The Tongoni Ruins are 15th century ruins of a mosque and forty tombs in Tongoni, a small fishing village 17 km south of Tanga in Tanzania. The area was a different place four to five centuries ago. Contrary to its almost unnoticed presence today, it was a prosperous and a respected trading centre during the 15th century.
A fishing village is a village, usually located near a fishing ground, with an economy based on catching fish and harvesting seafood. The continents and islands around the world have coastlines totalling around 356,000 kilometres (221,000 mi). From Neolithic times, these coastlines, as well as the shorelines of inland lakes and the banks of rivers, have been punctuated with fishing villages. Most surviving fishing villages are traditional.
Tanga is both the name of the most northerly port city of Tanzania on the west of the Indian Ocean, and the surrounding Tanga Region. It is the Regional Headquarters of the region. With a population of 273,332 in 2012, Tanga is one of the largest cities in the country. It is a quiet city compared to, for example, Arusha or Moshi with a comparable number of inhabitants.
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.
One tradition claims that Tongoni was established by the Shirazi people (originally of Persian descent), who established many Islamic settlements in Southeast Africa such as Kilwa and Mafia. There are also claims that the settlement of Tongoni was once dominated by the Wadebuli, a population believed to be of Indian origin that come from Dabhol, situated off the West Coast of India. Dhabol was a seaport in the 15th century belonging to the Bahmani rulers of the Deccan Plateau. The Bahmani had extensive trading links with Kilwa, which was then the largest trading centre in Southeast Africa.
The Shirazi people, also known as Mbwera, are an ethnic group inhabiting the Swahili coast and the nearby Indian ocean islands. They are particularly concentrated on the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Comoros. Their origins are linked to Shiraz and the southwestern coastal region of Persia. The Shirazi are notable for helping spread Islam on the Swahili Coast, their role in the establishment of the local Arab-Swahili sultanates, their influence in the development of the Swahili language, and the wealth they accumulated from trading commodities and Bantu-speaking African slaves. The East African coastal area and the nearby islands served as their commercial base.
The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as closely related languages.
India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese sailor, first visited Tongoni in April 1498. He had the opportunity to eat the local oranges, which he said were better than those available in Portugal. He made a second visit the following year, and spent fifteen days in Tongoni.
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira, was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India (1497–1499) was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route, connecting the Atlantic and the Indian oceans and therefore, the West and the Orient.
The ruins at Tongoni are under the Antiquities department. The ruins are open to the public but there have been no Phase III excavations. Decades ago, a small test excavation was conducted at the site and a site plan was drawn. In 2006, an American archaeologist conducted additional test excavations and mapped the site using modern methods of site survey. A resident guide, Mr. Job Tengamaso is available to show visitors around. A more recent ruin of a mosque (of about one hundred years) at the other end of the village, on the beach, can also be visited.
Great Zimbabwe is a city, now in ruins, in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe near Lake Mutirikwe and the town of Masvingo. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country's Late Iron Age. Construction on the monument began in the 11th century and continued until the 15th century. The edifices were erected by the ancestral Shona. The stone city spans an area of 7.22 square kilometres which, at its peak, could have housed up to 18,000 people. It is recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
The Hohokam were an ancient Native American culture centered in the present US state of Arizona. The Hohokam are one of the four major cultures of the American Southwest and northern Mexico in Southwestern archaeology. Considered part of the Oasisamerica tradition, the Hohokam established significant trading centers such as at Snaketown, and are considered to be the builders of the original canal system around the Phoenix metropolitan area, which the Mormon pioneers rebuilt when they settled the Lehi area of Mesa near Red Mountain. Variant spellings in current, official usage include Hobokam, Huhugam, and Huhukam.
Angoche is a city of Nampula Province in Mozambique. The city was named António Enes until 1976, after the 19th-century Portuguese journalist and colonial administrator, António José Enes. In administrative terms, since 1998, the city is also a municipality.
The ruins of Gedi are a historical and archaeological site near the Indian Ocean coast of eastern Kenya. The site is adjacent to the town of Gedi in the Kilifi District and within the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.
Kilwa Kisiwani is a community on an Indian Ocean island off the southern coast of present-day Tanzania in eastern Africa. Historically, it was the center of the Kilwa Sultanate, a medieval sultanate whose authority at its height in the 13th-15th centuries CE stretched the entire length of the Swahili Coast. Kilwa Kisiwani has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the nearby stonetown Songo Mnara.
