page contents

Swa-hee-lee Culture

Jambo dear readers! For post 3, I have created a Pinterest board to showcase the Swahili culture in the East African region. The Pinterest board is aimed to demonstrate how foreign traders had an influence on Swahili culture. Images are used to illustrate the various elements and history of Swahili culture.

Swahili (swah-hee-lee) culture is the culture representing the people of East Africa from Kenya to southern Somalia to Mozambique and Tanzania. Swahili could also be referred to as the language is largely spoken and used by people of this region. Many see Swahili culture that has been immensely shaped by their fellow traders on the Swahili Coast from the Arabian Peninsula, India, and even Portugal. Foreign traders have great influence over architecture, clothing, music and religious beliefs.

Fun fact! Ibn Battuta, a Moroccan explorer, whom I talked about in post 2 had actually visited the town of Kilwa before exploring Sofala. These are the trading cities along the Swahili coast.

You can view the images and descriptions by clicking the link below:


Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies African Studies Center, The Indian Ocean Trade: A classroom simulation, 1993,

Esha Faki1, E. M. Kasiera and O. M. J. Nandi, The belief and practice of divination among the Swahili Muslims in Mombasa district, Kenya, November 2010,

Henry Louis Gates Jr,

Jacqueline M. Kiraithea and Nancy T. Badenb, Portugues influences in East African Languages,  19 January 2007,

James De Vere Allen, Swahili Origins: Swahili Culture and the Shungwaya Phenomenon, 1993,

Karen Tranberg Hansen and D. Soyini Madison, African Dress: Fashion, Agency, Performance, 29 August 2013,

Liam Matthew Brockey, Portuguese Colonial Cities in the Early Modern World, 2008,

Maina Kiarie, Swahili and Arab Peoples,

Mariah Nene, Taarab music: a coastal music with flair, 3 July 2015,

Mwenda Ntarangwi, A Socio-Historical and Contextual Analysis of Popular Musical Performance Among the Swahili of Mombasa, Kenya, 2001

Phyllis Ressler, The Kanga, A Cloth That Reveals- Co-production of Culture in Africa and the Indian Ocean Region, 9 January 2012,

Sangai Mohochi and Yusuf Hamad,

Taarab Music, 11 January 2012,

University of Iowa,

Proquest,”This is Traditional, this is Not Islamic": Perceiving Some Swahili Childbirth and Child-rearing Beliefs and Practices in Light of Mila (custom) and Dini (religion)., 2007,