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dc.contributor.authorFabian, Steven.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-21T12:33:57Z
dc.date.available2014-10-21T12:33:57Z
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.identifier.otherAAINR31496en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10222/54958
dc.descriptionThis dissertation examines a new framework for analyzing identity in coastal East Africa. There is attributed to this region a cultural identity known as Swahili. How this is defined has been a subject of much debate over the past few decades. Swahili identity is somewhat of a paradox in that peoples from Somalia to Mozambique are defined as part of a common culture, while at the same time large numbers of people who played significant roles in this region are excluded. Not everyone who settled in the coastal towns wanted to "become" Swahili---many were happy to adopt from other cultures extant in the communities, but largely retained their own languages and traditions. Indeed, people who inhabited the coast had a stronger sense of what united them placially than they did culturally; even Swahili scholars tacitly acknowledge this. The so-called Swahili towns were home to only a small percentage of the overall population who actually identified themselves Swahili.en_US
dc.descriptionAs a way of better interpreting and appreciating the actions and behaviour of these urban communities, I posit that we now need to reconsider seeing the peoples of the East African littoral through a cultural lens and explore a spatial framework. By examining how people identify with a particular area we gain a more inclusive perception of community that involves peoples of various racial, ethnic, religious, class, and gender backgrounds. By using the case study of Bagamoyo---a "Swahili town"---this dissertation explores space as a site that forged a common identity out of multiple communities. This framework shows how people of different backgrounds built bridges with each other and established an overarching community with which they all identified in common. Such an identity has been generally denied Africans historically by academics who focus on the tribal in order to explain tensions and violence that have erupted between ethnic groups. While Africans have their differences with each other, they are also quite capable of living together in shared spaces. Placial identity helps us understand how this occurred.en_US
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Dalhousie University (Canada), 2007.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherDalhousie Universityen_US
dc.publisheren_US
dc.subjectAnthropology, Cultural.en_US
dc.subjectHistory, African.en_US
dc.titleWabagamoyo: Redefining identity in a Swahili town, 1860s--1890s.en_US
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dc.contributor.degreePh.D.en_US
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