The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town

Overview

Zanzibar Stone Town presents the problems of conservation in its most acute forms. Should it be fossilised for the tourists? Or should it grow for the benefit of the inhabitants? Can ways be found to accommodate conflicting social and economic pressures? For its size Zanzibar, like Venice, occupies a remarkably large romantic space in world imagination. Swahili civilisation on these spice islands goes back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era. Up until the nineteenth century it was the capital of a ...
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Overview

Zanzibar Stone Town presents the problems of conservation in its most acute forms. Should it be fossilised for the tourists? Or should it grow for the benefit of the inhabitants? Can ways be found to accommodate conflicting social and economic pressures? For its size Zanzibar, like Venice, occupies a remarkably large romantic space in world imagination. Swahili civilisation on these spice islands goes back to the earliest centuries of the Islamic era. Up until the nineteenth century it was the capital of a trading empire which spread Kiswahili and Islam over a large part of eastern and central African and the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar then suffered the loss of its empire to the Germans and the British. In the last thirty years it has passed through its second period of crisis. After the Revolution of 1964 the new rural owners did not have the wherewithal to maintain the old stone houses. The Stone Town seemed to be on the verge of extinction. In the 1980s the government reversed its policies and the old town became threatened by rapid redevelopment which disfigures as it builds. The Old Stone Town now stands in danger of being drastically transformed by tourism and trade liberalisation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821411209
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/1995
  • Series: Eastern African Studies
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author


Abdul Sheriff is a professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam and the author of The History and Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town and coeditor of Zanzibar under Colonial Rule. He is also the principal curator of Zanzibar Museums.
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Table of Contents

Preface
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction 1
2 An Outline History of Zanzibar Stone Town 8
3 The Early History of the 'Other Side' of Zanzibar Town 30
4 Mosques, Merchants and Landowners in Zanzibar Stone Town 46
5 The Burial of the Elite in Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar Stone Town 67
6 The Social Fallout of Individual Death: Graves and Cemeteries in Zanzibar 82
7 The Old Dispensary: An Apogee of Zanzibari Architecture 91
8 Zanzibar Town Planning Problems 1890-1939 100
9 Will Zanzibar Stone Town Survive? 109
10 Zanzibar Stone Town: Fossil or Foetus? 116
11 The Revitalizisation of Zanzibar Stone Town 121
12 The Historic Cities Support Programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and its Activities in the Stone Town 130
13 The Zanzibar Stone Town Planning Project 134
Bibliography 143
Index 147
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