What is the significance of Swahili?

What is the significance of Swahili?

It is a language of influence politically, economically and socially, and a knowledge of it can deepen business relationships. 4. Swahili plays an important part in education in several African countries. Uganda made Swahili a required subject in primary schools in 1992.

Why was Swahili important in history?

In the early 19th century, the spread of Swahili inland received a great impetus from its being the language of the Arab ivory and slave caravans, which penetrated as far north as Uganda and as far west as Congo.

What was the importance of Swahili States?

Swahili City States were trading states along the east coast of Africa, from Kenya to Mozambique. The Swahili City States provided and connected african raw material to the rest of the Indian Ocean world–Arabia, India, Persia, China and vice-versa.

What impact did the Portuguese have on the Swahili Coast?

There, the Portuguese brutally attempted to control all trade and commerce in the Indian Ocean. They established bases at several sites along the Swahili Coast, including Sofala and Mozambique Island. They also built Fort Jesus in Mombasa and set up a customs house on Pate Island.

What were the three common elements of Swahili culture?

Graham Connah described Swahili culture as at least partially urban, mercantile, literate, and Islamic. Swahili culture is the product of the history of the coastal part of the African Great Lakes region. As with the Swahili language, Swahili culture has a Bantu core that has borrowed from foreign influences.

How did Swahili culture come into existence?

Around the 8th century, the Swahili people engaged in the Indian Ocean trade. As a consequence, they were influenced by Arabic, Persian, Indian, and Chinese cultures. It is the mixture of Perso-Arab and Bantu cultures in Kilwa that is credited for creating Swahili as a distinctive East African culture and language.

Why was Kilwa an important city state?

Kilwa was one of the bigger and most prosperous city-states on the east coast of Africa in the 12th century. Kilwa was shaped over time by its heavy reliance on the Indian Ocean trade as its main economic engine. Kilwa traders dealt in ivory, gold, and even slaves, while importing glass, silk, and porcelain.

Who benefited from the Swahili trade?

At their height from the 12th to 15th century, the Swahili Coast city-states traded with African tribes as far afield as Zimbabwe as well as the period’s great trading nations across the Indian Ocean in Arabia, Persia, India, and China.

What did the Khoi have that the Portuguese wanted?

The Khoikhoi people at the Cape traded sheep, cattle, ivory, ostrich feathers and shells for beads, metal objects, tobacco and alcohol. Unlike the Portuguese, the Dutch did not trade guns as they did not want the Khoikhoi to use the guns against them.

How did the Swahili language get its name?

The origins of Swahili Swahili (Kiswahili) is a Bantu language, and so a member of the wider Niger-Congo family, one of the four main African language phyla (Nurse and Philippson 2003: 1–7). Its name is derived from Arabic sawāhil ‘coast’, hence Waswahili ‘people of the coast’ and Kiswahili ‘language (and culture) of the coast’.

Which is the mother tongue of the Swahili people?

The Swahili people are mainly united under the mother tongue of Kiswahili, a Bantu language. This also extends to Arab, Persian, and other migrants who reached the coast around the 7th and 8th centuries, providing considerable cultural infusion and numerous loan words from Arabic and Persian.

Why did the missionaries learn the Swahili language?

Christian missionaries learnt Swahili as the language of communication to spread the Gospel in Eastern Africa. So, the missionaries also helped to spread the language. As a matter of fact the first Swahili-English dictionary was prepared by a missionary.

How did the Bantu culture influence Swahili culture?

It is the mixture of Perso-Arab and Bantu cultures in Kilwa that is credited for creating Swahili as a distinctive East African culture and language. The diverse history of the Swahili Coast has also resulted in multicultural influences on Swahili arts, including furniture and architecture.