Swahili people and interior africa relationship help

swahili people and interior africa relationship help

East Africa and the Middle East relationship from the first millennium BC to about AD The Swahili people identified themselves with Islam and their leaders . He probably followed a trade route from Rhapta to the deep interior where he From /5 to AD, they controlled southern Arabia and with the support of . This educational resource consists of 16 sets of resources on African Please help the British Museum improve its educational resources for Furthermore, since these early times, the people of the coast have looked outwards, but because it represents an important aspect of Africa's relationship with the world, and links. Slavery, Islam and Diaspora, Africa World Press, pp, .. help to the Swahili against the Portuguese and the Oromo Trade, par- ticularly the slave . Swahili traders also obtained slaves from the coastal interior. It is likely According to the traditions of the Pokomo, a Bantu-speaking people.

It thus developed as the northern hub in the bifocal commercial system along the Swahili coast. Ibn Battuta described it as a large offshore island where the diet consisted of bananas and fish, and had lemons and oranges, and imported grains from the mainland; but everyone went barefoot.

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There was plenty of food, including cattle and sheep, food grains as well as a great variety of fruits and vegetables.

It had a good harbor and was a place of great traffic in which there were always moored a great variety of ships from Malindi, Zanzibar, Sofala and Cambay.

During the first one and a half centuries, the settlement on Manda Island consisted of wattle and daub houses, a very prosperous place with a large quantity of imports, but there is no evidence of Islam. Shanga on the nearby Pate Island was occupied from the mid-8th to early 15th century. In earlier phases, it was occupied by fishermen and craftsmen who lived in circular or rectangular wattle and daub houses, worked iron, ground shell beads, and produced Tana ware.

They were prosperous places with a large quantity of imports of pottery and glass, mainly from the Persian Gulf area by the midth century when ivory, timber, rock crystal, and iron were being exported.

However, while there is no evidence of Islam at Manda, evidence of Islamic practices are apparent at Shanga from the very beginning, with burials dated to c. Porites coral was used in building a stone mosque from the 10th century, which Horton suggests may have been introduced from the Eritrean coast in the Red Sea.

Fatimid coins have been found at Manda and Mtambwe on Pemba, and there was local minting of silver coins that show similarities with Fatimid coins from Sicily, suggesting trading connections with the Mediterranean with the rise of the Fatimids in Egypt. Earliest mosque at Shanga, showing postholes of earlier stick and mud mosques and of the stone mosque from the 10th century.

Courtesy of Mark Horton. Along the Somali coast, the 12th century, Chinese author Chau Ju-kua had noted a contrast between pastoralists in the interior and cosmopolitan mercantile societies in coastal cities like Brava and Mogadishu. Coastal societies were stratified, with the king and his ministers living in brick houses and wearing jackets and turbans, while the common people lived in huts made of palm leaves and wrapped themselves in cotton stuffs but went bareheaded and barefooted.

He wore fabrics imported from Jerusalem and Egypt. There was an elaborate commercial system, with touts taking merchants to their respective hosts who provided accommodation and transacted their business, while scholars like Ibn Battuta were received by the Qadhi. In the early 16th century, Barbosa reported that wealthy people exchanged their produce for colored silks and satins, gold, silver, porcelain, pepper, rice, and other cereals from Cambay, and Pires adds that traders from Mogadishu, as well as those from Mombasa, Malindi, and Kilwa, traded as far as Melaka in Southeast Asia, although apparently in Indian ships from Cambay.

According to Chittick, during the early phase between andTana pottery predominated, with occasional Sassanian-Islamic pottery at the lowest levels. The inhabitants lived in rectangular mud and thatch houses, and they engaged in fishing, bead grinding, ironworking, and weaving; but they were also already engaged in trade. Muhiyy al-Din al-Qahtani in the s, as well as in chronicles of numerous towns along the whole length of the Swahili coast from the Benadir to Mozambique, the Comoros, and northern Madagascar.

Hasan from Shiraz embarked with his sons for the Swahili coast: Having come to the settlement of Mogadishu and Barawa, as he was of Persian origin and belonged to the sect of Mahamed which. Muhammad al-Shirazi, an unequivocal Persian name that actually names his hometown. Mtambwe silver coins minted by Ali b.

Hasan and Bahram b. However, the Shirazi dynasty at Kilwa was troubled by rival ports in the neighborhood, especially Songo Mnara and Sanje ya Kati.

Contemporary Omani records examined by Wilkinson record active Ibadhi missionary activities in Kilwa at the beginning of the 12th century and a split in that community at the turn of the century in which one party had adopted a Shia Ithnaasheri creed. This connection shows up at Sharma on the Hadhramaut coast where nearly an eighth of the ceramics appear to have originated from the Swahili coast from late 10th to midth centuries.

With control over the gold trade from Sofala, there was a steep increase in prosperity under the new Mahdali dynasty of Yemeni origin when Chinese pottery and glass beads were imported, and even stone bowls were obtained from Madagascar.

Kilwa went through a sudden burst of lavish expenditure and monumental construction. The Friday Mosque was extended enormously south of the older stone mosque, embellished with domes and arches, which a German visitor in the early 16th century compared with the great mosque at Cordoba.

At the same time, the Husuni Kubwa palace was constructed from with an octagonal swimming pool high on the cliff overlooking the harbor, using local building technology but introducing new architectural styles, motifs, and domes. They have cuttings on their faces. This may have been another slip in his memory because the monumental structures of Kilwa were made of stone.

Kilwa Friday Mosque—external view. Kilwa Friday Mosque—internal view. However, the price of gold had slumped, and the Black Death disrupted Indian Ocean trade. Husuni Kubwa was abandoned; the domed extension of the mosque collapsed and was not repaired for some decades.

