African History

Topics: Timbuktu, Mali Empire, Keita Dynasty Pages: 5 (1671 words) Published: October 24, 2014

Organized Week 9 Presentation Notes
Lumumba Shabaka
Perception of origin
Swahili emphasized distinctivesness
Swahili means “coasters” in Arabic
Claiming Persian & Arab descent
Uungwana (civilized) ways
Swahili architecture emerged suddenly along with Muslim religion in 11 & 12 cent, supposedly no local archetypes Ustaaarabu (Arabness): used Arab script, Arab names, etc.
1980s: Neville Chittick & Mark Horton challenge this sudden rise; World System Linkage
Egyptian, Arab, Chinese & Portuguese documents
Periplus Maris Erythraei: Egyptian Greek merchant (40AD-55) related to coastal trading sites Ptolemy’s ( 87-150 AD) Geography: described metropolis & cave dwellers near a large river Prof. Felix Chami’s discovery of cave dwellers with pottery & human bones in Juani Island near Rufiji River corroborates Ptolemy Dr. Chami’s findings were dated to 600 BC. “They included Greco-Roman pottery, Syrian glass vessels, Sassanian pottery from Persia & glass beads.” (BBC, Wed 17 April, 2002) Kmt dominated the Red Sea trade from 2500 BC to 200 BC

Aksum linking East Africa with Greco-Roman from 2 Cent BC to 200 AD Persia (570-616 AD conquered Egypt & Yemen)
Bantu
From 9th century: expansion of local communities of farmers, fishers and traders Kiswahili is a Bantu language
Closely Related to Sabaki languages on Kenyan coast
Early Origin from Northeast Coast languages of Tanzania
Borrowed from Arabic words mostly in: jurisprudence, trade, religion, non-indigenous flora & maritime affair This influence was recent in 17th-19 centuries
Over 1000 years few influence of Arabic in Kiswahili morphology & phonology Was not a pidgin or creole as argued by Alamin Mazrui and Ibrahim Noor Sheriff Established in 9th cent area of Lamu Archipelago

Shiraz origin tradition cannot be proven with archaeology & linguistic influence Shiraz (Persia) declined in importance much earlier before Shirazi migration Shirazi tradition states came from Shungwaya area of Kenyan-Somali coast Shirazi tradition stresses tribute to indigenous dwellers & marriage with daughters Northeast Coast (NEC) arrived in Tanazania coast by 2 or 3 century AD Coincides with Kwale ware pottery & iron work

Peripuls & Ptolemy’s Geography mention coastal towns in 1 & 2 centuries AD Archaeology of Early Swahili Societies filled in the gaps: local site reports & area surveys Mark Horton: Shanga, site report, showing development of old town from 8th to 15th cent. Shanga: shows pre-Muslim origin

Corroborates work by Chittick on Kilwa Y Manda
Shanga, ca. 760-780: founded by local fishermen &
craftsmen; circular thatched or rectangular timber-daub huts Iron tools, shell beads & pottery similar to Tana Tradition, the latter succeeded Kwale tradition Shanga
Traded with Persian Sassanian-Islamic ware circa late 8th century “Shungwaya” Period (800-1100 AD)
Exported ivory, timber, tortoise shell, ambergris, rock crystal, slaves, gum copal & rion. Shifted trade with southern Arabia by 13 & 14 Cent.
From older mud foundations built new stone houses
Kilwa, Lamu, Comoro Islands, etc similar
“Shirazi” period (1300-1600): Islamization
Portuguese rule (1600s)
Arab influence (16th-17th Cent)
Omani influence (18th-19th Cent)
Middlemen Societies
Linking hinterland via coast to outside
Commercial & Cultural brokers
Swahili town: polyglot & multiethnic frontiers
Maritime civilization
Social stratification
Islamization
Immigration from Arabia & India
Town Composition
Each town had unique resources, specialization & exchange systems Market relations: relegated by trust & kinship
Lineage functioned as a trading house
Most Swahili lived in mud huts in country town; egalitarian; farmers & fishers; marriage was exogamous; council of elders Stone towns: economically stratified trade (accommodations to foreign traders, import & export, etc) Stone towns: subdivided by...
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