Nine Tribes and the other Three

The tribes were supposed to have origi­nated from the locality of Mjiwakali, which is the part of Mombasa where the dhobie ghat stands, be­tween the Club and Nyali bridge. The tribes are thought to be Mombasa (or Mvita, or Mfita), Mtwapa (or Mtwafi), Kilifi, Pate, Shaka, Faza, Akatwa (or Somali), Gunya (or Bajun) and Junda (or Jomvu). 

These tribes exercised suzerainty over the localities along the coast as suggested by their names, and they have always been regarded as Swahili—a race of pure bred Arabs from the Arabian peninsula intermixed with the black tribes found in East Africa. 

Actually there were twelve tribes in Mombasa. The three remaining were the Kilindini, Watangana and the VVachangamwe. These three were bitter enemies of the nine tribes and their headquarters were at Mbaraki.

 

IllAMA TRIBES

All over Africa tribes still retain their llama names. Some have changed almost, out of recognition. But there are two tribes on this coast that have not changed. The Wajomvu and the Wadigo (Wadege). This latter chose the name ‘People of the Birds'. And within living memory the old women of the Wadigo tribe would not eat the flesh of a bird. It was their tribal llama.

So here we have two of the llama tribes. And people who know of these things say that when they listen at nights on the coast, the sound of the drums, the death and pepo dances, are almost identical to those they have heard in Uganda. And they also say that wherever the Bantu people went they took with them the old place names they were used to. The following are names from Uganda. Think of the coast names they resemble. Masindi, Kisindi, Bumbire, Ribo, Petta, Kilim and Bulinda. There are dozens of others . . . but Malindi might easily have been one of them years ago, don’t you think?

 

More on MALINDI

Malte Brun, Who was he? He wrote a geography of this Coast. No idea when it was published.

But I know that it was considered famous nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. The only remark Malte made about our bit of the coast was ‘What has become of the famous city of Melinda, and the twenty churches of Mombasa?—do they exist?’ That’s cryptic enough, if you like. The famous city of Malinda. Up it pops again. I heard an unusual thing the other day. Of how Malindi got its name. From a source you’d never guess. From Uganda. This is the story. It comes from an old witchdoctor, queerly enough.

As you know the Bantu peoples of Africa originally came from the country we now call Uganda and there­abouts. Because of sickness or drought, soil erosion or other causes they began to trek. Some tribes eventual­ly reached the Cape, others came down to this coast. One story says that these tribes were the llama tribes. Before their departure from their old haunts they agreed to each tribe taking the name of an animal. They would become blood brothers to the animal they had chosen. They were not to kill their blood brethren, but other tribes could. The result would mean equal distribution of food. Edward Rodwell

 

The Mijikenda (“the Nine Tribes”) are nine Bantu ethnic groups inhabiting the coast of Kenya, between the Sabaki and the Umba rivers, in an area stretching from the border with Tanzania in the south to the border near Somalia in the north.

http://african.one/mijikenda/

 

 

History, The Portuguese Empire (1498-1698)

http://www.kenyalogy.com/eng/info/histo4.html

Why is Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya?

One dull grey afternoon towards the end of the reign of Queen Victoria two young Foreign Office officials were shown into Dr. Stock's room in a house in Salisbury Square. It was the head-quarters of the Church Missionary Society and Dr. Stock was the General Secretary. This little man, with clear blue piercing eyes, heavy eyebrows, high forehead and gentle voice, had a profound knowledge of almost every part of the globe. In the course of his long service he had visited missionaries in their stations all over the world, and it was his business to keep in touch with his workers.

I knew him and I have never met anyone with such a grasp of his work. He knew the names and addresses and facts relating to all the stations wherever they might be. It was he himself who told me the story I am now relating.

"Doctor Stock," said one of the young men, "do you know a mountain in Africa called Kilimanjaro?"

"Yes, of course," answered Dr. Stock. "That is the Switzerland of Africa. That is where we send our missionaries from the coast to recuperate when they get run down with fever."

