The Shirazi in Swahili Traditions, Culture, and History

  title={The Shirazi in Swahili Traditions, Culture, and History},
  author={Thomas C. Spear},
  journal={History in Africa},
  pages={291 - 305}
  • T. Spear
  • Published 1984
  • History
  • History in Africa
“Strange foreign jewels on a mournful silent shore” Historians have frequently viewed the Swahili-speaking peoples of the East African coast as members of an Arab diaspora that spread around the Indian Ocean with trade over the last two thousand years. The interpretation flowed easily from the apparent “Arab” nature of Swahili culture--a written language using Arabic script, elaborate stone buildings and mosques constructed in urban settings, Islam, and genteel social behavior--especially when… 

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