The Indian Ocean Trade: A Classroom Simulation » African Studies Center | Boston University
At the same time, the East African city-states were buying items from Asia. Today millions of Swahili people live in the nations of East Africa, where the . group's Price List to determine the answers to the following questions. the world. The arrival of Europeans in the 15th century further shaped the relationship of Africa African peoples tended to believe in a creator deity who . Beyond the cities, Islam barely penetrated the interior of southern Africa. . The following questions are intended to emphasize important ideas within the chapter. 1. They have forged extensive economic, political, and social ties with Middle Eastern Muslims. Hundreds of Swahili people left for the Middle East after the Zanzibar . and erosion of their culture by tourism as significant social problems. and there are Swahili settlements in the far African interior near Lake Tanganyika.
It appears there was a slave-trade route through the Sahara that brought sub-Saharan Africans to Rome, a global center of slavery. West Africans transported to the coast to be sold into slavery. Wikimedia Commons Religion and the African empire Religious movement helped shape African societal structure.
Following the death of the prophet Muhammad in CE, Islam spread quickly across North Africa, bringing not only a unifying faith but a political and legal structure as well.
Only those who had converted to Islam could rule or be engaged in trade. The first major empire to emerge in West Africa was the Ghana Empire. Bythe Soninke farmers of the region had become wealthy by taxing traders who traversed their area.
For instance, the Niger River basin supplied gold to the Berber and Arab traders from west of the Nile Valley, who brought cloth, weapons, and manufactured goods into the African interior. Soon, however, a new kingdom emerged. Miners then discovered huge new deposits of gold east of the Niger River.
Timbuktu, the capital city, became a leading Islamic center for education, commerce, and the slave trade. The vast and glorious civilization of Timbuktu. The East had bountiful new resources, like spices and silk, and the Portuguese were eager to acquire these goods without the laborious journey by land from Europe to Asia. Originally built as a fortified trading post, the castle had mounted cannons facing out to sea, not inland toward continental Africa.
The Portuguese had greater fear of a naval attack from other Europeans than of a land attack from Africans.
Although the Portuguese originally used the fort for trading gold, by the 16th century they had shifted their focus to trading enslaved people, as the demand for slave labor ballooned in the New World. The dungeon of the fort morphed to served as a holding pen for Africans from the interior of the continent.
In the Country-towns, men and women are, in most respects, considered equal and their respective labor as being complementary: In the Stone-towns, domestic and agricultural work was carried out by slaves until the beginning of the twentieth century.
Since then, it has been done in most towns by hired and "squatter" labor from the Country-towns and by non-Swahili immigrants. Shortage of seasonal labor has always been a serious problem in all the Swahili settlements; this remains true today. Kinship, Marriage, and Family There is a wide variation in forms of descent and kin group among the Swahili settlements.
Country-towns are divided into moieties, and these into wards or quarters. The wards, composed of clusters of cognatically related kin, are the corporate and landholding units.
Marriage is preferred between cross and parallel cousins; it is seen largely as a way to retain rights over land within the small kin group. Authority is held by senior men and women, and all local groups are regarded as equal in rank.
Within the Stone-towns, the main social groups are in most cases patrilineal subclans and lineages. The clans are distributed among the coastal towns and even in southern Arabiafrom which immigrant origin is often claimed.
These towns are likewise divided into moieties and constituent wards, the former once providing indigenous forms of government; their structural opposition is expressed in fighting at certain rituals, football matches, and poetry competitions.
The corporate groups are the lineages, segments of subclans, that, in the past, acted as business houses and owned the large permanent houses that are so marked a feature of these towns. The subclans are ranked, position depending largely on antiquity of claimed immigration and settlement, as well as on commercial wealth and standing.
Members of these mercantile lineages are known as "patricians. In the Stone-towns, the preferred marriage forms vary. For firstborn daughters, they should be between close paternal parallel cousins. Bride-wealth and dowry are both transferred, as are residential rights not full ownership, which is vested in the lineage for the daughter in her lineage house, marriage thus being uxorilocal.
Marriages of later-born daughters are more usually with cross cousins, often in neighboring Stone-towns so as to make and retain useful commercial ties. Stone-town weddings are traditionally elaborate and costly, the bride needing to show her virginity and so her purity, which reflects upon the honor and reputation of her husband. Country-town weddings are basically similar but less elaborate and less ritualized. Divorce is permitted under Islamic law: The marriages of firstborn patrician daughters are monogamous although concubinage was frequentand divorce has been rare; all other marriages have often been polygynous, and divorce has been and is extremely common, as high as 90 percent in some areas.
Today Swahili women undergo initiation without physical operation at puberty, in order to be permitted to marry. Boys nowadays are not initiated but are circumcised in infancy; in the past there was more elaborate male initiation. Both boys' and girls' socialization after infancy takes the form of Islamic education in the Quranic schools attached to mosques, and consists largely of moral and theological learning based on knowledge of the Quran, although instruction in poetry and music has been an important part of their training to become pious Muslims.
Today most children also attend nonreligious schools in order to acquire "Western" education, but religious education retains its central place, and overtly Christian schools are totally avoided. Sociopolitical Organization Swahili towns have traditionally been autonomous, many at one time being ruled by kings and queens. Lamu Town, ruled by an oligarchy, was an exception.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan. Eid al-Hajj celebrates the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca.
Swahili - Introduction, Location, Language, Folklore, Religion, Major holidays, Rites of passage
Each Eid is celebrated by praying, visiting relatives and neighbors, and eating special foods and sweets. During the month of Ramadan, Swahili along with all other Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Maulidi, or the Prophet Muhammad's birthday, is widely celebrated by Muslims. Birthday parties, increasingly popular, include eating cake, disco dancing, and opening presents. Graduation ceremonies mark a young person's educational progress. Marriage marks the transition to adulthood.
Marriages are usually arranged by parents. A young woman cannot get married without her father's permission, but she has the right to refuse someone chosen for her. Weddings can include several days of separate celebrations for men and women. Only men attend the actual marriage vows, which take place in a mosque. A male relative represents the bride.
People who know each other exchange a string of greetings inquiring about the health of family members and the latest news.
The Swahili in the African and Indian Ocean Worlds to c. 1500
Children greet an elder with respect by kissing his or her hand. Swahili people greatly value modest behavior.
Men and women are not permitted to mix freely. Dating is generally non-existent.Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Crash Course World History #16