Swahili Architecture Essay

14563 WordsAug 9, 201559 Pages
[FORM AND SYMBOLISM OF SWAHILI ARCHITECTURE IN PATE ISLAND] CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of Study Pate Island is located in Indian ocean in Northern Coast of Kenya. It's the largest island in the Lamu archipelago which consists of five islands;Pate,Manda,Lamu,Kiwaya and Manda Toto. Pate is two hours by ferry from Lamu island and the shores are surrounded by dense mangroves, and easily reached during high tides. The island consists of several settlements or towns including Faza, Pate, Siyu, Kizingitini and Shanga (fig 1.1). Fig 1.1 Lamu Archipelago Source :Museums of Kenya, 2013. Fig 1.2 Pate Island Faza town in the northern part is the main administrative centre. Southwest of the island is Pate town which is known for its fine houses with extensive elaborate plaster works, fine arts, intricate jewellery, fine cloths and fine wooden furniture dating back to the 18th century, Pate chronicles (1993). Near Faza in the northern area is Siyu town. Siyu town achieved historical fame for having withstood several battles against the sultans of Zanzibar. When it finally succumbed to its dominance, in 1863, it was one of the last towns in the entire East African towns to do so. The town boasts a fortified fort built by the locals in the entire east African coastal region. Kizingitini is on the north also (east of Faza) and is the largest fishing port on the island. On the south east of the island is Shanga town which is an archaeological site with extensive and varied ruins (fig 1.2). Source: Lamu Museum , 2013. Kamau Edwin Maiteri B02/21515/2007 Page| 1 [FORM AND SYMBOLISM OF SWAHILI ARCHITECTURE IN PATE ISLAND] CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION According to the Pate chronicle, Pate was founded by refugees from Oman in the 8th century and re-founded by members of the Nabahani family, also from

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