia and even China.[/b] Strong trade links were established between East Africa and these other nations. The Swahili became very wealthy due to these trade links. Between the 10th to the 15th century more than 30 trading-cities or trading~empires developed along the east coast of Africa. These cities existed in the areas which today are called Kenya, Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar.


During the peak period of this commerce, on any given day, Swahili sailors could be seen loading their large ships with gold, iron, ivory and coconuts, and unloading from them textiles and jewelry from India and exquisite porcelain from China. The Swahili also saw ships from China and other nations pulling into their harbors. These ships were making frequent stops at Lamu, Malindi, Mombosa and other trading city-states along the east African coast. These cities had developed into affluent thriving cosmopolitan cultures due to this trade. East African ivory was in high demand during this period and this ivory found its way into India, the Persian Gulf and China. South African gold was also in high demand.


Three major items used in East African trade. Ivory, gold and salt. African elephant tusks were the source of most of Asia's ivory.
Gold coins were much sought after in North Africa and cylinders of salt were in demand in South Africa.


In 1500 the Portuguese sailed to East Africa for the first time. This expedition was under the command of Pedro Alvares Cabral. When the Portuguese saw the Swahili they were astonished. One sailor on the ship wrote:

ln this land there are rich merchants and there is much gold and sliver and amber and pearls. T[b]hose of the land wear clothes of fine cotton and of silk and many fine things, and they are blackmen.[/b]
The liveliest and most prosperous city in all of East Africa during this period was the island of Kilwa. The island essential1y functioned like that of a market middleman. The Kilwa rulers controlled the exchange of goods between inner Africa and other nations along the Indian Ocean. This middleman role made the Kilwa rulers some of the wealthiest individuals on the entire continent. In 196l Nevill Chitic unearthed the mosque and palace of the last Kilwa ruler. This structure is called the "Husuni Kubwa". It was the largest domestic residence in all of East Africa. The palace had wel1 over 100 rooms, with galleries, patios, and separate sections for residential and commercial purposes.

The citizens of Kilwa possessed very lavish, modern looking homes on the is1and. Some of their homes were actually two to three stories high. Many of them contained rugs from Persia, jewelry from India, spices from Southeast Asia and bowls from China. The Swahili made their homes out of the most available materials: namely, mangrove poles and coral. The main building material was a coarse vesicular coral broken into irregular blocks. When this coral is initially taken from the reef it is very soft and easily cut. As it is exposed to weather and rain, though, it starts to harden and become more durable. This need for the coral to weather meant buildings were often erected in stages over several years. The houses often had very impressive entrances. They usually had large arched doorways which led to private courtyards. A wide raised bank usually ran around three sides of the courtyard and provided space to sit. In this space visitors could be received and business transactions could be conducted. Usually a large narrow reception room, with wide doors and long windows, faced onto the court. Private rooms, often beautifully decorated, led off the reception rooms.

When we look at the documents and sources on Swahili or East African trade we find early Arab writings mentioning a few details here and there about the Swahili traders. We find them mentioned in such sources as the Muruj al-Dhahab, an Arab historical encyclopedia. We also have the archaeological evidence from various Asian countries, information from the Swahili oral and religious traditions and modern research now being conducted in this field.

When researching about East Africa the source most often cited is the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. This is the earliest detailed account about Swahili trade. This book was written around the first century by a Greek ship captain living in Egypt. It discusses Swahili imports and exports, their habits and hospitality and many things about their skills and interest.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about Africa is the belief that in the past Africans never ventured outside their homeland. This belief has proven to be a myth because in ancient times it was a generally held view amongst the Swahili that all male children were born sailors. When we look at the Swahili religious practices we find that early in their history the Swahili accepted Islam. This faith became their dominant religion. Islam also helped develop them as a mercantile sea-faring people because the pursuit of trade, commerce and traveling to distant lands are highly encouraged in the Islamic faith. "Go in quest of knowledge, even unto China." was a popular saying of Mohammed, the founding prophet of Islam. Other sayings of his include "Travel for vigor and profit", and "The timid merchant gains nothing but disappointment while the bold one makes a living."

Next




When we turn our attention to some of the more ancient Chinese writings we find a few hints suggesting Swahili sailors arrived on Chinese shores. An interesting passage can be found in the Ch'en-han-shu. This document discusses China's maritime trade links with other countries during the early Han Dynasty. It states:

Going again by boat about four months, there is the country of Yi-li-mo. Going by land about ten days, there is the country of Fu-kan-tu-lu, two months beyond again, there was Huang-chih; and from Huang-chih Emperor P'ing received an envoy who brought a rhinoceros as a present.
Bear in mind rhinos are indigenous to Africa.
In the past, a Swahili trading center existed on the island of Zanzibar. This is a small island located just off the coast of East Africa. "Zanj" or "Zaniji" was the term medieval Arabs used for east African peoples. The name still survives today. It can be seen in the island named "Zanzibar". The term "Zanzibar" derived from "zanj-bahr". "Zanj-bahr" merely means "coast of the Zanj". Interestingly, the term "zanj" resurfaced in an Arab writing of 1154 AD. The passage speaks about India and China establishing trade links with one another. It stated India fell into a state of confusion and as a result the Chinese had to withdraw their trading post and establish them on the islands of a place it called "Zanedji".

