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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Swahili Coast is a coastal area in Southeast Africa inhabited by the Swahili people. It mainly consists of littoral Kenya, Tanzania, and northern Mozambique. The term may also include some of the Indian Ocean islands, such as Zanzibar, Pate and Comoros, which lie off the Swahili Coast. The Swahili Coast has a distinct culture, demography, religion and geography, and as a result - along with other factors, including economic - has witnessed rising secessionism.[1]

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Transcription

Contents

Settlements

 The Swahili Coast
The Swahili Coast

The major ports along the Swahili Coast include:

Off-shore island groups associated with this coastal region:

History

Parts of the area that are today considered Swahili Coast were known as Azania or Zingion in the Greco-Roman era, and as Zanj or Zinj in Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian literature from the 7th to the 14th century [2][3]. Archaeological evidences of small Hindu settlements from India have been found from 2nd century AD mainly in the Swahili coast of Zanzibar, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Madagascar [4][5]. Historical documents including the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and works by Ibn Battuta describe the society, culture, and economy of the Swahili Coast at various points in its history.

The rise of the Swahili Coast city-states can be largely attributed to the region's extensive participation in a trade network that spanned the Indian Ocean.[6][7] Some Swahili coast exports included sorghums, millets, sesame, coconut oil, vinegar, copra, dried fish, hardwoods, ebony, mangrove boats, sisal, coir, rubber, rock crystal, tobacco, carved doors and chests, forged iron, incense, myrrh, gums and resins, gold, copper, iron, domestic and field slaves, and concubines. Some of the imports received from Asia and Europe include cottons, silks, woolens, glass and stone beads, metal wire, jewelry, sandalwood, cosmetics, fragrances, kohl, rice, spices, coffee, tea, other foods and flavorings, teak, iron and brass fittings, sailcloth, pottery, porcelain, silver, brass, glass, paper, paints, ink, carved wood, books, carved chests, arms, ammunition, gunpowder, swords and daggers, gold, silver, brass, bronze, religious specialists, and craftsmen.[6] Evidence for Indian Ocean trade includes the presence of pot sherds on coastal archaeological sites that can be traced back to China and India.[8]

A product of the multi-cultured environment of the Swahili Coast was the development of the Swahili language, a fundamentally Bantu language that contains a number of Arabic [9] and Hindu [10] loanwords due to the significant trade with Arab and India [5].

See also

References

  1. ^ "Contagion of discontent: Muslim extremism spreads down east Africa coastline," The Economist (3 November 2012)
  2. ^ Felix A. Chami, "Kaole and the Swahili World," in Southern Africa and the Swahili World (2002), 6.
  3. ^ A. Lodhi (2000), Oriental influences in Swahili: a study in language and culture contacts, ISBN 978-9173463775, pp. 72-84
  4. ^ A. Lodhi (2000), Oriental influences in Swahili: a study in language and culture contacts, ISBN 978-9173463775, pp. 72-84
  5. ^ a b Constance Jones and James D. Ryan, Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ISBN 978-0816073368, pp. 10-12
  6. ^ a b Horton, Mark; Middleton, John (2000). The Swahili: The social landscape of a mercantile society. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 063118919X. 
  7. ^ Philippe Beaujard "East Africa, the Comoros Islands and Madagascar before the sixteenth century, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa" (2007)
  8. ^ BBC Kilwa Pot Sherds http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/about/transcripts/episode60/
  9. ^ Nurse, Derek; Spear, Thomas (1985). The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800-1500. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 
  10. ^ A. Lodhi (2000), Oriental influences in Swahili: a study in language and culture contacts, ISBN 978-9173463775, pp. 72-84


This page was last edited on 12 February 2018, at 20:06.
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