Kilwa did not revive until after At about the same time, Abu al-Fida mentioned that its inhabitants professed Islam Figure 7. Husuni Kubwa palace, Kilwa. Oxford University Press,fig. Courtesy British Institute in Eastern Africa. Some of the earliest words of Bantu origin introduced into Madagascar relating to pastoralism were of Cushitic or Bantu origin, and words for paper and ink, musical instruments, and measures are of Arabic derivation directly or through Swahili.

Sasanian-Islamic pottery of the 9th—11th centuries have been excavated at Irodo, and Islamic glass, glass beads from India, and yellow and black pottery from Hadhramaut date to the 14th century; Chinese celadon and blue and white pottery made their appearance during the 15th century. Islamic pottery, Indian beads, and Chinese stoneware have been discovered even at Teniky in the middle of the island dating to the 16th century.

In return, specimens of soapstone, which may have originated in Madagascar, have been found at Kilwa, Siraf, Bhambore near the Indus delta, and even at Zimbabwe Figure 8. The Swahili population is about half a million. For most Kenyans and Tanzanians, KiSwahili is learned as a second language.

Swahili people speak KiSwahili as their "mother tongue," and it reflects their mixed origins and complex history. The language includes many words borrowed from Arabic and other languagesyet its grammar and syntax place it in the Bantu language family, which has roots on the African continent. Like many Kenyans, Swahili people also use English in their daily interactions, particularly in schools, government offices, and the tourist industry.

For example, many people tell short, moralistic tales based on the Prophet Muhammad's life. Swahili Muslims recognize the five pillars of faith that are basic to Islamic practice worldwide: For Swahili people, Islam encompasses more than just spiritual beliefs and practices; Islam is a way of life.

swahili people and interior africa relationship help

For Muslims, the most important holidays are religious. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan. Eid al-Hajj celebrates the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca. Each Eid is celebrated by praying, visiting relatives and neighbors, and eating special foods and sweets. During the month of Ramadan, Swahili along with all other Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Maulidi, or the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, is widely celebrated by Muslims. Birthday parties, increasingly popular, include eating cake, disco dancing, and opening presents. Graduation ceremonies mark a young person's educational progress.

  • 2 • LOCATION
  • East Africa and the Middle East relationship from the first millennium BC to about 1500 AD

Marriage marks the transition to adulthood. Marriages are usually arranged by parents. Raw and unprocessed items from Africa e. The oceangoing sailing vessels from Asia and the foot caravans from the interior met at the coast, where the Swahili merchants provided safe harbors and the many complex skills and facilities needed for mercantile exchange.

Africa is going to unite, Africans accepting KISWAHILI, to be Africa official Language,

Interspersed with these are the "Country-towns," large villagelike places of impermanent housing that have provided the Stone-towns with foodstuffs and labor but have not themselves taken direct part in the long-distance commerce. The whole has formed a single oikumene, never a single polity, but a congeries of towns with a single underlying structure.

swahili people and interior africa relationship help

Country-towns grow foodstuffs in gardens and fields; Stone-towns once had large plantations worked by slave labor for the growing of export grains, their own food coming mainly from the Country-towns. The staple foods are rice and sorghums; the most important of the many other crops and trees are the coconut, banana, tamarind, mango, and clove the last grown mainly in large plantations formerly owned by Omani Arabs.

Fishing is important everywhere, and few livestock are kept. Labor has been provided from three sources: In the Country-towns, men and women are, in most respects, considered equal and their respective labor as being complementary: In the Stone-towns, domestic and agricultural work was carried out by slaves until the beginning of the twentieth century.

Since then, it has been done in most towns by hired and "squatter" labor from the Country-towns and by non-Swahili immigrants. Shortage of seasonal labor has always been a serious problem in all the Swahili settlements; this remains true today.

Kinship, Marriage, and Family There is a wide variation in forms of descent and kin group among the Swahili settlements. Country-towns are divided into moieties, and these into wards or quarters. The wards, composed of clusters of cognatically related kin, are the corporate and landholding units.

Marriage is preferred between cross and parallel cousins; it is seen largely as a way to retain rights over land within the small kin group. Authority is held by senior men and women, and all local groups are regarded as equal in rank. Within the Stone-towns, the main social groups are in most cases patrilineal subclans and lineages.

East Africa and the Middle East relationship from the first millennium BC to about AD - Persée

The clans are distributed among the coastal towns and even in southern Arabiafrom which immigrant origin is often claimed.

These towns are likewise divided into moieties and constituent wards, the former once providing indigenous forms of government; their structural opposition is expressed in fighting at certain rituals, football matches, and poetry competitions. The corporate groups are the lineages, segments of subclans, that, in the past, acted as business houses and owned the large permanent houses that are so marked a feature of these towns. The subclans are ranked, position depending largely on antiquity of claimed immigration and settlement, as well as on commercial wealth and standing.

Members of these mercantile lineages are known as "patricians.

The Swahili in the African and Indian Ocean Worlds to c. 1500

In the Stone-towns, the preferred marriage forms vary. For firstborn daughters, they should be between close paternal parallel cousins. Bride-wealth and dowry are both transferred, as are residential rights not full ownership, which is vested in the lineage for the daughter in her lineage house, marriage thus being uxorilocal. Marriages of later-born daughters are more usually with cross cousins, often in neighboring Stone-towns so as to make and retain useful commercial ties.

Stone-town weddings are traditionally elaborate and costly, the bride needing to show her virginity and so her purity, which reflects upon the honor and reputation of her husband. Country-town weddings are basically similar but less elaborate and less ritualized.