The World of the Swahili
An African Mercantile Civilization New edition
By (author) John Middleton
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World of the Swahili by John Middleton
Book DescriptionThe Swahili of East Africa have a long and distinctive history as a literate, Muslim, urban, and mercantile society. In this book a leading Africanist presents the first full-length anthropological account of the Swahili and offers an original analysis of their little-understood and unusual culture. Swahili towns, some urban with elegant stone buildings and others more rural with palm-leaf-matting houses, are spread along the thousand-mile East African coast. Because each local community is culturally different from its neighbors, previous historians and anthropologists have viewed the Swahili as a series of isolated and 'detribalized' groups. John Middleton argues, on the contrary, that beneath the cultural variation is a single structure, that of a well-defined and complex trading society that has shown little change through the ages. Drawing on his own field research and on earlier writings on the Swahili, Middleton describes this centuries-old mercantile culture-its local and descent groupings, marriage patterns, religion, and values. He traces the history of their colonized past as subjects to Arabs, Portuguese, British, and others and shows that, although their economic and political role has continually been a subordinate one, their sense of their unique identity enables them to persist as an ongoing civilization.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300060805
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 1-Sep-1994
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author John Middleton
Spirit Mediumship and Society in Africa, Paperback (August 2013)
Gathering together under a single cover material from a wide range of African societies, this volume allows similarities and differences to be easily perceived and suggests social correlates of these in terms of age, sex, marital status, social grading and wealth. It includes material on both traditional and modern cults.
Witchcraft and Sorcery in East Africa, Paperback (March 2013)
First published in 1963, the ten essays in this work by anthropologists on the beliefs and practices associated with witches and sorcerers in Eastern Africa, are all based on field research and new information which is studied within its wider social context.
Inner World of Medical Students, Paperback (April 2009)» View all books by John Middleton
This book provides a practical, comprehensive analysis of medical student poetry and is an invaluable resource for medical educators, those with an interest in the medical humanities, and medical students themselves.
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