Tag Archives: Arab

The Filāḥa Texts Project: Medieval Books of Crop and Animal Husbandry

After some months, The Kutub al-Filāḥa – or Books of [Arabic] Husbandry – is back online and with  new materials.  It is the only source (I’m aware of) that has been systematically documenting medieval Arabic manuscripts on these topics – and … Continue reading

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Posted in Andalus, Arabic, Botany, Crop harvests, Egypt - Medieval, Europe - medieval, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Livestock, Manuscripts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking back at Syria: 19th Century Explorations

In 1809 John Lewis Burckhardt set out from England, with the blessings of the Africa Association,  to explore hinterlands of the Middle East, and ultimately to travel by camel caravan from Cairo to West Africa, in order to discover the … Continue reading

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Posted in John Lewis Burckhardt, Middle East, Syria | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teeth-filing as a Mark of Beauty and Belonging in 19th Century Africa

This blog follows on Gambler’s House interesting Blog about Filed Teeth at Cahokia : One of the distinctive characteristics of Cahokia and its area of strong influence is the prevalence of filed teeth in many human burials. Filing of teeth as … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Burton and Speke, Colonialism, Dark Continent, European explorers, Explorers & exploration, Social Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

أم كلثوم; Umm Kultūm – ‘al-Sitt’ (the Lady of Egypt)

37 years ago, on the 3rd February, the great Egyptian diva and songwriter – Umm Kalthum – died, well into her 70s.  Last night BBC Worldservice  aired a brief program about her, which you can download here. This remarkable woman, … Continue reading

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Posted in Egypt-Recent | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee Culture in Africa – an Historical Peek

Following on the last blog, about indigenous coffee in Uganda – and about other indigenous crops, here follows some passages from 19th Century explorers on ‘coffee culture’ and the agriculture of indigenous coffee in east Africa and the Sudan.  The importance of … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-Central, Africa-East, Agriculture, Colonialism, Explorers & exploration, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants, Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rice in East Africa, 1860’s: Imported and Indigenous

Rice was introduced to East Africa by Arab and Swahili traders in the northern area of the East African coast, and by the Portuguese in the south (see this blog). It was a crop raised by Arabs, Swahili or Portuguese, … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-East, African rice, Agriculture, Burundi, Colonialism, East central Africa, Explorers & exploration, Food, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Swahili ‘City States’ in 19th Century East Africa: Indigenous and Imported Crops

For several hundred years before European colonization, the crops and cuisines of East Africa were influenced by Arab and Swahili traders, who brought seeds of their favored foods to the coast as well as inland to plant in their little … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-East, Agriculture, Colonialism, Explorers & exploration, Food, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments