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-Just Call Me Jari-
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Zanzibar which an East African Sultanate has really facinated me, The Swalhili thing, the beatiful Architecture, the Black sultans..etc. So why is Zanzibar usually ignored?? I will try to give reference to this kingdom..

For centuries, and perhaps aided by the Monsoon trade winds, there has been trade links between the coast of East Africa and the people of Arabia, Persia, India and as far as China. The dates are not known for certain but as early as the 1st century AD, Zanzibar and other coastal settlements in East Africa had established trade links with its nothern neighbours of the Indian Ocean.

Contrary to some scholars, who allege coercion as being the norm of the time, Arabic travellers of those days had no political ambitions. They were living in harmony and some of them inter-married with their hosts hence consolidating the bonds even further. The arrival of Islam in the 8th century strengthened the relationship and brought East Africa much closer to Arabia.

While the contacts with Arabia continued unabated for many centuries after the first arrival of arabic settlers, things changed to a great extent upon the arrival of Persians (Iran) by the 10th century. The Persians, who started with Hassan bin Ali Sultan with his six sons as mentioned in the Kilwa chronicles or with Darhash bin Shah from the Pemba chronicles, settled in many coastal settlements and formed the Zenj empire. They immediately established centres of control in Kilwa and Zanzibar, the latter emerging as a powerhouse of political rule in East Africa. Much of the build-up of social institutions and political organisations happened during this period where local rulers exerted control of some settlements along the coast. The process led to the formation of independent Muslim sultanates in Zanzibar and Kilwa with mixed Persian, Arab and African populations.

Ethnic Groups

After about three centuries of integration between natives, Arabs and the Shirazi immigrants, their emerged three major ethnic groups. The Watumbatu and Wahadimu who correspondingly ihabited the nothern and southern parts of Zanzibar island and Wapemba who occupied Pemba island. They all categorically regarded themselves as Shirazis and considered to be the indigenous people of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Blatantly, they deny to have major African roots and though they accept that some of the earlier ancestors came from the mainland, they object to the claim that they must be Bantus or Africans.

Administratively, people were organized in small local chieftains owing their allegiance to the Shirizi Sultans of either Kilwa or their local siblings. The administrative centre of Zanzibar island was first located in the island of Tumbatu but later on moved to Unguja Ukuu. The settlements flourished and enjoyed cool relations with its visitors and sometimes between 15th and 17th centuries some local rulers, Mwinyimkuu in Zanzibar with his headquarter in Dunga and Mkame Ndume in Pemba centred at Pujini, assumed supremacy and ruled until the period of invasion by the Portuguese.

Portuguese and Omanis

The period between 15th and 17th century was dominated by the invasion of Portuguese, who defeated local rulers and took control of almost all the coast of East Africa. They first conquered Oman followed by falling of other coastal settlements one by one. Their rule revived strong resistance and discontent among the natives and Omanis finally succeded in evicting the Portuguese out of their land. It is claimed that, the local rulers in East Africa sought Omani's assistance in their fight against the Portuguese and it paid off towards the end of the 17th century.

The freedom from the Portuguese was however shortlived as the Omanis annexed Zanzibar and many coastal towns to their empire that was ruled from Muscat. In the 18th century, Zanzibar and Pemba were subject to the sultans of Muscat and Oman. In 1832 the Omani sultan Sayyid Said (1787-1856) established his residence on Zanzibar, where he promoted the production of cloves and palm oil and carried on an active slave trade with the interior. His domain, which included parts of the mainland, was a commercial rather than a territorial empire. Although Sayyid Said had full control of Zanzibar island as early as 1822, Pemba was to a great extent ruled by the Mazruis of Mombasa. He later on controlled the Mazruis and assumed full control of Zanzibar and Pemba islands until the time of his death.

British and German Era

The 18th century was an era where Europeans were looking for colonies throughout the world and East Africa was not an exception. Upon his death, Sayyid Said had controlled a large empire but his successors did not have a legal claim to the lands they controlled commercially, and did not have the power to keep the Germans and British from annexing them when the European nations began dividing up Africa later in the century. But realizing the extent of Sultan's control, the Germans and later British colonial agents decided to give him a special status on his territories. The partition of Africa following the Berlin Confrence of 1884 offered the Sultan a claim to the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba and a coastal strip of 10 miles on the mainland of East Africa.

