The Swahili Coast refers to a coastal area in Southeast Africa inhabited by the Swahili people. It mainly consists of littoral Kenya, Tanzania and northern Mozambique. The term may also include some of the Indian Ocean islands, such as Zanzibar, Pate and Comoros, which lie off the Swahili Coast. The Swahili Coast has a distinct culture, demography, religion and geography, and as a result - along with other factors, including economic - has witnessed rising secessionism.
The major settlements of the Swahili Coast include:
- Dar es Salaam
- Mafia Island
Parts of the area that is today considered Swahili Coast was known as Azania or Zingion in the Greco-Roman era, and as Zanj or Zinj in Middle Eastern and Chinese literature from the 7th to the 14th century. Historical documents that describe the society, culture, and economy of this area include the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as well as works by Ibn Battuta.
- "Contagion of discontent: Muslim extremism spreads down east Africa coastline," The Economist (3 November 2012)
- Felix A. Chami, "Kaole and the Swahili World," in Southern Africa and the Swahili World (2002), 6.
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