And it was said that when there were rebellions in China and injustice and excesses prevailed in India, the Chinese transferred their commerce to Zanzibar and the dependent islands nearby. They entered into relations with the inhabitants and felt very comfortable with them because of their fairness, the pleasantness of their conduct, and the ease with which they transacted business. And so it is for that reason that the island prospered and travelers to it were many.
Documents from China's Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD) have also provided some details. The Sung records of 1083 AD speak of another foreign envoy visiting the imperial court. The last three characters in this envoy's name translate as "the zanj". The document stated since the envoy traveled such a long distance, the emperor decided to do something special for him:

...besides giving him the same presents for which he formerly bestowed on him, added thereto two thousand ounces of silver.
Several contemporary writers on east African culture have noted in ancient times the Swahili possessed the capability to build and navigate large ships. For example, in one of his more recent books, historian Basil Davidson notes:

All this reflected the Swahili role as market middleman, linking the caravans of the interior with the ships from overseas. Their own entrepreneurs traveled far in both directions, sharing in the caravan trade with the kingdoms of the Zimbabwe culture, and also sharing in the maritime skills of the region. Like the Arabs and Indians, the Swahili had the sailing and navigating expertise...to voyage out of sight of land for long distances; and they possessed these skills many years before such things were learned in the Atlantic waters.
Davidson has actually discovered Chinese testimonials of Swahili sailors visiting their country. He writes:

A Chinese commissioner of foreign trade in Fukien province of southern China recorded in 1226 that the East African cities imported 'white cotton cloth, porcelain, copper, and red cottons' by way of ships that came every year...
Substantial findings have been yielded by archaeological excavations in East Africa. Researchers have uncovered several plates and bowls in East Africa with Chinese characters written on them. Research has also turned up thousands of ancient coins found at various sites in the region. During the 1950s G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville began work on systematically classifying the ancient coins discovered. By 1959 he had classified a total of 19,600 coins. In 1960 Freeman-Grenville published his results in the Journal of African History. This journal presented a few details about the coins he examined. His study revealed a lot of the coins discovered were not from East Africa. It was discovered 233 of the coins came from China. Five of the coins dated back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) in China, 212 from the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD), six from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) and ten were from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD).

The study of ancient Chinese artwork has also provided evidence to us. The Chinese made small sculptures of the Swahili merchants visiting their country. In his book, Black Jade: The African Presence in the Ancient East, art historian James E. Brunson displays a miniature clay figure of a Swahili sailor. This clay figure was actually unearthed in China. It was made in the likeness of a merchant from the east African island of Zanzibar. The piece dates back to China's Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).





There also exist a record of an eyewitness account of Swahili merchants in the Far East. The Portuguese trader Tome Pires lived in Malaysia from 1512 to 1515 AD. In his memoir he reported seeing in Malaysia peoples from the east African cities of Kilwa, Mombosa and Malindi. The most famed and well documented Swahili visits to China center around the trade links Chinese and African people established during the 1400s. On September 20, 1414 sailors from the east African city of Malindi had presented a very extraordinary present to the emperor of China. The ruler of Malindi ordered his ambassadors to tranship a giraffe to China. Louis Levathes in her book, When China Ruled the Seas, tells us the Chinese:

...had never seen the creature before and mistook it for the mythical qilin, one of the four sacred animals in China, along with the dragon, the phoenix, and the tortoise. The qilin was believed to make its appearance only in times of great peace and prosperity. It was said to have the body of a musk deer, the tail of an ox, the forehead of a wolf, the hooves of a horse, and a fleshy horn like a unicorn. Other descriptions noted that the male animal, called simply lin, sometimes had two or three horns. The qilin did not eat meat and avoided treading on any living thing, even grass, and thus became for the Chinese a symbol of goodness, appearing only in a land well governed or when a sage was born. Confucius' mother was thought to have become pregnant by a qilin when she stepped on the footprint of the animal while walking in the woods.
When the Malindi sailors unveiled this creature at the imperial court the court officials gathered closer "to gaze at it and their joy knew no end." The emperor was so impressed with the gift that he ordered a calligrapher named Shen Tu to paint the animal. This famous painting now sits in the National Palace Museum of Taipei. The painting contains classical Chinese characters retelling the story of the giraffe being transported and presented to the court by African ambassadors.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 8:57pm On May 14, 2013
sources nigggga sources.....



cause as i remember the entire indian ocean was controlled by somalis, turks, arabs......all the negroids in kenya were enslaved by arabs, swahili language is a mix of negroid a arabic.


sources modafuckkka sources, i needs them.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 9:06pm On May 14, 2013
somalia5: sources nigggga sources.....



cause as i remember the entire indian ocean was controlled by somalis, turks, arabs......all the negroids in kenya were enslaved by arabs, swahili language is a mix of negroid a arabic.


sources modafuckkka sources, i needs them.

Proof?

Swahili language became mix due to interation with Arabs and they traded with them, its all documented.

And what the hell is a Negroid language?
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 9:12pm On May 14, 2013
In East Africa a slave trade was well established before the Europeans arrived on the scene. It was driven by the sultanates of the Middle East. African slaves ended up as sailors in Persia, pearl divers in the Gulf, soldiers in the Omani army and workers on the salt pans of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). Many people were domestic slaves, working in rich households. Women were taken as sex slaves.

Arab traders began to settle among the Africans of the coast, resulting in the emergence of a people and culture known as Swahili. In the second half of the 18th century, the slave trade expanded and became more organised. There was also a huge demand for ivory, and slaves were used as porters to carry it.




looooooooooooooooooool. theirs ur proof....now shut up...lmao........dude arabs bleeeped the bantus there....and somalis owned them as slaves......arabs controlled all the way dont to tanzania....


plz reserach shid before you talk.....the only real people in east africa were the somalis and ethiopians who have been fighting each other for over a 1000 years....and somalis always were backed by arabs and turks.....so much so that arabs would past somalia and go to kenya and get slaves and bring them to somalia to ship them.....
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 9:51pm On May 14, 2013
@somalia5

Again where is proof that Arabs enslaved the Swahili the state in masses when sources state otherwise.