The domination of Germans coupled with the abolition of slave trade weakened the Sultan's empire and bit by bit he lost more land to the new European colonizers. The British and Germans came into some agreement with the Sultan to sell his possession on the mainland and by the end of 19th century very little remained in his control. The Germans, who were first in colonizing Tanzania agreed with the British to exchange Zanzibar with Heligoland and though the Sultan was still ruling, it was a de facto British colony. Zanzibar was thus ruled by two colonial masters at the same time, an event political scientists call unique in history. On the one hand there was Sultan and on the other the British colonial agents. Zanzibar of that time included the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, Latham and surrounding islets and theoretically it included the coastal strip of Kenya. Mombasa and the coastal strip of Kenya was handed to the new independent government of Kenya as late as 1963.

The Protectorate

After a period of confusing lines of control, Zanzibar was officially declared a British protectorate in 1890; the sultan was retained for ceremonial purposes, but most major decisions were made by the British resident. The British however continued to rule under cover and to the locals it appeared as if the Sultan was in control and their policies of division and rule and of exercising indirect rule created ethnic conflicts among people of Zanzibar and Pemba.

During their rule they encouraged formation of associations based on ethnic lines, which later on were the foundation for the new political parties. The ethnic based census of 1948 that categorized people into Shirazis, Arabs, Indians, and other African tribes formented ethnic tensions that have plagued Zanzibar ever since. The Arab, Indian, Shirazi and African associations that were formed in the 50s have plunged Zanzibar into political conflicts bigger than its size. During this period, the history of Zanzibar witnessed the formation of political parties all fighting for independence from Britain. The Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP), Afro Shirazi Party (ASP) and the Zanzibar and Pemba Peoples Party (ZPPP) are all products of ethnic associations. For example, the ZNP, which was launched by people considered to have no direct descendant to Arabs got a support from the Arab Association. The ASP was a merger between the African Association and the Shirazi Association. The ZPPP was an offshoot of ASP as result of disagreement of ASPs too much lineancy towards African Association. The period was marred by dirty politics and party conflicts that led to scores of politicians changing ranks from one party to another. The Umma Party, which was formed by communist members of the ZNP joined ASP in claiming full independence and became an influential partner of ASP in the early days after independence.

First Post-British Governments

Sultan Khalifa ibn Harub (1879-1960) used his influence to support British rule. At the time of his death, Britain was divesting itself of its African colonies, and Zanzibar, troubled by political factionalism, was granted internal self rule in June 1963.

After the election stalemates of June 1957 and January 1961, where no clear winner emerged to form a government, a deciding election was held in June 1961. A total of 23 seats were up for grab by the three competing parties, Afro Shirazi Party (ASP), Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP), and the Zanzibar and Pemba Peoples' Party (ZPPP). The results of the June 1961 election saw the ZNP/ZPPP alliance with 13 seats and ASP secured 10 seats. The alliance formed the first Internal Self Rule Government with Sheikh Mohammed Shamte as the Chief Minister.

On this picture are the ministers of the first cabinet. Seated from left are: Dr. Idarus Baalawy, Ali Muhsin (died March 20, 2006), Mohamed Shamte, Juma Alley and Ibuni Saleh. Standing from left are: Sheikh Ameir Tajo, Amirali Abdulrasul, Rashid hamadi, Omar Hamad (Mkamandume) and Maulid Mshangama.

Zanzibar was given full independence in December 10, 1963. The first government was formed by a coaliton of ZNP and ZPPP. Sheikh Mohammed Shamte, of the ZPPP became the first prime minister of an independent Zanzibar. The Sultan, at the time Jamshid ibn Abdullah, remained as the head of state the move that was vehemently protested by ASP.

On December 16, 1963, Prime Minister Mohammed Shamte, as the head of the independent and sovereign goverment of Zanzibar, delivered what was to be a historic speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

A few weeks later, January 12, 1964, the conservative government was overthrown in a bloody revolution led by John Okello and replaced by a leftist regime under Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume (1905-72). Immediately after the revolution, Karume signed a pact with Nyerere uniting Zanzibar and Tanganyika to form The United Republic of Tanzania (See Articles of Union).

karume

Abeid A. Karume, The First President of Zanzibar









Revolutionary Government

The government following the revolution of Zanzibar of 1964 leaned more towards the claim of Africans being the true natives and at the beginning of its rule it abolished all claims of the Shirazis. Although one could still claim to be a Shirazi, he/she had to accept being an African first and Shirazi underneath. Its first president, Abeid Amani Karume whose birth place has been a subject of intense discussion, proudly presented himself as an African. He went on to institute forced marriages where ASP leaders were ordered to marry Arabic and Indian women against their will. This was an attempt to re-write history and was met with pockets of resistance but were ruthlessly dealt with by Karume and his dictatorial regime.

