Geographically positioned between inland eastern and central Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Swahili coast has fascinated scholars for centuries if not millennia. One of the earliest texts addressing this region is the frequently cited Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a mid-first century ce text detailing trade and navigational information for the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Western scholars have struggled with how to categorize coastal east Africa, at times claiming it as part of a broader Middle Eastern cultural sphere, and at others labelling it as specifically African. Stephanie Wynne-Jones and Adria LaViolette's The Swahili World adds to and complicates these discourses by presenting fifty-six studies by sixty-one authors on various topics related to the study of coastal eastern Africa. This edited volume works across a broad time period, ranging from the first century ce to the present day. Through these collected studies Wynne-Jones and LaViolette bring together...
The Swahili World
Jenny Peruski is a PhD student in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Her research focuses on ornamentation and bodily adornment in coastal eastern Africa. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jenny Peruski; The Swahili World. African Arts 2022; 55 (1): 91–92. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/afar_r_00647
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