The Swahili people are an ethnic and cultural group inhabiting East Africa. Members primarily reside on the Swahili coast, in an area encompassing the Zanzibar archipelago, littoral Kenya, the Tanzania seaboard, and northern Mozambique. The name Swahili is derived from the Arabic word Sawāhil سواحل, meaning coasts. The Swahili speak the Swahili language, which belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family.
Bagamoyo, Tanzania, is a town founded at the end of the 18th century, though it is an extension of a much older settlement, Kaole. It was the capital of German East Africa and was one of the most important trading ports along the East African coast along the west of the Indian Ocean. In 2011, the town had 82,578 inhabitants and is the capital of the Bagamoyo District.
Inhambane, also known as Terra de Boa Gente, is a city located in southern Mozambique, lying on Inhambane Bay, 470 km northeast of Maputo. It is the capital of the Inhambane Province and according to the 2017 census has a population of 79,724, growing from the 1997 census of 54,157. It is a beautiful charming town known for its serene atmosphere surrounded by beautiful seaside and the combination between modern local and rusting historic architecture, making it been popular among tourists.
Sofala, at present known as Nova Sofala, used to be the chief seaport of the Mwenemutapa Kingdom, whose capital was at Mount Fura. It is located on the Sofala Bank in Sofala Province of Mozambique. It was founded by Somali merchants and seafarers. Sofala in Somali literally means “go dig”. This name was given because the area is rich with resources.
Swahili culture is the culture of the Swahili people inhabiting the Swahili Coast. This littoral area encompasses Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique, as well as the adjacent islands of Zanzibar and Comoros and some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. They speak Swahili as their native language, which belongs to the Niger-Congo family.
The Ajuran Sultanate, also spelled Ajuuraan Sultanate, and often simply as Ajuran, was a Somali empire in the medieval times that dominated the Indian Ocean trade. They belonged to the Somali Muslim sultanate that ruled over large parts of the Horn of Africa in the Middle Ages. Through a strong centralized administration and an aggressive military stance towards invaders, the Ajuran Sultanate successfully resisted an Oromo invasion from the west and a Portuguese incursion from the east during the Gaal Madow and the Ajuran-Portuguese wars. Trading routes dating from the ancient and early medieval periods of Somali maritime enterprise were strengthened or re-established, and foreign trade and commerce in the coastal provinces flourished with ships sailing to and coming from many kingdoms and empires in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and East Africa.
Islam one of the 2 major religions in Tanzania. There are no reliable statistics, figures claimed vary between 35% and 55% of the people of Tanzania. On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areas, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former caravan routes. More than 99% of the population of the Zanzibar archipelago is Muslim. The majority of Muslims in Tanzania are Sunni of Shafi school of jurisprudence, with unusually significant Shia and Ahmadi minorities in sub-Saharan Africa. According to Pew research center, two-thirds of the Muslim population of Tanzania is Sunni, while the rest is either Shia (20%) or Ahmadi (15%).
The Kilwa Sultanate was a Medieval sultanate, centered at Kilwa, whose authority, at its height, stretched over the entire length of the Swahili Coast. It was founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, a Persian prince of Shiraz. By 13th century, the Swahili coast came under the sphere of influence of the Ajuran Empire.
The Swahili Coast is 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 "Shirazi era" refers to a mythic origin in the history of Southeast Africa, between the 13th century and 15th century. Many Swahili in the central coastal region claim that their towns were founded by Persians from the Shiraz region in the 13th century. Once accepted as fact, modern research has disproved a Shirazi origin for the Swahili towns, instead emphasizing various social factors that induced claiming this identity.
On the Swahili Coast in southern Tanzania lie the ruins of a stone town known as Songo Mnara. The stone town was occupied from the 14th to 16th centuries. Songo Mnara has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with nearby stone town Kilwa Kisiwani. In total, archaeologists have found six mosques, four cemeteries, and two dozen house blocks along with three enclosed open spaces on the island. Songo Mnara was constructed from rough-coral and mortar. This stonetown was built as one of many trade towns on the Indian Ocean.
Shanga is an archaeological site located in Pate Island off the Eastern Coast of Africa. The site covers about 15 hectares. Shanga was excavated during an eight-year period in which archaeologists examined Swahili origins. The archaeological evidence in the form of coins, pottery, glass and beads all suggest that a Swahili community inhabited the area during the eighth century. Evidence from the findings also indicates that the site was a Muslim trading community that had networks in Asia.
A Tourist in Africa is a travel book by the British writer Evelyn Waugh. It appeared in 1960, many years after his travel writings of the 1930s.
Pemba Island is a small island off the coast of Tanzania. Inhabited since 600 AD, the island has a trading, agricultural, and religious history that has contributed to the studies of the Swahili Coast trade throughout the Indian Ocean.
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