The marxist revolutionary government confiscated all the major private property and went on to re-destribute the land to the poor by offering each individual a 3-acre plot. Karume's vision was to build a country where all people will have free housing, free medical care, and live under subsidized supplies of food, clothing and energy. Private enterprises were abolished and the state assumed full control of importation and eventual reselling of commodities. For those who could not work, a Welfare department was established to their care. Karume ordered free education to all but he was not happy with many of his intellectuals and it is believed that he ordered their liquidation. Much happened during the first decade of its rule and, to say the least, it was an era of grave human rights violation where people feared for their life on every minute of every day. Beginning with the aftermath of murders committed during revolution, people fled Zanzibar in search of safe havens on the mainland of Tanzania and Kenya and some sought refuge in other countries of the world.

There was also a period when the government stopped importation of food and encouraged self reliance. Some allege that the govermnent used foreign currency to import large arsenals of weapon in preparation for the eventual pull out of Nyerere's support. It is claimed that the union was originally planned for only 10 years and was to end in 1974. Security agents, the army and the ASP volunteers hunted those who attempted to smuggle food into the islands. Stories from people who experienced this ordeal would make you shed tears. Life was hard and unbearable and another wave of emigrants left the islands in search of lush pastures elsewhere. There were however those who could not take it anymore and on April 7 1972, they attempted to overthrow the revolutionary government but only managed to assasinate the president. Ironically, Karume was killed by his Arabic brother-in-law to what many believe is a revenge for the formers role in his father's death. Listen to the defence (in Swahili) of Abdulla Ali Khamis in the treason trial of 1972.

Apparently, it is believed that the people who planned the revolution were supported by Nyerere and their leader, Abdulrahman Babu, was a staunch supporter of establishing communist oriented government in Zanzibar in line with Nyerere's plan. The death of Karume was again followed by serious violations of human rights and not only that the ASP government hunted and shot those accused to have masterminded the revolution but also they went on to treat their bodies in some humiliating manner. There were others, mainly of arabic descent, who were just arrested and kept behind bars for apparently no solid evidence. The spill overs of the death of Karume spread to the island of Pemba where scores of people were arrested. I have heard stories of boys who played football and got arrested because it was assumed that they were celebrating the death of Karume. The regime was based on barbaric and dictatorial socialist policies!

Post Karume Era

Aboud Jumbe took over after Karume's death and the public hoped for an end to the past. His administration was a little bit softer than that of his predecessor but being under the leadership of the Revolutionary Council, he had to adopt some hardline policies, when it mattered, at the request of his colleagues. His decade in power was characterized by too much leaning to the mainland and in 1977 he championed the union between ASP and the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) of the mainland to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), a party that continue to rule until now.
jumbe

Aboud Jumbe Mwinyi, The Second President of Zanzibar









On the social side, people had some freedom and could travel freely to the outer world. Jumbe also opened up mainland educational institutions for Zanzibaris wishing to pursue higher education. This move created many possibilities for Zanzibaris to go beyond the teaching career that was the only available option for many. In the past, government positions were offered to people along party lines and apart from teaching there were not many possibilites for the high school graduates. In 1979, Jumbe made history by launching the first democratic institution, the House of Representatives but members were mainly appointed instead of being elected by the people at large. He also opened up his administration for people, who could otherwise have been kept out if the strict revolutionary principles were followed. This move, which he later seemed to regret, was the source of his downfall. He was at odds with, the so called, the committe of fourteen (view historical pictures) who included most of the people who participated in the revolution. Their influence began to decline and their powers, at times, questioned. In an attempt to remedy the damage he droped most of these new elements in his government and made a radical move of attempting to back down from his support towards one central government for the whole of Tanzania. In 1984, he was forced to resign by the CCM's central committe and Ali Hassan Mwinyi was appointed the new President of Zanzibar.

