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Zanzibar nella prima metà del XIX secolo: terra, gruppi di potere e classi sociali
Journal Title: STORIA URBANA  
Author/s: Beatrice Nicolini 
Year:  2002 Issue: 98-99 Language: Italian 
Pages:  21 FullText PDF:  136 KB

The history of the island and of the town of Zanzibar is here analysed within a wider framework, with special focus to 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 composition of Swahili civilization: the result of a dynamic society open to external influences, but also strongly based on its Bantu origins and traditions. The origins of Swahili civilization have been identified in five main factors, all of the same importance: the nature of the coast; trades between Africa, Arabia and Asia where Swahilis played a role of merchants and middlemen; the subjugation of their society to external powers; its multi ethnic composition; the complexity of this African society evolution. This paper takes into consideration the origins, trades with China, the role of Islam, the Portuguese presence, the urban landscape of the oriental coast of 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.

Beatrice Nicolini, in "STORIA URBANA " 98-99/2002, pp. , DOI:


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