In the centuries

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In the centuries

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

In the centuries preceding colonization, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves (the Ameru tribe is said to have originated from slaves escaping from Arab lands some time around the year 1700). Initially these traders came mainly from Arab states, but later many came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).[19] Close to 90% of the population on the Kenya coast was enslaved.[20]

Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loan words, later developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples.[16]

The Luo of Kenya descend from early agricultural and herding communities from western Kenya's early pre-colonial history. The Luo along with other tribes associated with the Nilotic language group, are known to have originated from the north of Kenya, probably the northern regions of modern Sudan. The Nilotes, as they are known, are an anthropological group that originated from the northeastern regions of Africa. They may have moved south because of the wars that characterized the growth of territories such as Kush and Egypt. In Kenya the Nilotes include the Luo, Kalenjin, Turkana and Maasai as the main groups. Historical migration is evidenced by the presence of similar dialects in modern southern Sudan and northern Uganda. Groups speaking Luo dialects, for example, include the Acoli, Adhola, and Langi of Uganda, and the Jurchol of Sudan.

Throughout the centuries the Kenyan Coast has played host to many merchants and explorers. Among the cities that line the Kenyan coast is the City of Malindi. It has remained an important Swahili settlement since the 14th century and once rivaled Mombasa for dominance in this part of East Africa. Malindi has traditionally been a friendly port city for foreign powers. In 1414, the Arab Sultan of Malindi initiated diplomatic relations with Ming Dynasty China during the voyages of the explorer Zheng He.[21] Malindi authorities welcomed Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, in 1498.

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