The Swahili People

The Swahili people inhabit several large stretches of the Indian Ocean coastline from Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoros Islands. They are mainly united by culture and under the mother tongue of Kiswahili. This also extends to Arab, Persian, and other migrants who reached the East African coast some believe as early as the 7th century. The traders from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula made the journey to these parts during monsoon seasons in the 11th century. They interacted with the local African people through trade. And Islam established its presence in the East African coast. The word “Swahili” comes from the Arabic word “Sawahil”, which means “coastal dwellers”.



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