The government of Ali Hassan Mwinyi and his Chief Minister Seif Sharif Hamad was warmly welcomed by the public as it quickly eased down many of the problems left behind by the previous government. However, it was short lived and in 1985 Mwinyi became the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Idris Abdul Wakil was elected the new President of Zanzibar. In that election, Wakil became the president by scoring about 60% of the votes. This was very odd under the one party system and the aftershocks of the political turmoil that followed has left an unrepairable damage to the stability of Zanzibar and Pemba islands.

The elections of 1990 that brought Dr. Salmin Amour Juma to power were marred by poor turn out and rather than seeking for a solution, the incumbent went on to suspend most civil servants who were known to have caused that poor showing. Dr. Salmin or "Komandoo, as popularly referred, ruled with an iron fist and terrorized his opponents with arrests and even torture. But the voices of the opposition were difficult to silence and after strong pressure from both internal and external sources, Tanzania allowed multi-party politics to operate for the first time since independence.
salmini

Dr. Salmin Amour Juma, The Fifth President of Zanzibar









Zanzibar under Multi-party politics

When Tanzania introduced multi-party politics, Zanzibaris were already polarized into those supporting the status quo and supporters of the opposition, who had already gathered under the KAMAHURU banner. What was missing in the opposition camp was the official name of a legitimate political party and when the law was changed, the Civic United Front (CUF) was launched without any hitch. Other political parties with their bases on the mainland attempted to solicit support in Zanzibar but they have never gone beyond the level required by law of having some members on both sides of the union in an attempt to curb the suppress cessationists. Most of the leaders of CUF were once high ranking officers in CCM and knew the system quite well. They also enjoyed the popularity of Seif Sharif Hamad, whose charisma has been a constant scare to CCM and its supporters.
maalim

Seif Sharif Hamad, The Secretary of Civic United Front (CUF)









The 1995 elections in Zanzibar were marked by irregularities and CCM was accused of having rigged it for its own benefit. Election observers agreed the claims by the leading opposition party on the islands, the Civic United Front (CUF) and did not recognize the election results. CUF organised series of public protests and important donors for Zanzibar suspended their cooperation with Dr. Salmin's government. Dr. Salmin continued his acts of torture and harrasment of the opposition and above all, he came with a policy of segregating people who supported CUF mainly from the island of Pemba. Pembans were denied positions in government, deprived of higher education opportunities, and wherever possible their businesses were constrained by his government. His era might be over but the injustices he committed are hard to forget and for many opposition supporters in Zanzibar, it is hard to forgive him.

The 2000 elections cannot be distanced from the past elections in Zanzibar and acts of irregularities and rigging were rampant. State organs took all the measures to ensure a CCM win and it is believed by many that the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) purposely spoiled the elections. ZEC poorly organized the elections and later on announced a re-run in 16 constituencies in Zanzibar Urban District. CUF went on to boycot the whole election giving what CCM called "Ushindi wa Kishindo", which literally translates to "overwhelming victory" but the oppostion framed it as "forceful victory". It was clear that Zanzibaris would have to wait longer to witness peaceful elections as police continued to harrass the opposition months before and after the election day (view police brutality pictures). Commonwealth election observers called the 2000 elections as "shambles" and opposition supporters brought forward their protests to the goverment of Amani Abeid Karume.


amani

Amani Abeid Karume, The Sixth President of Zanzibar








In January 26-27 of 2001, Zanzibar witnessed yet another bloodshed in her troubled history when security organs murdered scores of people who staged an outlawed demonstration. At first, the CCM government played down the significance of such killings but when it became obvious that the image of Tanzania has been tarnished the Union government directed its party (CCM) to talk to the leading political party on the isles, the CUF.

After months of negotiations the CCM-CUF political accord was reached that among other things aimed at cooling down the tension that had risen to a very high proportion. A Joint Presidential Committee was formed by members from both parties and the new Zanzibar Election Commission (ZEC) has representatives from the two parties. Until now, things seems to be going on well despite few skermishes between party supporters and somehow championed by the state organs.

While we are waiting for the developments toward the 2005 election, Zanzibaris from all over the world are praying for peace and stability. However, much remains to be seen particularly from the Revolutionary government who continue to suppress the media and appear to be preparing ground for a new kind of confrontation.

