Photo of Swahili royal family 1800s

Photo of Swahili royal family 1800s

The Swahili civilization was founded in 520 bce, when Kemetic royal refugees escaping Achaemenid occupation, migrated to Punt (East Africa) and married into the coastal royal families. Between 520 bc-300 bce, Kenya-Tanzania underwent a great intermixing of Kemetic migrants and Kushite sea merchants settling in the port cities. They married the Puntite and Khoisan natives who were also intermixing with Nok expansionists into the Great Lakes region. This great intermixture produced the Bantu, who then spread throughout Central and Southern Africa.

The Swahili ports became extremely wealthy early on. By 300 bce, the Swahili city of Kilwa was the seventh largest city in Africa (after Waset, Merowe, Jos, Djenne, Philae, and Aksum). However, by 100 ce, Kilwa had become the third most populous, with a huge immigrant population from Kush and a major destination for Kemetic refugees. It was described in the Ptolemaic travelers book, Periplus of the Erythrean Sea.

The Swahili spiritual system was centered on the deity Liongo, who was a version of Ausar, the godman.

In the 2th-7th centuries ce, Aksum took over the sea trade from Kush and became the Swahili's primary trading partner. This is when Aksumite Ge'ez (so-called Afro-Asiatic) became heavily intermixed with the Bantu language. It was from Ge'ez that the Swahili adopted "Semetic" loan words, not from Arabic.
When the Yemeni Arabs began to replace the Aksumite power in the Red Sea after 700 ce, the Swahili were already established and powerful city states. The great father of Arabic literature, Al-Jahiz, was himself half Swahili and half Ethio-Yemeni. His fame spread throughout the Islamic world. It influenced his Swahili kinsmen to adopt Islam and produce poetry in Swahili using the Arabic script as early as the 9th-century.

Over the centuries, the indigenous spiritual system of Liongo was washed away, but the tales maintained under the fascade of a secular heroic epic. Kilwa became the capital city of a vast Swahili empire between 800-1600 ce. When the Moorish world traveler Ibn. Battuta visited Kilwa, he said it was the most beautiful city in the world.

Source: Africaiskemet
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