1st Edition

The Swahili World





ISBN 9780367660000
Published September 29, 2020 by Routledge
702 Pages

USD $54.95

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Book Description

The Swahili World presents the fascinating story of a major world civilization, exploring the archaeology, history, linguistics, and anthropology of the Indian Ocean coast of Africa. It covers a 1,500-year sweep of history, from the first settlement of the coast to the complex urban tradition found there today. Swahili towns contain monumental palaces, tombs, and mosques, set among more humble houses; they were home to fishers, farmers, traders, and specialists of many kinds. The towns have been Muslim since perhaps the eighth century CE, participating in international networks connecting people around the Indian Ocean rim and beyond. Successive colonial regimes have helped shape modern Swahili society, which has incorporated such influences into the region’s long-standing cosmopolitan tradition.





This is the first volume to explore the Swahili in chronological perspective. Each chapter offers a unique wealth of detail on an aspect of the region’s past, written by the leading scholars on the subject. The result is a book that allows both specialist and non-specialist readers to explore the diversity of the Swahili tradition, how Swahili society has changed over time, as well as how our understandings of the region have shifted since Swahili studies first began.





Scholars of the African continent will find the most nuanced and detailed consideration of Swahili culture, language and history ever produced. For readers unfamiliar with the region or the people involved, the chapters here provide an ideal introduction to a new and wonderful geography, at the interface of Africa and the Indian Ocean world, and among a people whose culture remains one of Africa’s most distinctive achievements.

Table of Contents

List of Figures





List of Tables





Maps





Preface





Note on Terminology





Contributors



1. The Swahili world



Section I: Environment, background, and Swahili historiography



2. The eastern African coastal landscape



3. Resources of the ocean fringe and the archaeology of the medieval Swahili



4. The eastern African coast: researching its history and archaeology



5. Defining the Swahili



6. Decoding Swahili genetic ancestry



7. Early connections



8. The Swahili language and its early history



9. Swahili origins



10. Swahili oral traditions and chronicles



11. Manda



12. Tumbe, Kimimba and Bandari Kuu



13. Unguja Ukuu



14. Chibuene



15. Urbanism



16. Town and village



17. Mambrui and Malindi



18. Shanga



19. Gede



20. Mtwapa



21. Pemba



22. Zanzibar



23. Mafia



24. Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara



25. Mikindani and the southern coast



26. The Comoros and their early history



27. The Comoros 1000 - 1350 CE



28. Mahilaka



29. The social composition of Swahili society



30. Metalworking on Swahili sites



31. Craft and industry



32. Animals in the Swahili world



33. Plant use and the creation of anthropogenic landscapes: coastal forestry and farming



34. The progressive integration of eastern Africa into an Afro-Eurasian world-system, first-fifteenth centuries CE



35. Eastern Africa and the dhow trade



36. Early inland entanglement in the Swahili world, c. 750-1550 CE



37. Mosaics and interconnectivity



38. Links with India



39.Links with China



40. Currencies of the Swahili world



41. Glass beads and Indian Ocean trade



42. Quantitative evidence for early long-distance exchange in eastern Africa: the consumption volume of ceramic imports



43. Islamic architecture of the Swahili coast



44. Swahili houses



45. Navigating the early modern world: Swahili polities and the continental-oceanic interface



46. Zanzibar old town



47. The Kilwa – Nyasa caravan route: the long-neglected trading corridor in southern Tanzania



48. Islam in the Swahili world: Connected authorities



49. The legacy of slavery on the Swahili coast



50. Life in Swahili villages



51. The modern life of Swahili stonetowns



52. Identity and belonging on the contemporary Swahili coast: the case of Lamu



53. Pate



54. Mombasa



55. The Swahili house: a historical ethnography of modernity



56. The future of Swahili monuments

...
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Editor(s)

Biography

Adria LaViolette is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Virginia. Her interest in the Swahili coast began in 1987 while teaching at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Since then she has conducted archaeological research on the Tanzanian mainland coast and on Pemba and Zanzibar islands. She has been Editor-in-Chief of African Archaeological Review since 2009.





Stephanie Wynne-Jones is currently Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, affiliated with Uppsala University. She has been Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York since 2011 and is a core group member of the Centre for Network Evolutions at Aarhus University (DNRF119). She has conducted archaeological research on the Swahili coast since 2000, in Kenya, Tanzania, and on the Zanzibar archipelago.

Reviews

“This edited volume provides a compilation of research carried out on the Swahili coast and its archaeological sites”
Stéphane Pradines, Aga Khan Centre, UK, Antiquity Publications

 

"This book is a great resource for those working along the Swahili coast and interior areas with similar archaeological deposits. Indeed, I finished reading the book with a better understanding of the history, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology of the Swahili coast. From these perspectives, the authors have explored the Swahili coast’s history from what they consider to be the earliest settlements to the remains of complex monumental structures found there today. This unique wealth of the detail on past of the Swahili coast is the true strength of the book that Wynne-jones and LaViolette produced for us."

Elgidius B. Ichumbaki, African Archeological Review