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K. Kris Hirst

Kilwa Chronicle: Oral History of the Swahili Culture

By December 3, 2012

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The Kilwa Chronicle is what scholars call two 16th century documents, written forms of the oral history of the Swahili culture sultans in the ancient town of Kilwa Kisiwani.

Bathing Pool at Husuni Kubwa, Kilwa Kisiwani
Bathing Pool at the palace of Husuni Kubwa, Kilwa Kisiwani. Stephanie Wynne-Jones/Jeffrey Fleisher, 2011

Although like many oral histories passed down for generations before being written down, the Kilwa chronicle isn't completely supported by archaeological evidence: that fact doesn't make it any the less interesting, and scholars agree that the Kilwa Chronicle is a significant piece of the medieval history of the Swahili coast.

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