And I already said my source was the book They Came Before Marco Polo which you can look up!
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 9:55pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold: @somalia5

Again where is proof that Arabs enslaved the Swahili the state in masses when sources state otherwise.

And I already said my source was the book They Came Before Marco Polo which you can look up!

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 9:59pm On May 14, 2013
COME ON SON. YOUR SWAHILI ARE THOSE WHO WERE RAPPPED BY ARABS, AND THEIR LANGAUGE IS MIXED OF ARABIC.

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:27pm On May 14, 2013
@somalia5

That the Africans themselves were able to keep monopolies concerning trade with the rest of Africa, plus the long extensive and long distance connections in Africa itself Africans were keen in keeping track of their business interests and also sophisticated enough ways to carry on the trade, this might give some reason to believe that the old Ghana empire would have some sort of communication with the opposite Coast, especially through Islam since even under pagan rule their was a strong Islamic presence in Ghana. Even if United by Islam these "Sudanese" could also gain an upper hand in the Muslim world. The below suggests the Zanj were sophisticated to carry out something like this. There is evidence that even in the 19th century the Zanj were competitive in the steel market and in earlier times they had a great advantage in the world steel market, and the Zanj could possibly have had a great but secret part of the world spice trade

"Portuguese Conceptual Categories and the “Other” Encounter on the Swahili Coast" by JEREMY PRESTHOLDT

^^^^That literally debunks everything you've been saying. Don't be jelly because Kenyans have been more successful than Somalis whether it be from the past or present.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:34pm On May 14, 2013
@somalia5

Also read your own damn sources. It clearly states that Swahili people just had a slave market and it CLEARLY states that mist of the slaves were from Tanzania. Having a slave market is f**king different from being enslaved you Arrow! Your first source doesn't even mention Swahili people, but it does mention people of Ethiopia and Eritrea being slaves.

Again where is sources stating that people from the Swahili states were enslaved by both Somalis and Arabs.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:35pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold: @somalia5

That the Africans themselves were able to keep monopolies concerning trade with the rest of Africa, plus the long extensive and long distance connections in Africa itself Africans were keen in keeping track of their business interests and also sophisticated enough ways to carry on the trade, this might give some reason to believe that the old Ghana empire would have some sort of communication with the opposite Coast, especially through Islam since even under pagan rule their was a strong Islamic presence in Ghana. Even if United by Islam these "Sudanese" could also gain an upper hand in the Muslim world. The below suggests the Zanj were sophisticated to carry out something like this. There is evidence that even in the 19th century the Zanj were competitive in the steel market and in earlier times they had a great advantage in the world steel market, and the Zanj could possibly have had a great but secret part of the world spice trade

"Portuguese Conceptual Categories and the “Other” Encounter on the Swahili Coast" by JEREMY PRESTHOLDT

^^^^That literally debunks everything you've been saying. Don't be jelly because Kenyans have been more successful than Somalis whether it be from the past or present.


dude wallahi your an idioooot and i wish their was a kenyan here who gets called adoon by somalis to answer ur questions


kenya is a bunch of ethnicities who have been warring....that entire region was controlled by Turks, arabs and somalis......if you were not muslim you were enslaved


even the kenyans admit it... laughing at the bolded, this is the kenyas history a nation of slaves.....this is their history....my broda.




In the centuries preceding colonisation, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves (the Ameru tribe is said to have originated from slaves escaping from Arab lands sometime around the year 1700). Initially these traders came mainly from Arab states, but later many came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).[32] Close to 90% of the population on the Kenya coast was enslaved.[33] Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loanwords, later developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples.[25]

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:40pm On May 14, 2013
Why are you keep doing my request. Where is your proof that the Swahili states were enslaved or controlled by Arabs or Somalis.

And in your post it states Swahili states traded with the Arab world. Again that is DIFFERENT from being enslaved or controlled. Meaning that they traded slaves.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:43pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold: Why are you keep doing my request. Where is your proof that the Swahili states were enslaved or controlled by Arabs or Somalis.


r u fukkkkin blind....their entire nation was made of slaves.....jeussus christ.....


90 percent of them were slaves, come on son....even they know it

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:46pm On May 14, 2013
somalia5:


r u fukkkkin blind....their entire nation was made of slaves.....jeussus christ.....


90 percent of them were slaves, come on son....even they know it

1. I edited my post so read it again
2. How about you read yor own f**king sources you f**king nitwit! Your source states that they TRADED slaves! That is different from the Swahili states ITSELF being enslaved or controlled. Are you this slow? Read what you post.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:49pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold:

1. I edited my post so read it again
2. How about you read yor own f**king sources you f**king nitwit! Your source states that they TRADED slaves! That is different from the Swahili states ITSELF being enslaved or controlled. Are you this slow? Read what you post.


omg......dude they were slaves.....90 percent of the country was slaves.....the entire region was arab controlled.....are you so blind.

even the american media knows it...cause they said obamas muslim father traded bantu slaves who were not muslim

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:50pm On May 14, 2013
In the centuries preceding colonisation, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves (the Ameru tribe is said to have originated from slaves escaping from Arab lands sometime around the year 1700). Initially these traders came mainly from Arab states, but later many came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).[32] Close to 90% of the population on the Kenya coast was enslaved.[33] Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loanwords, later developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples

^^^Again read your own sources you nitwit!
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:56pm On May 14, 2013
did you know that arabs controlled kenya always....man read your history.....they traded slaves from kenya to arabia

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:56pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold: In the centuries preceding colonisation, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves (the Ameru tribe is said to have originated from slaves escaping from Arab lands sometime around the year 1700). Initially these traders came mainly from Arab states, but later many came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).[32] Close to 90% of the population on the Kenya coast was enslaved.[33] Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loanwords, later developed as a lingua franca [b]for trade between the different peoples
[/b]
^^^Again read your own sources you nitwit!


nigggga read your shid
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 10:57pm On May 14, 2013
somalia5:


omg......dude they were slaves.....90 percent of the country was slaves.....the entire region was arab controlled.....are you so blind.

even the american media knows it...cause they said obamas muslim father traded bantu slaves who were not muslim

OMG you can't be this id*tic...No one here is blind but YOU.

