East Africa trading on the Indian Ocean
This guidebook describes a bunch of East African ports. Probably the guidebook got as far south as modern Kenya. Traders were already buying enslaved men and women from Ethiopia and Kenya. They sold these people north in the Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire, and in India.
Islam comes to East Africa
But they were certainly building an Islamic mosque by the 900s. Sometime around this time, the people of East Africa also started to speak a Bantu language, originally from West Africa. They mixed in a lot of Arabic words. We call this language Swahili (swah-HEEL-ee).
East Africans buy glass beads and cotton cloth
By the 1000s AD, many of the coastal ports of East Africa were involved in trade with the Fatimids in Egypt and the Abbasids in West Asia, and also with the Chola Empire in India. From ports at Mombasa, Kilwa, and Chibuene, African traders sold high quality iron to Indian steel-makers.
The Europeans arrive
In 1320 AD or so, the African ruler of the port of Kilwa (in modern Tanzania), al Hasan ibn Suleiman, built himself a great stone palace out of cut coral. The great North African traveller and writer ibn Battuta visited al Hasan there.
Who was Ibn Battuta?
Trade with the Pandyas in India
Charles V and colonialism
Portugal and Mozambique
East Africa by Cynthia L. Jenson-Elliott (2002)
City-States of the Swahili Coast (First Book) by Thomas H. Wilson (1998)
Kings and Queens of East Africa, by Sylviane Anna Diouf (2000)