The Takwa settlement is situated on the south part of Manda Island, in the Lamu District in the coastal province of Kenya. They will be the ruins of your Muslim town which was abandoned about the 18th century.
The Takwa site can be easely reached from Lamu town. The ruins were first excavated by James Kirkman in 1951. In 1972 the website was cleared again under the guidance of Adam de Vere Allen, the Curator of the Lamu Museum.
Takwa was never a huge place. It was founded around yr 1500, and probably left behind around 1700. Kirkman thought that it was perhaps a location were holy men or spiritual people retreated. The Great Mosque at Takwa is relatively well preserved. The other composition remaining worth focusing on is the Pillar Tomb, which has an inscription with the time frame of 1681-1682. It is reported that when Takwa was empty, its inhabitants resolved just over the bay at Shela on Lamu Island. Double annually the people of Shela come to the Pillar Tomb in Takwa to pray for rain. (Martin, p. 27) The Takwa Ruins were chosen a Kenyan National Monument in 1982.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Map of Kenya showing the islands
--Rulers of Pate
---- Bwana Mkuu
---- Bwana Tamu
---- Fumo Madi
World Traditions Site
The Lamu Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean near to the northern seacoast of Kenya, to which it belongs. The islands lie between the towns of Lame and Kiunga, near to the border with Somalia, and it is an integral part of Lamu Region.
The major of the hawaiian islands are Pate Island, Manda Island and Lamu Island. Smaller islands include Kiwayu, which lies in the Kiunga Sea Country wide Reserve, and Manda Toto. Today the largest town in the archipelago is Lamu Town, on Lamu Island. The town is on the World Traditions List.
The archipelago consists of several archaeological/historical sites of great significance, such as Takwa and Manda Town (both on Manda Island) and Shanga (on Pate Island). Some have been partly excavated in later years, dropping important new light on Swahili record and culture.
The islands are reputed to be one of the westernmost plug-ins of call of the fantastic Chinese language fleet of Zheng He, or to be the resting host to a wreck of 1 of his boats. No direct proof has yet been learned of his visit, though it is well known that he been to Mombasa, further down the Kenyan coastline, in around 1415.
Allen, Adam de Vere: Lamu, with an appendix on Archaeological confirms from the region of Lamu by H. Neville Chittick. Nairobi: Kenya National Museums.
Lamu town is the oldest living Swahili town in Kenya, comparable to others such as Zanzibar in Tanzania. The city dates back to at least the 12th century. Since this time around Lamu has flourished as a maritime trading centre whose main inhabitants, the Swahili, employed in international trade, angling and farming. The structures of Lamu is distinctively Swahili, with its narrow pavements, storied properties, intricately carved solid wood gates and numerous mosques.
Lamu is also unique for the reason that it is coordinator to three museums and a Fort with an extraordinary exhibition space, namely: Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, German POSTOFFICE Museum, and Swahili House Museum. Lamu Museum can set up guided trips to various archaeological and historical sites, whether to neighbouring Manda Island or further afield to Pate Island, where the ruins of the initial known Swahili settlement deal of Shanga - dated to the 8th century Advertisement - can be frequented.
The Lamu World was created in the first 1980s to provide a community forum for ideas and projects that could encourage the conservation of the island community's historic material culture. The World has been instrumental in bringing up funds and helping in the work required to report, preserve and restore aspects of earlier time periods and therefore in the development of the Lamu Museum.
The Society's magazines focus on the annals and preservation of the island's ethnical traditions, whilst its regular newsletter informs associates about situations and ongoing areas of interest.