1. That does NOT state the Swahili states were controlled or enslaved by Arabs or Somalis.
2. It does not state the area was controlled by Arabs.
3. You're an because Luo people are BLACK themselves.

Again by request....Where is proof that Swahili states were enslaved/dominated by Arabs. Slaves being TRADED by Swahili states does not=Swahiki state itself being enslaved or controlled.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 10:58pm On May 14, 2013
i wish an ugly kenyan was here to proof to you how arabs and somalis dominated them


man if it was for the somalis and turks......kenyans would be slaves to portugese rather than arabs....lol
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 11:01pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold:

OMG you can't be this id*tic...No one here is blind but YOU.

1. That does NOT state the Swahili states were controlled or enslaved by Arabs or Somalis.
2. It does not state the area was controlled by Arabs.
3. You're an because Luo people are BLACK themselves.

Again by request....Where is proof that Swahili states were enslaved/dominated by Arabs. Slaves being TRADED by Swahili states does not=Swahiki state itself being enslaved or controlled.


there was no swahili state, it was a language, made by the arabs there, with a mix of bantu, the luo were muslism thats why they were not slaves......man i wish a kenyan was here to tell you himself....cause they always cry over how they enslaved each other cause of religion.

90 percent of the people there were slaves....the arabs were on the coast. the arabs were in kenya before the bantu...the bantus came as slaves....

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 11:15pm On May 14, 2013
somalia5:


there was no swahili state, it was a language, made by the arabs there, with a mix of bantu, the luo were muslism thats why they were not slaves......man i wish a kenyan was here to tell you himself....cause they always cry over how they enslaved each other cause of religion.

90 percent of the people there were slaves....the arabs were on the coast. the arabs were in kenya before the bantu...the bantus came as slaves....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swahili_culture
I actually mean city-states that were controlled by Swahili culture.

Also you still do NOT get what I am saying. I am not denying that East Africans were enslaved. But that the lands controlled by Swahili people was NOT ENSLAVED. Trading slaves does not=Swahili city-states being enslaved...Get what I am saying?

And WTF are you talking about? I believe East Africa was inhabited by Bantu people by 1000BC...Long before Arabs when the Bantu expansion happened. Again Arabs just settled among the coast to do TRADE.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 11:15pm On May 14, 2013
KidStranglehold:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swahili_culture
I actually mean city-states that were controlled by Swahili culture.

Also you still do NOT get what I am saying. I am not denying that East Africans were enslaved. But that the lands controlled by Swahili people was NOT ENSLAVED. Trading slaves does not=Swahili city-states being enslaved...Get what I am saying?

And WTF are you talking about? I believe East Africa was inhabited by Bantu people by 1000BC...Long before Arabs when the Bantu expansion happened. Again Arabs just settled among the coast to do TRADE.


they were enslaving each other, why do you think their entire language is the root of it is arabic....omg......i wish there was a kenyan here man. The arabs settled in kenya before the bantus.....and you know very well the bantus were exported to somalia and the middle east as slaves.......those city states were arab run, like zanzibar......the protugesse and arabs and turks were in the area.....even the bantus were selling each other if they were not muslim



arabs settled on the coast to trade them...lol....come on son......where ever there we blacks they were primitive and sold as slaves.......east west where ever...
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 11:21pm On May 14, 2013
this is the ruler of your so called swahili a word in arabic

Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 5:59pm On May 15, 2013
somalia5:


they were enslaving each other, why do you think their entire language is the root of it is arabic....omg......i wish there was a kenyan here man. The arabs settled in kenya before the bantus.....and you know very well the bantus were exported to somalia and the middle east as slaves.......those city states were arab run, like zanzibar......the protugesse and arabs and turks were in the area.....even the bantus were selling each other if they were not muslim



arabs settled on the coast to trade them...lol....come on son......where ever there we blacks they were primitive and sold as slaves.......east west where ever...

Again where is your proof Arabs controlled those Swahili states?

And again Arabs DID NOT reach Kenya before the Bantu expansion!
"The Bantu expansion is estimated to have reached during the 1st millennium BC or the early centuries AD."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Kenya#Prehistory

^^^That is well BEFORE the arrival of Arabs.

"From about the 8th century on the Arabs and Persians regularly visited the Kenyan coast to trade glass, textiles, and wine for ivory, rhinoceros horn, and slaves. They weren't interested in settling Kenya."
http://allthingskenyan.com/history-medievalkenya.html
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 6:07pm On May 15, 2013
Anyways BACK ON TOPIC!

Addendum:

The large, sea-going vessels of the Swahili Coast used to be so-called ‘stitched’ or ‘sewn’
ships, like in many regions of the Indian Ocean. Their hull was made out of planks that were
sewn together with coconut coir. One type of ship was called a mtepe (in Swahili meaning ‘sailboat’).
It is now extinct and little evidence of its existence remains




http://www.swahiliweb.net/ziff_journal_3_files/ziff2006-07.pdf
It was in craft like these that the Zanj sailed the Indian ocean along with their Persian Arab Indian and Chinese trading partners


A miniature from a Persian Manuscript(Al-Maqamat) showing a Swahili(Zanji) Trading ship.-1237 C.E
From Jeri's blog
http://theyounghistorian7.blogspot.jp/2012_01_01_archive.html
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 6:20pm On May 15, 2013
Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008
10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8504
Helaine Selin

Cities and Towns in East Africa
Felix Chami


The towns of East Africa were built during two periods: pre‐colonial and colonial. The former grew up along the coast, facilitating trade and communication between the rim of the Indian Ocean Seaboard and the interior of Africa. The towns, better known in history as Swahili City States, survived from about the beginning of the second millennium AD to about the 1890s. The latter were mostly new administrative centres established with the launch of German and British rule in East Africa from about the 1890s. Only a few settlements of the colonial period had a history pre‐dating the colonial era. Such towns include Mombasa, which is a Swahili town, and Mengo in Kampala, which was the seat for the Buganda Kingdom. This article examines the pre‐colonial Swahili towns.

Without Abstract
The towns of East Africa were built during two periods: pre‐colonial and colonial. The former grew up along the coast, facilitating trade and communication between the rim of the Indian Ocean Seaboard and the interior of Africa. The towns, better known in history as Swahili City States, survived from about the beginning of the second millennium AD to about the 1890s. The latter were mostly new administrative centres established with the launch of German and British rule in East Africa from about the 1890s. Only a few settlements of the colonial period had a history pre‐dating the colonial era. Such towns include Mombasa, which is a Swahili town, and Mengo in Kampala, which was the seat for the Buganda Kingdom. This article examines the pre‐colonial Swahili towns.

The Growth of the Swahili Towns
Swahili settlements spread all along the coast and islands of East Africa (Fig. 1). There were few settlements before the Swahili towns of the thirteenth century, mostly built with mud and wattle. Concentration of these towns seems to have first occurred in the Mafia‐Kilwa region on the coast of Southern Tanzania and on the Lamu Archipelago on the northern coast of Kenya. Individual settlements seem also to have flourished elsewhere on the coastal littoral and virtually on every island large enough to settle from Lamu archipelago to Madagascar. These early settlements are identified by archaeologists by remains there of early Islamic goods including Sassanian Islamic ware, Islamic copies of Chinese pottery and early Sgraffiato [decoration which is scratched through the clay surface coating to reveal the colour of the underlying clay].


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The Swahili towns on the Tanzanian coast. For the rest of East African coast see Horton and Middleton 2000: 6–7.
Probably the largest earliest settlement of this period is that of Kilwa in Southern Tanzania (Figs. 2– 4). The settlement seems to have become a larger centre by about AD 1000 when the earliest stone structures could have been built (Chittick 1974). Probably only a few stone structures would have been built then. The spectacular nature of Kilwa centre was the first to attract archaeologists in the1950s. Mortimer Wheeler led a team of researchers in 1955 to conduct a test excavation. This research paved the way to more intensive archaeological researches by Neville Chittick, not only in Kilwa but also in other Swahili towns (Chittick 1974, 1984).



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The water facing side of Husuni Kubwa (Great Palace) in Kilwa Island.


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Port of Kilwa with recent Portuguese to man fort.


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Residential house around the Kilwa friday mosque.
Kilwa was large, the stone town itself estimated to have been about 50 hectares in the early period. This settlement must have controlled other larger settlements of the area more economically, as settlements of a similar nature existed on the islands of Mafia, off the Rufiji Delta, and on the nearby island of Songo Mnara. Other settlements of the period related to the development of Kilwa are found in Zanzibar and Pemba, the central coast of Tanzania, Comore and Northern Madagascar and on the northern coast of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Archaeological work on sites located in those regions have yielded goods of exchange between these settlements, including coins, pottery and stone vessels, suggesting that Kilwa was a centre with economic influence if not direct control of the peer settlements north and south.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 6:36pm On May 15, 2013
Continued:

The early towns of Lamu Archipelago were excavated later by Chittick (1984) and Horton (1996). Settlements like Gedi, Malindi, and Mombasa grew to compete with those to the north and even Kilwa at the time when Portuguese had entered the region. What is obvious in the archaeology of the coast of Eastern Africa is that the Swahili towns were related, and this is true whether or not Kilwa controlled affairs in the whole region between AD 1000 and about AD 1400.

In the later phase, from about AD 1300, or slightly earlier, larger Swahili towns were built by coral stones and lime mortar and roofed by mangrove poles, lime mortar and palm leaves. Archaeology also finds a profusion of many smaller settlements, which were built by mud and wattle; the larger settlements may also have had the majority of its population living in such simple houses (Horton 1996; Pradines 2002; Chami 2002). When Ibn Baṭṭūṭa visited the coast of East Africa in the AD 1330s, contrary to what archaeology suggests today, he did not see many stone houses even in larger towns such as Kilwa and Mombasa (Gibb 1939). Whether this was a personal bias against stone houses if he only saw simpler town places is not yet properly explained (see discussion by Sutton 1998).

It is also not quite certain whether each large Swahili town had its own trade and cultural link with foreign traders or if trade was only controlled by one or two larger towns which collected trade goods and distributed them to other towns. Ibn Baṭṭūṭa seems to have visited only two towns on the Swahili coast, Kilwa and Mombasa, suggesting that those were the larger ones. However, in the same time period a Chinese trip to East Africa led by Zheng He entered a town called ‘Malin’. Some scholars think this place was Malindi on the Kenya coast (Chittick 1975: 21; Wheatley 1975: 90–1); Fuwei (Fuwei 1996: 190) suggests that ‘Malin’ was Kilwa. A support for Fuwei comes from the fact that the wealthy clan at Kilwa at that time was known as Malindi and the most impressive tombs at the water front belong to this clan.

Probably each large town had its own trade abroad or a set of traders visiting particular ports in the Middle East and India. Archaeologists are now finding sites and many Swahili cultural materials in the Middle East, suggesting that the Swahili people sailed to those distant lands (Sutton 1998). It is likely that the profusion of foreign trade goods in all Swahili settlements could also suggest that individual towns engaged in long distant trade at least within the western Indian Ocean seaboard. This is testified by the fact that several towns are now known to have made their own coins and that when Vasco da Gama reached Northern Mozambique he had to get a person from Malindi, on the Kenya coast, to guide him to India. Probably the southern towns were not co‐operating with the Portuguese.

The Origin of The Swahili Towns
Scholars had, up to the end of the twentieth century, debated the origin of the Swahili people and their stone town culture. Such debates revolved on the question of who the Swahili people were (Allen 1974, 1983; Nurse and Spear 1985; Pouwels 1987; Horton 1987; and Chami 1994, 1998). The original popular conception was that the Swahili people and their culture originated from the Middle East. These were alleged to have arrived in waves of immigration. Individuals in these waves founded settlements, which later grew into larger Swahili stone towns. Chittick (1974, 1975) used chronicles, particularly that of Kilwa, and archaeology to argue that the earliest immigrants could have arrived on the East African coast not earlier that the ninth century. This view suggested, therefore, that the Swahili people were originally Persians or Arabs who would later have mixed with Africans. Due to their alleged origin in the Muslim world the Swahili people were necessarily Muslims and people of towns.

Archaeologists such as Horton (1987), influenced by Allen (1983), suggested that the Swahili were people of Cushitic origin, from the northeast of Africa, who were originally pastoralists. The pastoralists, who are alleged to have ruled the Bantu speakers in a mythical land called Shunguaya, mixed with Bantu speakers, adopted Islam and spread to the rest of the coast and islands of East Africa. In this theory the Swahili people are seen as Africans who also mixed with the people of the Middle East in the process of adopting Islam and trade. This position was made more prominent in the 1990s (Horton 1990; Abungu 1994–1995; Sutton 1994–1995) in an attempt to quash the discovery that the Swahili people were Africans of Bantu origin, people of the general region of Eastern and Southern Africa who were agriculturalists and fishermen.

That the Swahili people did speak a Bantu language was a point recognised by linguists from the 1980s (Nurse and Spear 1985). Archaeologists had also established settlements of Early Iron Working people near the coast; scholars recognised that they were early Bantu speakers (Soper 1971; Phillipson 1977). Historians also recognized that the people reported by the Romans in the first centuries AD to have inhabited East Africa, then known as Azania, were agriculturalists and probably Bantu speaking (Casson 1989). In the early 1990s this author suggested that the cultural tradition found in the earliest Swahili settlements was culturally related to that of the Early Iron Working tradition (Chami 1994). In some cases settlements of the Early Iron Working people and those of the so‐called early Swahili, termed by this author as Triangular Incised Ware tradition, were found in the same location. In some cases the later was found superimposed over the former in the offshore islands and on the coastal littoral of the central coast of Tanzania (Chami 1998, 1999a).


The evidence of cultural continuity from the time of Christ, through the mid‐first millennium AD, to the time of the foundation of the Swahili towns in the early centuries of the second millennium AD, has now been recognized by many scholars (Kusimba 1999; Sinclair and Hakansson 2000; Spear 2000). Those who disagreed with the the first set of evidence for this continuity have now revised their ideas (Horton 1996; Horton and Middleton 2000; Sutton 1998). Archaeological findings now prove that the Swahili coast had been settled by an agricultural and trading population from the time of Pharaonic Egypt, 3000 BCE, through the Greaco‐Roman period (Chami 2006). Whereas the former was of Neolithic tradition, the latter was an Early Iron Working culture. Throughout these periods the Indian Ocean, just like it was during the time of Islam, had brisk trade with communities of Asia, the Middle East and the Red Sea/Mediterranean worlds. Ceramics and beads as evidence of trade of all these pre‐Islamic trading periods have now been recovered from the islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, Kilwa and Rufiji River (for conspectus see Chami 1999b, 2004, 2006).

The most recent thinking that the early Swahili people, or Zanj of the Arab documents, were Indonesians/Austronesians (Dick‐Read 2005) is an attempt to disregard the archaeological, linguistic and historical data already established. For this recent thinking to be regarded as scientific at least a discussion of the previous thinking on the subject matter and its flaws should have be debated.
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 6:37pm On May 15, 2013
Some Cultural Aspects of the Swahili Towns
General Culture
The culture of the Swahili towns, as already suggested, is African with an infusion of Islamic traits. It is these infused Islamic traits such as religion, law, language, writing and costume which have made many students of the Swahili culture identify the people as Arabs. The people who had adopted this culture themselves wanted to be identified as Arabs or Persians. However, Ibn Baṭṭūṭa identified the people as ‘Sawahil’ and the earliest European visitors to the Swahili world, the Portuguese, identified the people as ‘Moors’ or ‘Suaili’ as opposed to Arabs.

