October 30, 2014
ZanjIn the passage, “The Coast of the Zanj,” the author, al Mas’ udi, an Arab traveler gives us a brief over view of how the people on the east Africa coast lived. It began when Arab traders sought the land. The traders married the daughters of chiefs and would gain ownership of the lands of Zanj. Similar to other areas of the world, the people of Zanj have their own unique way of living. “The coast of the Zanj,” gives us insight on the people’s trade, language, religion, and food/agriculture. Early on, the people of this area took a huge part in trade along the coast of Africa and across the Indian Ocean. Leopard skin and tortoiseshell were very popularly produced in the land of Zanj. The leopard skin was exported to other countries and also used for clothes or making saddles. Combs were made from the tortoiseshell. Transportation for the Zanj was provided by the strong, Ox, who mainly populated the area. People of Zanj would travel by Ox on the main trading route to Oman and be sent to China and India. Although in Zanj there was not any religious law, holy men, like preachers would speak to the people about God and how they should honor him. The holy men would also preach in the own unique language of Zanj. Bananas were often consumed by the people of Zanj, but a cereal plant called millet and kalari were eaten routinely. Meat and honey were also favored by the Zanj people. The passage shows us many characteristics of the people of Zanj and how their society was ran. Although Zanj is much smaller, it has a society that can be very similar and different to other, bigger societies around the world.
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