"That is a pity, a great pity," said the first young man. And the other repeated:

"That is a pity indeed."

"But I don't understand you," said Dr. Stock. "I wish to convey to you that the foothills of Kilimanjaro are extremely healthy. Why do you say it is a pity? I can't understand why you are so perturbed."

The young men looked at each other and hesitated and seemed to be consulting one another as to whether they should explain the full significance of their visit. They decided to do so, and:

"We said 'what a pity,' " said the first one, "because we have just given it to Germany."

At Dr. Stock's movement of surprise he went on. "You see," he said, "Kaiser Wilhelm said to Queen Victoria, I'd very much like to have the tallest mountain of Africa on my side of the boundary,' and the Foreign Office, speaking for Her Majesty, have replied, 'You shall.' This they have done without knowing anything about it. It was as an afterthought that we were sent to you this after-noon."

It was Dr. Stock's turn to say "That's a pity." He told them they should have come before. But it was too late. That imaginary line cut straight through the African territory up to the Great Lakes had one kink in it, where it skirted the foothills of Kilimanjaro, leaving this nineteen-thousand-foot mountain on the German side.

Early East African Currency, please click on photo for more info.

Historic Mombasa

 

Historical affiliations

 

Sultan of Mombasa Before 1593
Portuguese Empire 1593–1698
Sultanate of Oman 1698–1728
Portuguese Empire 1728–1729
Sultanate of Oman 1729–1824
British Empire 1824–1826
Sultanate of Oman 1826–1887
British East Africa/Kenya 1887–1963
Kenya 1963–present

 

 

Location of Mombasa


Coordinates: 4°03′S39°40′E

Country

 Kenya

County

Mombasa County

Founded

900 A.D.

Government

 • Governor

Hassan Ali Joho

Area

 • Total

294.7 km2 (113.8 sq mi)

 • Land

229.7 km2 (88.7 sq mi)

 • Water

65 km2 (25 sq mi)

Elevation

50 m (160 ft)

Population (2009)

 • Total

939,370

 • Density

3,200/km2 (8,300/sq mi)

Time zone

EAT (UTC+3)

Area code(s)

020

Twin cities

 • eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa

 • Seattle, Washington

USA

 

Website

 

mombasacity.go.ke

 

History

 

Basheikh Mosque, also known as Mnara or Tangana, is the most striking of Mombasa Old Town’s many mosques. It appears to be quite old although not dated. Some sources estimate it to have been built around the 13th or 14th century. If this is verified, it would make it the oldest documented Mosque in Kenya still preserved in its original state. In the meantime the Mandhry Mosque, built in 1570, occupies this position.

 

Before 1927, the Swahili and the Arabs said their Friday prayers at the Basheikh Mosque. This symbolised the unity of the coastal community through prayer. The two would alternate the Friday prayers between the Swahili Basheikh Mosque and the Arab Mandhry Mosque.

 

Mombasa Old Town – A piece of the past

http://www.safari254.com/mombasa-old-town-piece-past/

 

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft9v19p2m5;chunk.id=0;doc.view=print

 

Mandhry Mosque

Not too far from Basheihk stands the second oldest mosque in Mombasa. Mandhry usually takes away the antiquity award from Basheihk owing to its written and dated records. The mosques does not disappoint in architecture either; the front yard takes an ornate seat-like shape regaled by calming ocean breeze.

http://www.friendsofmombasa.com/mombasa-malindi-lamu/?logout=1

Basheikh Mosque – Mombasa

Although not officially dated, Basheikh Mosque is said to have been built around the 13th century. The mosque is part of the landmarks that mark Mombasa old town and still stands unscathed. Its architecture dates back to medieval, spotting whitewashed walls and a captivating tower that seems to hug the skies.