Since the 19th century Lamu has been thought to be an important religious centre in East Africa. Every year, a large number of pilgrims from the spot flock to Lamu town for the famous Maulidi, or Milad-un-Nabi, celebrations that are performed through the third month of the Muslim calendar to draw the delivery of the Prophet Muhammed. The East AfricanMaulidi is believed to have been began by Habib Swaleh Jamalely, a Comorian Arab who emigrated to Lamu and proven himself as a scholar and doctor of traditional Arabic remedies. He was a pious man whose deeds remain emulated today, as exemplified by Maulidi. The Maulidi activities are recognized to bring folks from so far as the Comoros, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lamu Traditions Attractions
Lamu is a prominent cultural centre reputable because of its historic earlier and traditional socio-cultural customs. As such visitors to Lamu can enjoy a big and diverse collection of heritage and ethnic attractions. With the area level, Lamu gets the remains of many history sites. These range from cities, like Shanga, Pat and Manda to a huge selection of monuments, like Siyu Fort. Some of these sites, such as Manda, are easily accessible, while some are situated in solid vegetation making gain access to difficult. The development of access to these areas is currently being tackled by the site's management team.
Lamu was detailed as a World Heritage Site on the 14 Dec 2001. This landmark position came after 28 many years of rigid conservation of Lamu Old Town. As being a national monument the city has many attractive architectural characteristics, unrivalled by every other Swahili town across the East African littoral. The old town has around 532 homes. About 496 of these properties are privately possessed, 23 are believed general public and 13 are spiritual structures mainly mosques.
The town has survived the pressure of modern devastation and development by both federal government and private coders. The town's well-conserved architectural setting up of narrow pavements, divided by blocks of lined properties, has fascinated many tourists. Perhaps of all appeal will be the stone walled residences in which chiseled roofs are reinforced by coated mangrove poles.
The interior of the Lamu house is divided by two or three long galleries, with at least one or two self-contained rooms. The wall space are covered with geometric plaster designs and wall membrane niches. Lamu town has several structures of importance including the Lamu Fort and Yumbe the past house of an Lamu Sultan. Aside from Lamu's physical heritage the town has a abundant living culture. For almost a hundred years, each calendar year considers Lamu flooded with spiritual tourists from across the globe, here to attend the popular Maulidi Happening.
About 20, 000 spiritual travellers come to the town to wait this Festival, through the Islamic month of Rabil awal. The climax of the Maulidi activities comes in the final week of the month. At the moment various traditional Swahili dances from the neighbouring cities of Pat, Siyu, Ndau, Faza and Matondoni are hosted at the Riadha Mosque grounds to amuse the pilgrims. Taking good thing about the sombre week of mfungo sita, (Rabil awal) Lamu Museum also arranges some cultural situations, such as traditional dhow races, bao games, donkey races, henna painting and Islamic calligraphy competitions.
Typically during the month of August, though occasionally happening later in the year, Lamu's second large festivity is organised. The Lamu Cultural Event is organised by the Lamu Cultural Campaign Group. It really is a three-day Swahili ethnical happening that combines traditional dances, inside and outdoor social activities and an exhibition of Lamu's abundant materials culture. The Cultural Festivity, like the Maulidi, also attracts crowds as large as 20, 000.
Lamu Old Town's museums and fort are taken care of and been able by the National Museums of Kenya. They are: the Lamu Museum, known for its exquisite Swahili ethnography exhibits; the Swahili House Museum, a restored 18th century house, reflecting the life span of privileged Lamu Swahilis; the Lamu Fort, built-in 1814 by Bwana Zeid Ngumi the last Sultan of Lamu; and the German POSTOFFICE Museum, showing the postoffice when it was functional in the overdue 19-20 th Century.
Lamu's materials culture is best shown by its carved doors and traditional furniture which is often viewed all around the town. You can find almost 18 woodcarving workshops in Lamu mainly producing Swahili doors, furniture and smaller artefacts, such as the miniature dhows that are popular with tourists. One of the busiest workshops in the city is the Skanda Woodcarving Workshop, this was opened about 50 years ago and is credited with having trained hundreds of woodcarvers who are actually scattered all over Kenya's major cities. Visitors are pleasant to see woodcarving classes at the workshops. There are also gift idea and curio retailers scattered around the Old Town, advertising quality local items.