De Barros, as Ibn Baṭṭūṭa did, also identified the Sultans of Kilwa as black people (Chittick 1975: 39). Barbosa, writing in about 1518, wrote, “Of the Moors there are some fair and some black, they are finely clad in many rich garments of gold and silk and cotton.” To show that the Swahilis were different from Arabs, the Queen of Kilwa in the mid‐eighteenth century wrote a letter calling home her people who had run away from the Arab/Omani domination of Kilwa to Mozambique. This was written in Kiswahili and not in Arabic; a Swahili letter suggesting that it was only the Europeans/Christians who were in conflict with the Arabs, but not the African/Swahili people (Omar and Frankl 1994).


Religion
Most Swahili people are of the Sunni sect of Islam, which suggests an early link with Southern Arabia. Large mosques (Fig. 5) had been built with stones from AD 1300 or slightly earlier in every town of the Swahili coast. Some towns have several mosques, some being smaller for the purpose of a clan or a family. Kiblas/the north of these mosques were elaborately made; probably the one at Songo Mnara in Kilwa (Fig. 3) is the most elaborate of those seen by this author. One very unique religious aspect of the Swahili towns is that of making spectacular burials for the dead. The tombs, which most of them concentrate around the mosques, were built using stones and lime. Walls of some are more than two meters high with various decorative panels including impressed Chinese porcelain. Some tombs have high standing pillars some reaching up to six meters above the tomb.

Fig. 5 Kilwa friday mosque.
These aspects of tombs are non‐Islamic as they are found nowhere else in the Muslim world. Muslim burials are supposed to be made humbly and no materials or aspect of wealth are supposed to be involved. That these spectacular tombs are also found attached to houses or are located in compounds where people were living suggests that this is an African culture blended with Islam. I have noted elsewhere (Chami 2002) that the African tradition of wanting to live with the spirit of the dead in the same house/compound or within the settled landscape is the one portrayed in this context. Like the ancient Egyptian tradition, the spirit should not be abandoned in the wilderness away from human warmth and food. A failure to observe this rule was/is expected to bring bad omen to the family.


Writing and Arithmetic
Whatever type of pre‐Islamic writing that could have existed on the coast of East Africa cannot be known for now. Early Islamic characters found on the Swahili settlements are Kuffic, the earliest known being of the eleventh century tomb of Kizimkazi in Zanzibar (Flury 1921). Later on Arabic scripts were used to write in the Swahili language. These can be seen in many tombs post dating AD 1300.

In daily counting the Swahili people mixed African and Arabic words. Counting may have followed Arabic languages in schools or official places, but in normal cases African counting was used. Today most counting words in Kiswahili are still African with the exception of a few numbers such as twenty, thirty, forty and fifty, which are in Arabic. Probably much more Arabic influence came after the rule of the Omanis from AD 1884.


Architecture
Garlake (Garlake 1966) studied the architecture of the Swahili towns; his interpretation of Swahili architecture has prevailed (Chittick 1984; Sutton 1998). As was noted with the tombs, the architecture of the Swahili buildings is of Western Indian Ocean Seaboard origin. It is the tradition that began and evolved within the region. The architecture is very much conditioned by available resources for building lime coral rubble which is made into walls with lime mortar and then plastered with the same mortar. Rarely were bricks and dressed stones (apart from porites) used. The only dressed stone used for door and window frames, mihrabs [a niche in the wall of a mosque or a room in the mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca] and lamp chambers was porite [coral]. This is a coral cut from underwater while fresh and it is dressed and decorated or inscribed while fresh.

For multi‐storey houses floor slabs were made by arranging mangrove or other hard woods across. Lime mortar, sometimes mixed with coral rubble, was spread on top. Some houses, especially mosques, had moulded roofs with decorative arches, domes and vaults. Most houses must have been roofed by wood and palm/grass. Swahili houses had large verandas and corridors for relaxation and cooking. Carved panels decorated the doorframes.


Livelihood
S[i]wahili people engaged in various economic activities. They are traditionally agricultural. They lived in mostly settled communities with vegetable gardens around their compounds and in areas a few hours’ walk from towns. Allen (Allen 1983) characterized the Swahili as people who commute from town to the countryside for agricultural purposes. This has been the situation from ancient times. Crops cultivated include rice, millet, beans/peas, banana, coconut, sugar cane, spices and fruits such as mango and oranges. In recent history American crops such as maize, cassava, sweet potato and tobacco have been added to the list.

The Swahili people would have been mixed farmers who would also have domesticated chicken, cattle and ovicaprids (sheep and goats). These are well authenticated from archaeological records dating back to the early Swahili period. They also had dogs and cats and for the northern coast donkeys and camels. Due to environmental variability the northern part of the Swahili coast would have been more pastoral than the south because of the interaction that existed with the nomadic regions of Somalia and Northern Kenya.

Fishing must have dominated the activity of those living near the shore and on the island settlements as it secured the most reliable means of obtaining protein. They fished in the deep and shallower, waters and there is much evidence for times when they consumed a lot of shellfish probably suggesting difficult times (Msemwa 1994). There was also fresh water fishing. There are several large rivers entering the Swahili coast from the deep interior and also few lakes near the littoral which provided fish. Salting and drying fish facilitated transport to the deep interior.

Sailing, not only for fishing, but also for trade was probably the most prestigious activity of the Swahili man. Swahili towns consisted of people who had travelled far for the purpose of trade or prayers. There was a lot of intermarriage between communities. The Swahili people can therefore be seen as a maritime people. Goods to be exchanged with those arriving from abroad had to be collected from the south or interior of the region and this also involved distribution of those imported goods. So the Swahili towns were trade axes providing for the larger part of Eastern and Southern Africa.