 

Mandhry Mosque

Not too far from Basheihk stands the second oldest mosque in Mombasa. Mandhry usually takes away the antiquity award from Basheihk owing to its written and dated records. The mosques does not disappoint in architecture either; the front yard takes an ornate seat-like shape regaled by calming ocean breeze.

http://africa-treasures.com/blog/

 

History, The Portuguese Empire (1498-1698)

http://www.kenyalogy.com/eng/info/histo4.html

 

According to oral history and medieval commentaries, Shehe Mvita superseded the dynasty of Mwana Mkisi and established his own town on Mombasa Island. The ancient history associated with Shehe Mvita and the founding of an urban settlement on Mombasa Island is still linked to present-day peoples living in Mombasa.

 

The Thenashara Taifa (or Twelve Nations) Swahili lineages recount this ancient history today and are the keepers of local Swahili traditions. Even though today Mombasa is a very heterogeneous cultural mix, families associated with the Twelve Nations are still considered the original inhabitants of the city.

 

Most of the early information on Mombasa comes from Portuguese chroniclers writing in the 16th century. The famous Moroccan scholar and traveller Ibn Battuta did visit Mombasa in 1331 on his travels on the eastern coast of Africa and made some mention of the city, although he only stayed one night. He noted that the people of Mombasa were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous. Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built."

 

Useful Historic Maps: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/

 

Ibn Battutah

 

orig. Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah al-Lawati al-Tanji ibn Battutah

(born Feb. 24, 1304, Tangier, Mor.—died 1368/69, Morocco) Noted Arab traveller and writer. He received a traditional juristic and literary education in Tangier. After a pilgrimage to Mecca (1325), he decided to visit as many parts of the world as possible, vowing “never to travel any road a second time.” His 27-year wanderings through Africa, Asia, and Europe covered some 75,000 mi (120,000 km). On his return, he dictated his reminiscences, which became one of the world's most famous travel books, the Rihlah.

 

The exact founding date of the city is unknown, but it has a long history. Kenyan school history books place the founding of Mombasa as 900 A.D. It must have been already a prosperous trading town in the 12th century, as the Arab geographer Al Idrisi mentions it in 1151.

 

During the pre-modern period, Mombasa was an important centre for the trade in spices, gold, and ivory. Its trade links reached as far as India and China and oral historians today can still recall this period of local history. Throughout the early modern period, Mombasa was a key node in the complex and far reaching Indian Ocean trading networks, its key exports then were ivory, millet, sesamum and coconuts.

 

In the late pre-colonial period (late 19th century), it was the metropolis of a plantation society, which became dependent on slave labour (sources contradict whether the city was ever an important place for exporting slaves) but ivory caravans remained a major source of economic prosperity. Mombasa became the major port city of pre-colonial Kenya in the Middle Ages and was used to trade with other African port cities, Persia, Arab traders, Yemen India and China.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_Battuta

 

The Travels of Ibn Battuta
A Virtual Tour with the 14th Century Traveller

http://ibnbattuta.berkeley.edu/13conclusion.html

 

Zheng He, Ming China's Great Admiral

 

Scholars of Zheng He's life always wonder how history would be different if the first Portuguese explorers to round the tip of Africa and move into the Indian Ocean in the 15th century had met up with the admiral's huge Chinese fleet. Would Europe have gone on to dominate much of the world in the 18th and 19th centuries?

 

Zheng He is surrounded by such "what if" questions. However, it's important not to lose sight of his amazing accomplishments as they actually happened, among all the counterfactual speculation.

At the beginning of the 1400s, Zheng He and his sailors set out to show off China's might across the world. Where did this remarkable admiral get his start?

Continued: http://asianhistory.about.com/od/china/p/zheng_he_bio.htm

 

 http://lostislamichistory.com/zheng-he/

 

http://partners.nytimes.com/library/magazine/millennium/m3/kristof.html

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/kenya/110607/sea-hunt-ancient-chinese-ship-african-coast

 

We all know names of western explorers like Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Columbus and others who have put their names in the history of ocean and sea exploration. When I was a little girl in primary and secondary school, my teachers told me about their important contributions and participations in building the “Great Western and World Civilization”. They told us about Marco Polo and his adventures in China, Vasco da Gama and his success in establishing a sea route from Europe to India through Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Columbus and how he discovered America etc. But they never told us about the eastern explorers who made history before the others did.

http://mvslim.com/zheng-muslim-explorer-learned-school/

 

15th century Portuguese voyager Duarte Barbosa claimed, "[Mombasa] is a place of great traffic and has a good harbour in which there are always moored small craft of many kinds and also great ships, both of which are bound from Sofala and others which come from Cambay and Melinde and others which sail to the island of Zanzibar." Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, receiving a chilly reception in 1498.

