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Swahili Architecture Essay

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[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

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[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 Oman, in 1204.Pate flourished when the disposed Nabahani Arabs
became the major rulers along the...

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