Swahili culture

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Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people living on the east coast of Tanzania, Kenya, and Mozambique as well as on the islands in the area, from Zanzibar to Comoros, who speak Swahili as their native language.

Swahili culture is the product of the complex history of East Africa, that has been influenced by Middle Eastern, Arab, European and Asian cultures. As with the Swahili language, swahili culture has a Bantu core that has been modified by those foreign influences.


Swahili culture and language began to take form around the 10th century, as a consequence of the highly successful Persian and even greater Arabs creating trading settlements on the East African coast and islands and mixing with the local Bantu people. The period from the 10th to the 15th century in East Africa is often referred to as the "Shirazi Era" as many trading settlements were created by Shirazi Persians. The culture that formed from the interaction between Arabic , Persian and Bantu traditions and habits was further enriched with influences from the Far East as a consequence of long-distance trading routes crossing the Indian Ocean. Beginning in Kenya and Tanzania, the swahili culture eventually spread to Mozambique.

During the Shirazi Era, several city-states flourished along the African coast an on the islands; some examples are Kilwa, Malindi, Gedi, Pate,Comoros, and Zanzibar. These...
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