As-Salmi A. From Oases to the Cities. The Immigration of the South Eastern Arabs to the Swahili East African Coast And The Arab-Afro Integration

AL-SALMI Abdulrahman — Doctor, Editor-in-Chief of the journal “Al-Tafahom” (Tolerance/ Understanding), Institute of Shariah Sciences in Muscat (Oman, Muscat)



 Download  |  Go to Issue #2. 2018


ABSTRACT. Since Pre-Islamic times people from South-East Arabia were known as navigators and settlers in the Indian Ocean rim. Written as well as archaeological sources prove Omani maritime activities in the Indian Ocean which connected Oman with the Ancient Oriental civilizations as well as with the Hindus valley civilization from the 3rd millennium BC onward. Written sources from the Roman period, in first place the “Periplus of the Eritrean Sea”, evidence Omani activities as far as India and beyond. In this paper we shall outline the cultural, material and historical relations between the Arabs of the Southeast Arabian coast with the East coast of Africa. These relations have shaped and affected both worlds by creating a unique civilization, that established itself along the coasts of the Red Sea and East Africa since many centuries ago. We shall follow the historic and cultural steps of Arabs sailors, traders and nomads from South Yemen (Aden and Hadramawt) and South Eastern Arabia (Oman), which were the pioneers in the formation and development of this civilization over centuries. This cultural process lasted until the middle of the twentieth century and was stopped by the dramatic political events which coined the death sentence for the unique, multi-ethnic and multi-religious civilization. The article put the Arab and Omani heritage of the Swahili East African Coast within the frames of these historical events. 

KEYWORDS: South-East Arabia, Swahili East African Coast, the Arab-Afro integration, Omani heritage, the Lamu Archipelago, Kilwa, the island of Zanzibar

УДК 961/969 

DOI 10.31250/2618-8600-2018-2-131-150 




Allen J. de V. Lamu Town. A Guide. Mombasa: Rodwell Press, 1974. (in English). 

Allen J. de V. Siyu in the l8th and 19th Centuries. Transafrican Journal of History, 1979, vol. 8, pp. 11–35. (in English). 

Brown W. History of Siyu. The Development and Decline of a Swahili Town on the Northern Kenya Coast. Ph. D. Thesis. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1985. (in English). 

Brown W. Siyu: Town of the Craftsmen. Azania, 1988, vol. 23, pp. 101–113. (in English). 

Casson L. The Periplus Maris Erythraei. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1989, 320 p. (in English). 

Chittick N. Notes on Kilwa. Tanganyika Notes and Records, 1959, vol. 52, pp. 179–183. (in English). 

Chittick N. Discoveries in the Lamu Archipelago. Azania, 1967. vol. 2, pp. 55–63. (in English). 

Chittick N. A New Look at the History of Pate. Journal of African History, 1969, vol. 10, pp. 375–391. (in English). 

Chittick N. Kilwa. An Islamic Trading City on the East African Coast. Nairobi: British Instit. in Eastern Africa, 1974, 510 p. (in English). 

Chittick N. Manda. Excavations at an Island Port on the Kenyan Coast. Nairobi: British Instit. in Eastern Africa, 1984, 258 p. (in English). 

Coupland R. East Africa and its Invaders. From the Earliest Times to the Death of Seyyid Said in 1856. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1965. (in English). 

Freeman-Grenville G. East African Coin Finds and Their Historical Significance. Journal of African History, 1960, vol. 1, pp. 31–43. (in English). 

Freeman-Grenville G. The East African Coast. Select Documents from the First to the Earlier Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962a, 314 p. (in English). 

Freeman-Grenville G. The Medieval History of the Coast of Tanganyika. London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1962b, 238 p. (in English). 

Freeman-Grenville G. The French at Kilwa Island. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965, 243 p. (in English). 

Freeman-Grenville G., Martin B. A Preliminary Handlist of Arabic Inscriptions of the East African Coast. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1974, vol. 30, pp. 98122. (in English). 

Ghaidan U. Lamu. A Study of the Swahili Town. Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau, 1975, 94 p. (in English). 

Gaube H., Al-Salimi A. The Ibadis in the Region of the Indian Ocean. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2013, 446 p. (in English). 

Harries L. Swahili Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962. (in English). 

Horton M. Shanga. The Archaeology of a Muslim Trading Community on the Coast of East Africa. London: British Institute in Eastern Africa, 1996, 458 p. (in English). 

Kirkman J. Men and Monuments of the East African Coast. London: Lutterworth Press, 1964, 224 p. (in English).

Middleton J. The World of the Swahili. An African Mercantile Civilization. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992, 254 p. (in English). 

Montgomery D. A Beautiful Ivory Bangle. Eastern Africa and Seatraders., 2008, 302 p. (in English). 

Nicholls C. The Swahili Coast. Politics, Diplomacy and Trade on the East African Littoral 1798–1856. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971, 419 p. (in English). 

Pearce F. Zanzibar. The Island Metropolis of Eastern Africa. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1920. (in English). 

Pouwels R. L. Horn and Crescent. Cultural Changes and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, 800–1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987, 288 p. (in English). 

Sheriff A. Mosques, Merchants and Landowners in Zanzibar Stone Town. Azania, 1992, vol. 27, pp. 1–20. (in English). 

Sheriff A. An Outline History of Zanzibar Stone Town. In: A. Sheriff (ed.). The History and Conservation Zanzibar Stone Town. London: Dept. of Archives, Museums & Antiquities in association with J. Currey, 1995, pp. 8–20. (in English). 

Vosmer T. Maritime Trade in the Bronze Age. In: A. Al Salimi, E. Staples (eds.). Oman. A Maritime History. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2017, pp. 31–45. (in English). 

Wilding R. Notes on Siu Fort. Azania, 1973, vol. 8, pp. 151–153. (in English). 

Wilson T. The Monumental Architecture and Archaeology North of the Tana River. Nairobi: National Museums of Kenya, 1978. (in English). 

Wilson T. Takwa an Ancient Swahili Settlement of the Lamu Archipelago. Kenya Past and Present, 1979, vol. 10, pp. 7–16. (in English). 

Wilson T., Omar A. Archaeological Investigations at Pate. Azania, 1997, vol. 32, pp. 31–76. (in English).