This is a tip of Zanzibar's long history. By no means that this account has covered all what has happened in the past but we hope the reader will get a glimpse of the important events in its history. Much of the history is not written and media censoring has contributed to this debacle. To remind our readers, there were times when history as a subject was banned altogether and removed from the curriculum.

This is Zanzibar you see today!

As expected, the 2005 election did not bear the fruits people had hoped for. The ruling party, CCM, and its governments continued to deny Zanzibari's their rights to choose their own leaders.

Zanzibar Historical Pictures

To complete your reading of Zanzibar history, please view some historical pictures on this website. Among other things, you can see the pictures of ivory trade, Bububu Railway, the revolutionaries, and many more.

http://www.zanzinet.org/zanzibar/history/historia.html

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markellion
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It is ignored because it was a special interest to the British who controlled the slave trade. For this reason we hear about Arabs mixing and dominating the most. The history is portrayed different because of British propaganda


"EASTERN AFRICA AND THE INDIAN OCEAN TO 1800: REVIEWING RELATIONS IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE" by Pouwels, Randall L:

quote:
Until the nineteenth century, notions of the civilized person (mungwana) centered on the ideal of the free, cultured, indigenous townsperson who was thoroughly schooled in local language, tradition, and forms of Islam. There is little in the evidence to suggest there existed any specific association between local notions about what this meant and being or living "like an Arab" (ustaarabu), an idea that characterized nineteenth-century life.[109]
"The Myth of the Sultans in the Western Indian Ocean during the Nineteenth Century: A New Hypothesis" by Nicolini, Beatrice

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/afas/2009/00000008/00000003/art00005

quote:
The power of the Al Bu Sa'id Sultans of Oman was widely known as based on delicate balances of forces (and ethnic-social groups), deeply different among them. In fact, the elements that composed the nineteenth century Omani leadership were, and had always been, generally 'divided' amongst three different ethnic groups: the Baluch, the Asian merchant communities and the African regional leaders (Mwiny Mkuu). Within this framework, the role played by European Powers, particularly by the Treaties signed between the Sultans of Oman and the East India Company for abolishing slavery, and by the arms trade was crucial for the development of the Gulf and the Western Indian Ocean international networks They highly contributed to the gradual 'shifting' of the Omanis from the slave trade to clove and spice cultivation - the major economic source of Zanzibar Island - along the coastal area of Sub-Saharan East Africa.
The role played by the Omani Sultans - the myth - within the western traditional historiography, which often described them as firmly controlling both the Arabian and African littorals and the major trading ports of the Western Indian Ocean during the nineteenth century, will be reexamined in this paper, taking into account recent research studies and international debates in the topic.
The new hypothesis consists of a different perception of the concepts of power and control (political and territorial) of the Western Indian Ocean littorals by the most famous of the Sultans of Oman during the nineteenth century: Saiyid Sa'id bin Sultan Al Bu Sa'id."


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markellion
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In the 19th century there was more immigration by Arabs and Persians ect. to the Swahili Coast than earlier periods it wasn't a contentious migration for all history. The history is more distorted here than when it comes to any other part of history. The history of Timbuktu for example is normally portrayed with some degree of respect for the so called “blacks”. What is also important is the portrayal of Africans as being homogenous; Zanzibar is a multi-ethnic society because of Persians and Arabs ect. Without realizing this the same idea is carried on today but a city could be multi-ethnic even with the whole population originating from different places in Africa.

Even in the 19th century it wasn’t a case of the “black” population being completely subjugated. For example the over use of the word Arab leaves a distorted impression this is shown by the fact Europeans normally couldn't tell the difference between crew and cargo.

One good direction for further research would be to look into what people from different places in Africa came to the Swahili coast throughout history. The way that colonialists keep repeating the irrelevance of the "blacks" sort of continues on and infects todays perceptions of that coast

‘Unnatural and Ever Prejudicial’: Constructions of Race and Colonial Hierarchies by British Observers in 19th Century Zanzibar

http://cua.wrlc.org/bitstream/1961/5523/1/etd_jwd35.pdf

page 22

quote:

