The Swahili World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Swahili World

1st Edition

Edited by Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Adria LaViolette

Routledge

672 pages

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pub: 2017-10-20
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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

LaViolette and Wynne-Jones

The Swahili world

Section I: Environment, background, and Swahili historiography

Environment

2

Lane & Breen

The eastern African coastal landscape

3

Pollard

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

Studying the Swahili world

4

Sutton

The eastern African coast: researching its history and archaeology

5

Ray

Defining the Swahili

6

 

Raaum, Williams, Kusimba, Monge Morris, & Mohammed

Decoding Swahili genetic ancestry

 

Contextualising the Swahili

7

Boivin and Crowther

Early connections

8

Walsh

The Swahili language and its early history

Section II: The Swahili age

Origins and early emporia

9

Horton & Chami

Swahili origins

10

Coppola

Swahili oral traditions and chronicles

11

Kusimba

Manda

12

Fleisher

Tumbe, Kimimba and Bandari Kuu

13

Juma

Unguja Ukuu

14

Sinclair & Ekblom

Chibuene

Swahili urbanism

15

Sinclair

Urbanism

16

Fleisher

Town and village

17

Qin & Ding

Mambrui and Malindi

18

Horton

Shanga

19

Pawlowicz

Gede

20

Kusimba, Williams, Monge, Mohammed, Oka, Oteyo, Kusimba, and Dussubieux

Mtwapa

21

LaViolette

Pemba

22

Fitton

Zanzibar

23

Christie

Mafia

24

Wynne-Jones

Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara

25

Pawlowicz

Mikindani and the southern coast

26

Wright

The Comoros and their early history

27

Wright

The Comoros 1000 - 1350 CE

28

Radimilahy

Mahilaka

Daily life

29

Wynne-Jones

The social composition of Swahili society

30

Mapunda

Metalworking on Swahili sites

31

LaViolette

Craft and industry

32

Quintana Morales & Prendergast

Animals in the Swahili world

33

 

Walshaw & Stoetzel

 

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

Trade and connectivity

34

 

Beaujard

 

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

35

Gilbert

Eastern Africa and the dhow trade

36

Walz

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

37

Kusimba & Kusimba

Mosaics and interconnectivity

38

Oka

Links with India

39

Zhao & Qin

Links with China

Objects of exchange

40

Pallaver

Currencies of the Swahili world

41

Wood

Glass beads and Indian Ocean trade

42

 

 

Priestman

 

 

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

Swahili architecture

43

Horton

Islamic architecture of the Swahili coast

44

Gensheimer

Swahili houses

Section III: The early modern and modern Swahili coast

Colonial domination and the rise of Zanzibar

45

Prestholdt

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

46

Sheriff

Zanzibar old town

47

 

Biginagwa and Mapunda

 

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

The contemporary coast

48

Bang

Islam in the Swahili world: Connected authorities

49

Marshall & Kiriama

The legacy of slavery on the Swahili coast

50

Caplan

Life in Swahili villages

51

Bissell

The modern life of Swahili stonetowns

52

Hillewaert

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

53

Abungu

Pate

54

Kiriama

Mombasa

55

Meier

The Swahili house: a historical ethnography of modernity

56

Abungu, Ali, and Mchulla

The future of Swahili monuments

 

 

 

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Worlds

The Routledge Worlds are magisterial surveys of key historical epochs, edited and written by world-renowned experts. Giving unprecedented breadth and depth of coverage, they are the works against which all future books on their subjects will be judged and are essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in the subject.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC003000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology