Writers choice

    What did change and what remained the same in Swahili history in the period between Ibn Battutas visit in 1330 and the visit of Father Monclaro in 1569? 

    From this scratch generate your own response to the question given:

    During the visit of Ibn Battuta in 1330, the coastal town of Kilwa was a bustling and prosperous region ruled by a generous king who welcomed travelers with gifts, encouraging the formation of alliances and the growth of his people’s prestige. The Swahili are described as pious Muslims, proud of their land, architecture, and the prosperity of their trade. Two centuries later, these same people were wary of European Christians (as shown in their reaction to the ship of Vasco da Gama), knowing that they were harbingers of death and warfare. The Swahili still practiced the Islamic faith, but were not as prosperous as perhaps they once were, no longer maintaining a wide swath of territorial control. By 1569, the once prosperous kingdoms were destitute and their order lay in ruins, the people massacred and subjugated by Europeans. This drastic shift is in large part due to the avarice of European conquerors, in particular the Portuguese; rather than view the Swahili people as equals and potential trading partners, Europeans addressed the inhabitants as inferiors and expected absolute obedience. They attempted to take control of gold production and killed all who fought against the conquerors, considering the lives of Swahili people expendable. Perhaps the greatest shift lay in the role of kings: instead of great and generous figures, the kings were reduced to penury and small scale squabbling with other states by the conquest of Europeans.
    Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan traveler who traveled to the coast of Kilwa. He describes Kilwa a beautiful city as it has so many fruits though the people dont do any agriculture, rather they import grains from Swahili. When comparing Ibn Battutas visit in 1330 to the visit of Father Moncaro in 1569, we can see that many things have changed. When Ibn Battuta visited the city, it had beautiful structures of house and trading towns, and their kings were powerful. Whereas, in 1569, when Father Monclaro visited, the houses were destroyed, the town had declined in trading. They also mentioned that Muslims were killing young men because they believe that these Christians killed Moors. Also, in 1330, the kings were powerful, whereas when Father Monclaro visited in 1569, the kings were poor, petty and powerless, and not to mention that the people of the town were left poor. 
    Though there were many factors that have changed, something has stayed the same. One factor that stayed the same was that the town was still trading, though it might not be as the same portion as in the 1330, but still trading was still happening but controlled by the portugues. Also, I think that the idea of being Muslims stayed the same because we see that the majority of the population are still Muslims.
    The period where Ibn Battuta visited  Swahili which was 1330 was a time period where everything was in place and being controlled by the right people. The king made possible that the people of Swahili were intact and content in their environment. As Battuta noted on his trip, it was one of the most beautiful towns in the world and was elegantly built (153). The king brought beautification in Kilwa which made people who visited the land find peace and be proud of what had been accomplished there. However, when Father Monclaro visited, everything was different from the period Battuta visited. During Monclaros period, the kings that were ruling the coast did not know how to use their power.  Since the Portugese were taking over, the land was in shambles where people became poor leading to an economic decline. The main thing that stayed the same throughout was the Muslim inhabitants continuing to trade.

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