One of the reasons for Lamu's inscription on the UNESCO history list is its unique social-cultural life, which has continued to be relatively unchanged for years and years. A traditionally conservative lifestyle continues to be maintained by many Lamu households. Lamu's female Muslim society still predominately wear bui bui's, and donkeys remain the major form of carry in the town.
The ruins of Takwa are located on Manda Island, a 30 minute boat ride from Lamu town. Here you can witness the remains of an growing 16th century Swahili trading post. One of the more noteworthy features at Takwa is the unique Fri Mosque with a sizable pillar atop the qibla wall structure; while the need for the pillar is not known with certainty, some consider it to symbolise the burial of an Sheikh below the wall membrane. A day's visit is quite a unique experience, and can be complimented by a picnic or right away camping.
The ruins of Takwa can be found on the southeastern nook of Manda Island opposite Lamu. A 30 minute boat trip from Lamu Town. Its physical location on map is at Grid Guide 186 476, Sheet 180/4.
Takwa ruins will be the remains of your thriving 15th and 16th century Swahili trading town before it was abandoned in the seventeenth century. It is not only important because of its period of occupation but also due to its dense settlement and its relatively well maintained remains. The initial Fri Mosque with a big pillar a high the qibla wall membrane is just about the noteworthy features. This pillar is thought to symbolize the burial of your Sheikh be low the wall.
The position of the website at the narrowest location overall island, was most probably a strategy. Takwa's position/location with shallow waters must have been of significant importance especially during its peak, when many of the sails that arrived to view were apt to be hostile. Therefore access to the site must have been generally from the shallow route that could only say that vessels of shallow draft.
Takwa eventual abandonment in the 17th century was due to salination of the once fresh drinking water and endless fighting between Takwa and Pate people. These ruins were gazetted as a National Monument in 1982 in Gazette notice No. 1514. At present, Takwa is open daily to the Public. It is an extremely pleasurable place for a casual visit, that can be complimented by the picnic and over night camping.
Takwa is funds between 3 hundred and five hundred yrs. old unmodified by subsequent constructions. The remains of the walled rock town of Takwa are located at a point where Manda Island is nearly bisected by a tidal channel flanked by mangroves. Although Takwa is located only few hundred meters from the sea, there is certainly neither a good harbour nor safeguarded anchorage on the ocean side. The shallow channel was likely the best access to the website, as it is today, although limited to vessels of shallow draft when the tides are favourable.
A major aspect of the pay out is the town wall membrane, of coral rag structure, which increased to a complete height around three meters and is most beneficial looked at intact in the southern areas of the website. The remains of Takwa within the wall structure cover about 5 hectares and contain a mosque, homes, a well and set ups with perhaps spiritual or commercial functions. In addition, there are the areas created by the location of set ups, such as courtyards, pavements and other available areas. All structures were built of coral rag, quarried locally, and set in mortar manufactured from earth, fine sand and lime.
The avenue, although obscured by rubble today, is significant for the quantity of town planning involved: at least five homes with factors on the road are immediately aligned with it, and everything in the plan are affected because of it. Likewise the street leading south right to the mosque is orientated with an error of significantly less than one degree off modern-day magnetic north - scarcely an accident. It is interesting to consider that after leaving the mosque, the faithful stepped onto a neighborhood aimed immediately at Mecca.
Pillar tombs are one of the initial architectural top features of the East African shoreline, and Takwa is justifiably known because of its fine example, located simply a few meters at night north gate. An inscribed stop is set into the north face of the tomb wall membrane. The block calls to Allah, Muhammed, and the first four caliphs, AbuBakar, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali. At the bottom of the inscription is the Arabic time 1094, which measures that lots of years from Muhammed's hijrah, or move, from Mecca to Medina in the. D. 622. As the Muslim yr 1094 began on December 31, 1682, this night out corresponds to the Christian season 1683. The tomb continues to be considered sacred to the Muslim folks of Shela, some of whom are believed to have come from Takwa and who go to the tomb twice annually to pray for rainfall.
