The history of the island and of the town of Zanzibar is here analysed within a wider framework, with special focus on Swahili identity and civilization. The multiethnic and multireligious composition, combined to the mercantile essence of the islands and coastal cities of East Africa, led to the creation and to the growing importance of the Swahili civilization: the result of a dynamic society open to external influences, but also strongly based on its Bantu origins and traditions. The roots of Swahili civlization have been identified in five main factors, all of the same high values: the nature of the coast; the trades between Africa, Arabia and Asia littorals and interiors where the Swahilis played numerous roles as merchants and middlemen; the complexity of this African society evolution. This paper takes into consideration the origins, the trade with China, the role of Islam, the Portuguese presence, the urban landscape of the Oriental coast of East Africa and of the facing islands, the Arabs of Oman presence and its implications, some aspects of land property and of social stratification, and, finally, the coming of the Europeans starting from the XIX century onwards.
|Titolo tradotto del contributo||[Autom. eng. transl.] Zanzibar in the first half of the 19th century: land, power groups and social classes|
|Numero di pagine||63|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2002|
- History of Africa