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Originally posted by Astyanax This does not signify a direct international trade between China and East Africa in the fifteenth century. No such trade existed. It is actually something much more exciting.
Off course the Swahili city states has a cosmopolitan population but the major part of the populous were Africans,they were mainly Muslims matter of fact they picked up ideas from their trading partners,the Arabs,Indians and Persians again they were not client states,well not until the 17th 18th and 19th centuries anyways,they built their own fleets(they are still building them today) and carried on trade along with other groups,a family whose origins began in Uganda a powerful trading family started byJamal din Al Entebi that is Jamal from Entebbe in what is now Uganda controlled the ports of Calcutta India for centuries,btw the family is still in existence in India,he ran trade back and forth from Africa to his Indian ports.
That may be so but the Swahili version that you dismissed earlier still made trips out into the I.O but here is a pdf study Swahili Ships in Oceanic Perspective By Roosje de Leeuwe University of Leiden, Netherlands
The Siddis were a tightly knit group, highly aggressive, and even ferocious in battle. They were employed largely as security forces for Muslim fleets in the Indian Ocean, a position they maintained for centuries. The Siddi commanders were titled Admirals of the Mughal Empire, and received an annual salary of 300,000 rupees. According to Ibn Battuta (1304-1377), the noted Muslim writer who journeyed through both Africa and Asia, the Siddis “are the guarantors of safety on the Indian Ocean; let there be but one of them on a ship and it will avoided by the Indian pirates and idolaters.”
Ming porcelain was found in many African countries. Celadon and blue and white porcelain were excavated in Al- Fustat Site in Egypt, Somali, Ethiopian ancient city sites, and an ancient site near Kenya. Blue and white porcelain of Jingdezhen were found in Tanganyika site and Dehua kiln of Jingdezhen. gotheborg.com...
[...]They are looking for the ancient Malindi Kingdom, believed to be where there was first contact between the Swahili and the Chinese in the 14th century.[...]
[...]Later in November, another group of experts will be in the country to do underwater archeology in search of a shipwreck believed to have been used for trade during the ninth century. The underwater excavation will be screened live by the Chinese state television CCTV. National Museums of Kenya's Coast region assistant director Athman Hussein and head of Coastal archeology Jambo Haro said the project, dubbed Sino-Kenya project, is funded by the Chinese government to the tune of Sh200 million (more than USD 2.3 millions). "What we want to do work is to look for ancient Malindi Kingdom. You know the kingdom is a famous in China because in ancient literature material, the Chinese began to record it from the ninth century and they keep writing," said Qin.[...]
[...]In 2008, a shipwreck, estimated to be between 400-600 years old, was discovered in Ngomeni by Kenyan underwater archeologist Caesar Bita, who said the East African coast has been very active in terms intercontinental trade. "We have got evidence of the connections between the Swahili Coast and the Persian Gulf and West Coast of India and China. Investigations are still ongoing. The mission between Kenya and China is now trying to prove whether really there is a Chinese shipwreck here at the Coast. We have done some investigations and found evidence in terms of pottery that tells us that really there has been commerce between Kenya and China," said Bita.[...]
[...]Kenyan and Chinese archaeologists have unearthed evidence that clearly demonstrates the history of the Old Malindi kingdom. The experts announced they had come across a large ancient building built with a mixture of small stones and plastered with red earth that could date back in the 14 th century before the coming of the Portuguese.
The archeologists said the style of the building was Swahili.[...]
[...]The excavation work ongoing is part of the second phase of the Sh200 million (more than USD 2.3 millions) research projects meant to trace the ancient trade links of the Chinese along the Kenyan Coast[...]
Sofala continued to belong to the Kingdom of Monomatapa, the Swahili community paying tribute for permission to reside and trade there. The Sultan of Kilwa only had jurisdiction on the Swahili residents, and his governor was more akin to a consul than a ruler. The city retained a great degree of autonomy, and could be quite prickly should the Sultan of Kilwa try to interfere in their affairs. Sofala was easily the most dominant coastal city south of Kilwa itself.