What was the most important trading city of the Swahili coast?
Although today Kilwa is in ruins, historically it was one of the most powerful city states on the Swahili coast. One of the main exports along the Swahili coast was gold and in the 13th century the city of Kilwa took control of the gold trade from Banadir in modern-day Somalia.
What did the Swahili city states trade?
The Swahili city-states growth was due largely to the increase in trade along the Indian Ocean Basin. Merchants traded gold, slaves and ivory for pottery, glassware, and textiles from Persia, India and China. City-states were governed by kings, who controlled the trade, as well as the taxes.
What goods did the east coast of Africa trade?
They traded ivory from the south of Africa, gold from the interior, frankincense from the north, and textiles from the eastern cities, as well as African metals, like copper and iron. The trade networks of the major trading cities extended north into Rome, east into Persia, India, Indonesia, and even China.
What goods did foreign merchants supply to the Swahili?
Rock crystal (transparent quartz), ivory and gold were brought to the coast along inland trade routes (yellow). The Swahili obtained the goods at coastal ports and sailed north (blue), where Red Sea traders got the precious materials and carried them home (green).
Who lives on the Swahili coast?
Today, the vast majority of Swahili people are Sunni Muslims. The Swahili Coast appears to have reached its zenith during the Medieval Period, from around the 11th to 15th centuries. During that time, the Swahili Coast comprised numerous city-states that traded across the Indian Ocean.
When did the Swahili Coast start to trade?
Based on archaeological and historical data, the medieval period of the 11th through 16th centuries AD was the heyday of Swahili Coast trading communities. But that data has also shown that the African merchants and sailors of the Swahili Coast began to trade in international goods at least 300-500 years earlier.
What was the most important commodity in Africa?
Commodity Trade, Africa. The first Portuguese navigators to cruise along the African coast in the fifteenth century were particularly interested in gold, but they also bought slaves, pepper, gum arabic, ivory, hides, beeswax, and dye-woods. Slaves soon became the most important commerce between Europeans and Africans,…
What did the Swahili people do for a living?
By ~1200, all of the large Swahili settlements included stone-built mosques. Through the 11th-14th centuries, the Swahili towns expanded in scale, in the numbers and variety of imported and locally-produced material goods, and in trade relationships between the interior of Africa and other societies around the Indian Ocean.
What was the capital of the Swahili Empire?
A timeline of the major events on the Swahili coast: A chronology of ruling sultans can be derived from the Kilwa Chronicle, two undated medieval documents recording an oral history of the large Swahili capital of Kilwa.