African individuals or groups on the island of Zanzibar inevitably refer simply to ‘Negroes’ or even simply ‘dark faces’, with no further distinction being deemed necessary. This is even more noticeable in light of the fact that no mention is made of Somalis or other groups in reference to any actual experiences with them in visits to the island. This may be due to a similar situation as that described by Kemball in relation to raids on suspected slave dhows in which “as a large portion of the crew of native boats is frequently composed of Negroes, it must of course be extremely difficult if not impossible, for any examining officer to ascertain whether the Africans on board are bona fide seamen, or brought for sale." Portrayals of the African populations are further limited by constant resort to such phrases as “Like all negroes they will wear…” or “like all places in which negroes congregate…” which essentialize the population in a way that requires no further elaboration by the author

Page 49

quote:
The exclusive characterization of the black populations of the island as part of the natural ecology, though possibly partly traceable to the essentialist view of Africa as their native home and not that of the Arab or Indian populations, also serves to lower them to the bottom ranking of human civilization in the British accounts and precludes the populations from consideration for roles in the leadership or administration of the territory. Though their presence in the ecological surveys is unmistakable, the African populations are also present in the explorers’ descriptions of the social makeup of the island in a way that continues their relatively dehumanized conglomeration and their subordination to the Arabs. Though the African populations are occasionally differentiated into several groups the differences attributed to each are minor and often enumerated only in the abstract without influencing the tendency to describe groups of people that the explorers personally observe according to their most basic stereotype. Oftentimes, the African populations melt into the background of the surveys, surfacing only when they are considered to have become a nuisance to the explorers or fail in their assigned tasks of facilitating their travel. When Alfred Bellville describes a house as “at present uninhabited, except by some negroes” he makes visible their almost complete irrelevance to the objectives of the visiting Briton and to the social life that he sees on the island

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markellion
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About Scorpion's comment I actually think it might be British economic manipulation because the migration wasn't at the same level for all those centuries

The Indians, because they were subjects of the British, were the ones that dominated trade on the East Coast by the 19th century

From another thread "The Arabian-African Connection"

http://www.egyptsearch.com/forums/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=006650

quote:
Originally posted by King_Scorpion:

It's interesting how it's described as cultural tradition to essentially emigrate to East Africa and mix with the local population there. Assuming this had gone on for a number of centuries...it would answer a lot of questions. Mostly, who were the Arabs that came over? Why did they come? But an answer that has yet to be answered is...What is this history of finding success in East Africa?


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One more thing that needs to be looked into is mistranslations. Literature can be completely altered with racist translations to the point where the new text has nothing to do with what the original author meant to write
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 -

"A Place Without History" by Brenda Fowler

http://www.archaeology.org/0509/abstracts/africa.html

quote:
For a long time historians thought elaborate stone structures like this didn't exist in this part of the East African hinterland. Nineteenth-century European travelers described the scorching, scrubby bush region of Tsavo as hostile and practically uninhabited. The assumption was that it had always been that way--a place virtually without history. The supposedly barren interior stood in sharp contrast to the flourishing towns along the East African coast, which historians had long believed were founded by Arabs and Persians as early as A.D. 800. Known as the Swahili, these Muslim communities sprouted along the coastline of East Africa from southern Somalia to Mozambique, and their inhabitants prospered trading with their neighbors around the Indian Ocean.

But over the past few decades new evidence has emerged suggesting that Swahili culture, while certainly shaped by Arabic immigrants, emerged from and also developed according to indigenous African traditions. The new thinking led Kusimba to reconsider the assumption that the people in the Kenyan interior were somehow separate and disconnected from those along the coast, and excluded from its economy. What, indeed, was going on in the Swahili hinterland and what ties did it have to the coast? These were the questions that sent Kusimba and his wife, Sibel Barut Kusimba, a Northern Illinois University archaeologist, to Tsavo in 1997.


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I'm confused because the article from the original post said that Persians founded these dynasties and they got this from the Kilwa chronicles. The bellow also cites the Kilwa chronicle but says something entirely different whats going on here?

dana marniche, do you have an explanation for this [Embarrassed] Seriously what is going on here?

The bold talks about the Kilwa chronicles and Africans claiming descent from the Middle East and also how Arabs began immigrating more in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Swahili from ending stereotypes site:

http://endingstereotypesforamerica.org/swahili.html

quote:

Rulers

In the past many people felt that Arabs ruled the Swahili cities, which that was sometimes the case. Yet even the Arabs who ruled quickly intermarried with local woman and learnt the African language and culture. After a short period the ruling Arabs became indistinguishable from the black Zang, physically and culturally. Adding to the confusion is the fact that many black rulers changed their names to Arab/Islamic forms following their conversions to Islam; some even decided to trace their genealogy to Arab areas instead of African in order to claim relation to the Prophet Mohammad. We have written accounts from the Pate Chronicle and the Kilwa Chronicle of the Swahili Coast that show the real African genealogy of rulers, which shows a very different genealogy than they claimed. The chronicles also show that the system of rule remained African; Succession of power, after the name change, still came only through African clans and not anywhere else. A.H.J Prins has found several other examples of African groups tracing their roots to the mid east, despite having an, "indubitably African origin." The Heritage of World Civilization, a book compiled by Harvard and Yale historians, confirms that: "Today historians are recognizing that the ruling dynasties of the Swahili states were probably African in origin."

Ibn Battuta recorded that; "the majority of its inhabitants are Zanj, jet black in color, and with tattoo-marks on their faces."22

"The population of these settlements," Salim confirms, "were predominately African, with initially a tiny minority of Arabs whose numbers increased substantially in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries."


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-Just Call Me Jari-
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Thanks Markellion

More from Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta sails to Mombasa pp. 112-113.

I embarked at Maqdashaw [Mogadishu] for the Sawahil [Swahili] country, with the object of visiting the town of Kulwa [Kilwa, Quiloa] in the land of the Zanj.

We came to Mambasa [Mombasa], a large island two days' journey by sea from the Sawihil country. It possesses no territory on the mainland. They have fruit trees on the island, but no cereals, which have to be brought to them from the Sawahil. Their food consists chiefly of bananas and fish.The inhabitants are pious, honourable, and upright, and they have well-built wooden mosques.

Kulwa on the African mainland

We stayed one night in this island [Mombasa], and then pursued our journey to Kulwa, which is a large town on the coast. The majority of its inhabitants are Zanj, jet-black in colour, and with tattoo marks on their faces. I was told by a merchant that the town of Sufala lies a fortnight's journey [south] from Kulwa and that gold dust is brought to Sufala from Yufi in the country of the Limis, which is a month's journey distant from it. Kulwa is a very fine and substantially built town, and all its buildings are of wood. Its inhabitants are constantly engaged in military expeditions, for their country is contiguous to the heathen Zanj.

The sultan at the time of my visit was Abu'l-Muzaffar Hasan, who was noted for his gifts and generosity. He used to devote the fifth part of the booty made on his expeditions to pious and charitable purposes, as is prescribed in the Koran, and I have seen him give the clothes off his back to a mendicant who asked him for them. When this liberal and virtuous sultan died, he was succeeded by his brother Dawud, who was at the opposite pole from him in this respect. Whenever a petitioner came to him, he would say, "He who gave is dead, and left nothing behind him to be given." Visitors would stay at his court for months on end, and finally he would make them some small gift, so that at last people gave up going to his gate.

Posts: 7810 | From: The fear of his majesty had entered their hearts, they were powerless | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Kilwa
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Kilwa Kisiwani was once the most famous trading post in East Africa. In 9th century the Swahili wealth owner of the island sold it to a trader called Ali bin Al-Hasan, the founder of Shiraz Dynasty. From 11th Century to early 15th Ali bin Al-Hasan managed to create a powerful city (Kilwa Kisiwani) and as major trading center along east African coast. He built a great mosque, established close trading links to interior of southern Africa as far as Nyasaland and Zimbabwe.

In this sense , Kilwa Kisiwani became the principle trading port on the Indian Ocean. Its wealth came from the exchange of gold and iron from Great Zimbabwe and other part of Southern Africa, ivory and slaves from mainland Tanzania with textiles, Jewelry, porcelain and spices from Asia.

By the 13th Century Kilwa had become the most powerful city on the East African Coast, exercising political and trading domination as far as Pemba Island in the north and Sofara (the modern Beira in Mozambique) in south . It is the offshore location and the tidal currents that isolate the island from the mainland protected them from landslide attack.

The outside world came to know Kilwa through a Moroccan intellectual travel {Abu Abdullah Ibn Batuta} who had visited Kilwa in 1331, and the Portuguese sailors who visited the place about 170 years after Batuta, these travelers are credited with much of the Kilwa's Written History:- about the life, wealth and powerful trade control on East African Coast. When Abu Abdullah Ibn Batuta, arrived at Kilwa, he was amazed with its beauty.

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