 

Two years later, the town was sacked by the Portuguese. In 1502, the sultanate became independent from Kilwa Kisiwani and was renamed as Mvita (in Swahili) or Manbasa (Arabic). Portugal attacked the city again in 1528, and built Fort Jesus in 1593 in an attempt to colonise, from which time it was governed by a Captain-major.

 

In 1638, it formally became a Portuguese colony (subordinated to Goa, as a stronghold on the route to Portuguese India). In 1698, the town came under suzerainty of the Sultanate of Oman, but it became subordinate to Zanzibar, prompting regular local rebellions. Oman appointed three consecutive Governors (Wali in Arabic, Liwali in Swahili):

 

  • 12 December 1698–December 1698: Imam Sa'if ibn Sultan
  • December 1698–1728: Nasr ibn Abdallah al-Mazru'i
  • 1728–12 March 1728: Shaykh Rumba

 

Next, Mombasa returned to Portuguese rule by captain-major Álvaro Caetano de Melo Castro (12 March 1728–21 September 1729), then four new Omani Liwali until 1746, when the last of them made it independent again (disputed by Oman), as the first of its recorded Sultans:

 

  • 1746–1755: 'Ali ibn Uthman al-Mazru'i
  • 1755–1773: Masud ibn Nasr al-Mazru'i
  • 1773–1782: Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mazru'i
  • 1782–1811: Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Mazru'i (born 17–died 1814)
  • 1812–1823: 'Abdallah ibn Ahmad al-Mazru'i (died 1823)
  • 1823–1826: Sulayman ibn 'Ali al-Mazru'i

 

From 9 February 1824 to 25 July 1826, there was a British protectorate over Mombasa, represented by Governors. Omani rule was restored in 1826; seven liwalis where appointed. On 24 June 1837, it was nominally annexed by sultan of Zanzibar and Muscat Sayyid Said bin Sultan. On 25 May 1887, its administration was relinquished to the British East Africa Association.

 

The sultan formally presented the town in 1898 to the British. It soon became the capital of the British East Africa Protectorate and is the sea terminal of the Uganda Railway, which was started in 1896. Many workers were brought in from British India to build the railway, and the city's fortunes revived. On 1 July 1895, it became part of Britain's Kenya protectorate (the coastal strip nominally under Zanzibari sovereignty).

 

Mombasa became the capital of the coastal Protectorate of Kenya in 1920. On December 12, 1963 it became part newly independent Kenya.

 

Indian traders

All this is only a century old and an historical fact but they do not highlight the fact in historical terms what took place many centuries ago which had been the nucleolus of development taking place in that vast dark African Continent. In fact it would be wrong of us not knowing and recognizing the beginning of time in sea voyages and trade taking place across the vast Indian Ocean by our ancestors. This highly concentrated commercial activity around the Coast of East Africa for many centuries made possible by mostly Arab/Indian sea travelers/commercial businessmen for a much larger commercial trend to take shape, thus the expansion into development of the interior and other areas made possible. This gave a platform for colonization to further take shape and thus the story of “The Lunatic Line” followed much later. If one has followed the history of trade of the Coastal Area and also as far as deep inland, and as far south as the ruins in Zimbabwe, is highly indicative of commerce long time before its colonial occupation. The ancient Indian work the Puranas also mention the East African coast as well interior of Kenya as far as Lake Victoria, which was known as ’ Nil (Nile?) Sarover,’ Lake Nil, and knew the source the of ‘Nil’ Nile, this was only discovered by the British in the late 1800's by Burton and Speke. That in it-self should give a lot of credence to the Indian/Arab traders history which we do NOT hear about at all.

 

African history is the oldest human history in the World. From Ancient Egypt to the present great leaders (alive as well as those in transition) have shaped Africa and world history. This page is dedicated to studying their noble deeds, learning from their mistakes and continuing their legacy.

http://www.africanlegends.info/

 

History of the Oman and Zanzibar Sultanate

http://realhistoryww.com/world_history/ancient/Misc/True_Negros/Assorted/Oman_Zanzibar_Sultanate.htm

 

The Exile Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash Al-Busaidi in the Seychelles

By Julien Durup, a student of history

Sayyid Khalid bin Barghash Al-Busaidi was born in Zanzibar on 1874. The death of Saeyyid Hamid bin Thuwaini bin Said, the pro-British Sultan of Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Lamu and also of a coastal strip on the mainland Africa, on 25 August 1896, caused an imediate struggle for the throne. The local leading families and business leaders along with the indigenous population backed the independent minded Sayyid Khalid, the grandson of the founding father of Zanzibar, as the pretender.

http://www.seychellesweekly.com/September%205,%202010/top6a_The%20Exile%20Sayyid%20Khalid%20bin.html

 

The Land of Zinj: Being an Account of British East Africa, its Ancient .

 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eh4i7s-Wr3gC&pg=PT68&lpg=PT68&dq=Liwali+of+Mombasa&source=bl&ots=DOX3mH75EM&sig=tk773FX0M3WQtCjtkcW3qc2KMmQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6AT-UpbsKaiM7QaXy4CIDg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Liwali%20of%20Mombasa&f=false

 

British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/195549?uid=3738032&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21103449468447

 

The History of the Mazruʻi Dynasty of Mombasa

This history of the Mazrui family, who ruled Mombasa for more than 100 years up to 1837, is published here in an English translation, together with the original Arabic text.

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_History_of_the_Mazru%CA%BBi_Dynasty_of_M.html?id=FHFyAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y

 

MAZRUI FAMILY REVOLTS AGAINST OMANIS IN MOMBASA

In 1698, after a long siege of Fort Jesus in Mombasa, the Arabs from Oman finally defeated the Portuguese and kicked them away from the East African coast for good. But how did the perpetual turmoil and jostling for power in Oman influence the political leadership in Mombasa for 100 years?

http://www.ajabuafrica.com/History-%20Mazrui%20Family%20Revolts.html

 

Binti Wa Kiislamu

Msomi wa Leo - Sheikh Ali bin Abdalla bin Nafi Mazrui (1825-1894)

 

Sewa Haji (1851-1897)

http://bintiwakiislamu.blogspot.co.uk/2014_02_01_archive.html

 

SIR ALI BIN SALIM 1934

The man after whom Sir Ali Muslim club is named is no doubt the most renowned Arab personality in the history of colonial Kenya. Sir Ali bin Salim bin Khalfan Albusaidi, belonged to the most aristocratic Omani Arab family of the day. Since the sultans of Zanzibar were Busaidis, fellow clansmen were selected by them to act as governors or liwalis in various coastal towns. Salim Bin Sultan, Sir Ali’s father was a lawali of Malindi before he was transferred to Mombasa late in the 19th century.

http://www.siraliclub.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78&Itemid=41

East Africa 1700-1950

East Africa, Arabs, and Europeans 1700-1856

East Africa

The Omanis governing Mombasa were of the Mazrui lineage. The Portuguese occupied Mombasa once more in 1728. The same year the King of Pate agreed to garrison 150 Portuguese soldiers and give Portugal a monopoly on ivory. After the people of Pate refused to build the fort and burned down half of Pate, the King sold the Portuguese a ship to return to Goa. In Mombasa townsmen joined by Musungulos murdered some Portuguese outside the fort in April 1729, taking the outpost fort at Makupa. Other towns rebelled against the Portuguese also, and in November 1729 the Portuguese abandoned Mombasa for good. The Omani Arabs soon arrived and took over Pate and Mombasa.

 

http://www.san.beck.org/16-12-EastAfrica.html