The Takwa mosque is located near the physical centre of the site, reflecting the central place of Islam in the spiritual and cultural life of many in the community. The mosque is seen as a a unique and eye-catching pillar, which rises from the centre of its north wall. It is possible that the mosque is located on the site of the tomb of the revered person. The pillar, as a quality feature of the coastline, might have been located on the mosque in commemoration of the burial site. The ruined remains around 55 structures appear north of the mosque, with about the same number to the south.
Takwa might have been abandoned scheduled to hostility from nearby Pate, whose ascendancy started about three hundred years previously. Perhaps trade competition added to the site abandonment, or perhaps Takwa became involved in the rivalry between Lamu and Pate, which might explain why some of the Takwa people asked to stay at Shela on Lamu Island. Another likely cause for abandonment was the second-rate water resource, for the wells at the mosque and near to the pillar tomb are salty today. It might have been easier for the Takwans to withstand hostility from Pate than to experience the increasing salinity of these life-sustaining wells.
Artefacts found during excavations in the 1979s include numerous pottery vessels - both locally produced and brought in - for baking and storage space, a bread oven, goblet beads, spindle whorls, a cup flask of undiscovered use, fragments of an smoking pipe, fish and mammal bones suggesting a assorted diet, and completed flat iron implements and iron slag indicating blacksmithing on site.
This is a abundant inventory of artefacts but it nevertheless only displays what hasn't perished in the archaeological record. No natural cotton or other fabric has survived. Virtually all wood is gone, probably migrated to Shela, which, considering contemporary woodcarving is probable quite a reduction. Leather products such as purses, belts and sandals have all decayed, and specifically valuable items would have been removed as individuals left Takwa. Despite having the interesting picture of Takwa known from archaeological research, we remain struggling to gain a total piciture of the site's history.
A safari to Takwa - A stop by at Takwa Country wide Monument is an extremely pleasant way to invest a morning hours or day, or even an entire day with over night camping. Site visitors may leave Lamu or Shela by sailing dhow or motorboat, cross Lamu Harbour to Manda Island and enter into a narrow route flanked by mangroves. Although at high tide boats and dhows can reach the very end of the route, it is advisable to anticipate to wade a few meters through ankle or knee profound salt water. Definately not being dangerous or uneasy, this approach enables you to feel just like an explorer, setting the disposition for entrance in to the serene and majestic ruins.
Physical description and climate
The Lamu Archipelago is a small group of island situated on Kenya's northern coast lines, near Somalia. It really is composed of Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu Islands. Lamu Town is the head office of Lamu District, one of the six districts of Kenya's Coastal Province, which edges the Indian Ocean to the east, the Tana River District to the south-west, the Garissa Area to the north and the Republic of Somalia to the north-east.
Temperatures range from 23 to 30 certifications celsius throughout the year. The hottest weeks are form Dec to April, as the coolest are from May to July. There's also long rains from mid-April to the finish of June.
Commerce helped bring the East African shoreline into contact with distant individuals and cultures as early as two thousand years ago. The initial known historical data - the 1st Hundred years ADPtolemy's Geography - conversation of the shoreline, its inhabitants, and the trade. Arab stores began to settle permanently between your 9th and 12th decades, taking with them a fresh faith, Islam. They described folks they found there by various titles, including 'Swahili', which recommended 'people from the seacoast'. Over the years, the stock traders intermarried with the local people plus some Swahili's trace their origins to the Arab world.
The Old Town of Lamu is first brought up by the Arab writer/traveller, Abu al Mahasini, who found a 'Qadhi' (Muslim Judge) from Lamu when visiting Meca in 1441. Lamu flourished as an unbiased city-state and continued to be a thriving seaport through the turbulent Portuguese invasions, its Omani domination during the 17th hundred years and battles with the neighbouring islands of Pate and Manda. Under Omani security and with a slave founded economy, Lamu remained profitable for over 2 hundred years until the 19th century. It had been during this period that Lamu's inhabitants built most of the original coral stone homes and mosques that still stand today, using coral rock and mangrove timber from the archipelago, and using skilled craftsmen from India.
