Asian Military and Mercantile Movements in East Africa during the Nineteenth Century: A Few Notes

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter

Abstract

During the nineteenth century, the growth in the volume of trade managed by the Asian mercantile communities, with the political support of the Arabs, and the military protection of the Asian soldiers, led to progressive modifications of the African populations. These lost their trade monopolies, and their most deeply-rooted social and cultural traditions underwent traumatic changes. Entire squadrons of Asian soldiers settled in the interior of East Africa at Tabora and at Kigoma, on Lake Tanganyika. In this same century Asian troops, together with the soldiers called shihiri, from Hadhramaut, fought also against the Nyamwezi in the region of the Unyanyembe. Other Asians warriors joined the caravans that traded with the interior, travelling as far as the Congo. On Zanzibar island, instead, a gradual process of osmosis occurred that often linked magical practices with the precepts of the Quran, resulting in different hierarchies of power that reflected the multiplicities of social, cultural and religious roots. These interactions improved commercial activities, to the point that the British explorer and adventurer, Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890), defined the Island of Zanzibar as: “the depot of the richest trade in Eastern Africa”.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteEarly Maritime Cultures in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Papers from a conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (African Studies Program) 23-24 October 2015, with additional contributions
Pagine139-150
Numero di pagine12
Volume2018
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018

Keywords

  • East Africa

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