Pre-colonial history

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Pre-colonial history

Post  kosovohp on Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:41 am

Cushitic-speaking people, as termed by Schloezer, from northern Africa, moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BCE.[16] Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the 1st century CE. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the 8th century. Some of the "Arabs", like in much of East Africa, were Afro-Arabs. During the first millennium CE, Nilotic and Bantu-speaking peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprise three-quarters of Kenya's population.[citation needed]

The Kenyan coast had served host to communities of ironworkers and communities of subsistence farmers, hunters and fishers who supported the economy with agriculture, fishing, metal production and trade with foreign countries.[16] Around the 6th or 9th century CE Kenya switched to a maritime-based economy and began to specialize in shipbuilding to travel south by sea to other port cities such as Kilwa Masoko and Shanga along the East African coast. 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 and even India.[17] Fifteenth-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.

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