To the Muslim world the term "Maulid" (the Arabic phrase for labor and birth) is often spoken in reference to the Prophet Muhammed's (Peace Be Upon Him) delivery. However, in Eastern African and the Indian Ocean region, Maulidi or Milad-un-Nabii (Beginning of the Prophet Muhammed, PBUH) is the holy celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammed, which will last the full month of Rabi al-Awal and some weeks before and after.
A Maulid itself is any wedding ceremony in which the Prophet is venerated. For that reason, it is understandable why there exists controversy over when and where in fact the first Maulid was recited. One of the most consistent record areas that the first general public celebration occurred in Egypt 400 years following the death of the Prophet in the eighth century during the Fatimid dynasty, and Maulidi was celebrated in Mecca and since has caught on in many other countries in this part of the world. Again there is absolutely no specific record of when it commenced in East Africa, but it is clear Maulidi has been here for years and years.
The one who is responsible for how Maulidi is currently celebrated is Swaleh ibn Alwy ibn Abdullah Jamal al-Lail or "Habib Swaleh". Given birth to in the Comoros Islands of an Arab dad and Comorian mom, Swaleh's family are Sharifs. He was the first ever to include instruments at the Maulids he managed and was criticized for this. After some years, Swaleh was recognized as a man of folks and a well known leader locally, and they began to follow his example and interact his celebration. In those days no Mosque allowed devices to be enjoyed inside, so he founded the Riyada Mosque and the Mosque School in 1901. Even today, the students of Riyada School lead the recitation, and the Riyada itself is the heart and soul of the festivity continuing his legacy.
Though this is a month-long celebration, the most crucial and detected time is sunset on the 11th of Rabi-al-Awal until dawn on the 12th. The Maulid is recited for that entire span of their time, as it is on the genuine date of the Prophet's labor and birth. During the last week of the month, in Lamu, there's a four-day long event. This begins on the Thursday and ends on Fri. Since 1990, the Country wide Museums of Kenya has sponsored the gala in Lamu. They organize various community building competitions such as going swimming, dhow races, henna competition, tug-of warfare, and donkey races.
Amidst the festivity, in homes and in mosques, the people of Lamu recite one of four Maulids: Sharaful-Anam, Maulid ya Dibei (ya Rama), Baranzanji, and Simt-al-Durar (String of Pearls). The Maulid ya Rama is written and recited in Kiswahili, others in Arabic. The most commonly read are the Baranzaji, compiled by Imam as-Sayyid Ja'far ibn Hassan ibn Abdal Karim al-Barazanji (1690-1766), and the Simt-al-Durar, the newest, compiled by Khatib Habib Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Habshy (?-1915) from Saudi Arabia. These Maulids can best be referred to as religious poetry, predicated on the history and life of the Prophet, with lines and principles from the Hadith and the Qur'an.
A Maulid can be read at any important event or milestone. Within the Swahili tradition, it can be read one to two weeks following the birth of a child, through the shaving ceremony. They are also performed at wedding ceremonies and less frequently at funerals.
Muslims all the world add their own modifications and culture to the recitation. Out of all the major places and ports in this area of the world, East African Muslim's choose Lamu to go to and watch this special time. The distinctively Swahili music, party, and rituals here are unlike any others. Lamu is a town rich in culture, record, and traditions and will most likely continue steadily to host the largest Maulidi on the East African seacoast.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lamu Old Town*
UNESCO World History Site
View of the seaside, Lamu Town
ii, iv, vi
2001 (25th Procedure)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Map of Kenya demonstrating the islands
--Rulers of Pate
---- Bwana Mkuu
---- Bwana Tamu
---- Fumo Madi
World Traditions Site
Lamu town is the greatest town on Lamu Island, which in turn is an integral part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya.
Lamu town is also the headquarters of Lamu District and a UNESCO World History Site.
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