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Making of the Modern World
MMW 13
Edmond Chang

Trade networks in EastAfrica Key Focus: 1) What role did the Swahili coast play in the Indian Ocean network? 2) What were the features of its culture prior to the Portuguese intrusion? looking at the system that was for the most parts polycentric, not dominated by one center, each part was highly permeable system, which means that there were a lot of diversities coming in, creating society that was difficult to find boundary between them. seemed themselves as cosmopolitan world I) Myth of the “Dark Continent” a) View of Africa through the Prism of European Colonialism i) 19th century European justification of empire historian calledAfrica as "Dark Continent" Africa had always been lacked history ii) “Denial of Coevalness” idea Africa did not have significant history asides from the importance in the evolutionary sense focus on Africa as brithplace of human biological evolution, but disregardAfrica historical evolution b) Overcoming this colonial bias cause by the 19th century,Africa had alrady been R by the European exploration, particularly by the trade of slave trade looking at the society was like before the European appeared---a different picture---sophistication before the entance of the European II) The Meaning of Swahili Civilization a) “Swahili” as a Geographic Location---coast of EasternAfrica i) TheArabic term “sahel” shore, coastline of eastern Africa 40 important towns and islands dominated the network of trade mogedishu---north, sofala--south, prominate; important cities in between(kilwa, monbasa, modi) ambazy river: engage trader to the interior regions ofAfrica--allowing for goods from interior Africa to be brought out to the coast( ivory, gold, slave) b) “Kiswahili” as a Cultural Designation i) Dialects of the Bantu tongue ii) Presence of Islam people have similar taste of clothing or architecture and lifestyle Islam played an important role in providing this large region with culture coherence (1) Patterns of immigration first wave immigrance: Muslim immigration groups first arrived to northern somali coast 9 c.e second wave immigrance: 12 century from oman--did not settle in the northern part of somali, went farther south, places like kilwa, offshore island close to sofala--- brought their own cultures and religious--remained monks these architecture--cosmospolitan, connect Islam with these regions, cultural coherence (2) Patterns of Conversions most parts are local merchants--commerical opportunity--lucrative trading opportunity inter-marriage: marry local woman (3) Indigenization of Islam vs. adherence to the center (a) Ibn-Battuta’s accounts of Mogadishu in 1332 evidence to show the change of Islam
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