Consequently the Swahili people were also involved in building sailing vessels. The Romans found the people of the Swahili coast already making sewn boats and also importing boats from abroad (Casson 1989). This technology grew tremendously and by the time of the stone towns the Swahili people must have been building large dhows used to cross the Indian Ocean to Arabia and India. In most of the Swahili towns today one can find at least one operating dhow/boat building yard, suggesting a continued tradition. Related to this technology was that of metal working, which has passed down since ancient times. This technology was necessary for cultivation and boat making, as wood had to be felled and worked.[/i]

Swahili Towns in Ruins
It was noted earlier that the realm of the Swahili culture is in the period between AD 1200 and 1500. After this heyday the Swahili culture entered into a deteriorating moment following the penetration of Europeans into East Africa. They wanted to conquer by destroying the large Swahili towns such as Kilwa and divert trade to the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe. The monopoly of trade was taken from the Swahili traders and put into the hands of European companies and later on, after 1800, into the hands of Oman Arabs and Indians. The Omanis came to East Africa to challenge the Portuguese. It was the Swahili rulers who invited the Omanis to use their Muslim responsibility to assist Muslim brethrens, but the Omanis did not leave after they accomplished the task. Only petty trade was left in the hands of the Swahili. In some towns trade was left to the Swahili people, but they had to cater for the masters of the new order.

In the new order, the Swahili towns, which had not given way to invaders before, were suppressed to the extent that they fell into ruins. This was necessary because other prosperous settlements, mostly controlled by the new Portuguese and Omani powers, emerged and it is here the new elite, whether foreign or local, would move (Chami et al. 2004). As Kilwa and other settlements of its type decayed, with only short periods of renewal, previously unknown towns emerged from about 1700. Such towns included Zanzibar, Bagamoyo and Kilwa Kivinje. Mombasa also grew substantially. These are towns founded by the enterprising British and German colonials. From the 1890s the new colonial towns such as Dar‐es‐Salaam, Nairobi and Kampala challenged these other towns. See (Chami et al. 2004) for an explanation of the fall and the rise of the Swahili towns.

See also: Ceramics, Beads, Navigation, Agriculture

References

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Allen, J. de V. Swahili Culture Reconsidered. Azania 9 (1974): 105–38.

Allen, J. de V. Swahili Origins. London: James Curry Ltd, 1983.

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Chami, F. The Tanzanian Coast in the First Millennium AD. Studies in African Archaeology 7. Uppsala: Societas Archaeologica Uppsaliensis, 1994.

‐‐‐. A Review of Swahili Archaeology. African Archaeological Review 15.3 (1998): 199–218.

‐‐‐. The Early Iron Age on Mafia Island and its Relationship with the Mainland. Azania 34 (1999a): 1–11.

‐‐‐. Roman Beads from the Rufiji Delta: first Incontrovertible Archaeological Link with Periplus. Current Anthropology 4.2 (1999b): 239–41.

‐‐‐. Kaole and the Swahili World. F. Chami and G. Pwiti. ed. Southern Africa and the Swahili World. Studies in the African Past 2. Dar‐es‐Salaam: University Press, 2002. 1–14.

‐‐‐. The Egypto‐Graeco‐Romans and Panchaea/Azania: sailing in the Erythraean Sea. P. and Lunde, A. Ed., Porter, Trade and travel in the Red Sea Region. BAR International Series Oxford: Archaeopress. 1269 (2004): 93–103.

Chami, F. The Unity of African Ancient History: 3000 BC–AD 500. Mauritius: ErD Publishers. 2006.

Chami, F. et al. Historical archaeology of Bagamoyo: Excavations at the caravan serai. Dar‐es‐Salaam: Dar‐es‐Salaam University Press, 2004.

Chittick. N. Kilwa. Vol 2. Nairobi: British Institute in Eastern Africa, 1974.

‐‐‐. The Peopling of the East African coast. N. Chittick. and R. Rotberg. Ed. East Africa and the Orient: cultural Syntheses in Pre‐Colonial Times. New York: Africana Publishing Company, 1975. 76–114.

‐‐‐. Manda: Excavations at an Island Port on the Kenya Coast. Nairobi: British Institute in Eastern Africa, 1984.

Dick‐Read, R. The Phantom Voyagers: evidence of Indonesian Settlement in Africa in Ancient Times. New Delhi: Thurlton Publishing, 2005.

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‐‐‐. The Periplus and East Africa. Azania 25 (1990): 95–9.

‐‐‐. Shanga: The Archaeology of a Muslim Trading Community on the Coast of East Africa. London: British Institute in Eastern Africa, 1996.

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Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 7:15pm On May 15, 2013
wallahi your idooot,


if you only knew that entire coast was controlled by portugese and arabs, and that they used negroids as slaves you wouldnt be talking ask any kenyan lol
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by KidStranglehold: 7:20pm On May 15, 2013
somalia5: wallahi your idooot,


if you only knew that entire coast was controlled by portugese and arabs, and that they used negroids as slaves you wouldnt be talking ask any kenyan lol

That's nice now STFU. smiley
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 7:27pm On May 15, 2013
KidStranglehold:

That's nice now STFU. smiley


have you thought about asking a kenyan why they speak a mix of bantu and arabic langauge called sawahili? lol
Re: East African sailors/traders in Asia by somalia5: 7:28pm On May 15, 2013
Swahili is regarded as being the language of Arab-ruled Zanzibar, spread along the coast by the Arab trade in various goods. Whether it was first spoken by natives of the mainland opposite Zanzibar who were brought to Zanzibar as slaves, or whether Zanzibar had a native black population, is uncertain. In post-colonial leftist/African-nationalist scholarship, this history is increasingly reinterpreted as a native black Swahili ethnic group, which already lived along a large area of the coast, engaging in its own maritime trade prior to taking up willing commerce with the Arabs.

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