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The World of the Swahili: an African Mercantile Civilization

by Middleton, John

The World of the Swahili: An African Mercantile Civilization cover
  • ISBN: 9780300052190
  • ISBN10: 0300052197

The World of the Swahili: an African Mercantile Civilization

by Middleton, John

  • List Price: $40.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publish date: 06/24/1992
  • ISBN: 9780300052190
  • ISBN10: 0300052197
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Description: The 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 unique identity enables then to persist as an ongoing civilization.
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0300052197 Yale University Press hardcover with dust jacket, 1992, 1st
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Very Good Condition! No writings, underlines, or highlights. Small red star stamped on front page. Shelf wear on DJ, with tattered edges.
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8vo, hardcover. Presentation copy, SIGNED by author, with his handwritten
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