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Published: November 2nd 2016
The captain of my expedition said that we could not journey to Zanzibar due to a threat of being captured by pirates. This is rare in the Indian Ocean Trade because it is usually very safe. We took a detour to Kilwa, a thriving city off the coast of Tanzania, because we can get many of the same items here as Zanzibar. The locals here speak Kiswahili, which is a mix of Arabic and Bantu. The increased trade here has allowed these languages to merge. Items I am interested in such as gold, copper, iron, coconuts, ivory, and rhino horn are all traded in this city. Foreign currencies are minted, by the government, here so it will be easier to trade. There is also a social structure present, with the rich having stone coral houses with brilliant gardens, and the poorer residents having wooden or earthen houses. During my stay here we also visited the Great Mosque of Kilwa; an architectural feat. This mosque is enormous and entirely roofed, featuring numerous domes and vaults, and the absence of a courtyard. It goes to show the Islamic influence on the area, as the religion has been able to diffuse here from the presence of traders such as myself.
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