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Toponymy of past Swahili towns on the East African coast

BAUMANOVÁ, M. TRAMUTOLI, R. Toponymy of past Swahili towns on the East African coast. Bayreuth, Německo, 2023.Swahili Colloquium
Jazyk publikace: eng
Anglický název: Toponymy of past Swahili towns on the East African coast
Rok vydání: 2023
Místo konání: Bayreuth, Německo
Autoři: Monika Baumanová M.A., Ph.D. , Rosanna Tramutoli
Abstrakt EN: With the long history of urbanism on the Swahili coast, there are today numerous living historical towns as well as preserved sites of deserted precolonial settlements. This paper is a result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between archaeology and linguistics, and presents the first comprehensive analysis of a collection of over a hundred names of these past towns, with an accent on the coasts of present-day Kenya and Tanzania. The linguistic analysis of these toponyms is complemented with relevant observations from folk etymology and with a discussion of their conceptual content. This paper reflects on the anthropologically and archaeologically recognised importance of trade, Islam, architecture and life linked to the oceanfront, that spans across the Swahili past. The conceptual analysis hence aims to show whether and how these themes were reflected in Swahili toponymy and contributed to defining the identity of these towns as individual urban communities within the Swahili cultural sphere. The results complement the understanding of these towns defined on the basis of other data, creating a more complex picture of the Swahili urban past.
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