We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Zanzibar - Oxford Islamic Studies Online
Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
Chapter: verse lookup What is This? Select one or both translations, then enter a chapter and verse number in the boxes, and click "Go."
:
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result

Zanzibar

Source:
The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture What is This? Provides in-depth historical and cultural information on over a thousand years of Islamic art and architecture

Zanzibar

Archipelago 25 km off the east coast of Tanzania in east Africa, with ancient links to Arabia as well as the African mainland. The majority of the population (1,000,000; 2004 estimate) is Muslim. From 1698 Zanzibar was under the control of the sultans of Oman, becoming a British protectorate in 1890. It became independent in 1963, merging with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964. Following independence, ministers for culture were assigned to find and revive traditional customs.

The ancient stone town of Zanzibar was restored in the 1980s by the Conservation of Historical Monuments Society, and further private investment has been poured into the rehabilitation of the old houses with elaborate carved wooden balconies and doors bearing pre-Islamic motifs such as date palms and lotuses. Specific bodies offering patronage include the National Art Council of Tanzania, responsible for the development and promotion of traditional arts, and the National Cottage Industries Corporation (NCIC), formed in 1965. They have encouraged the revival of cottage industries in traditional arts, notably jewelry, textiles, pottery and brass and silver trays.

Academic artists are less well served by state-organized bodies, and postgraduate art training is often undertaken in Uganda or the west. The painter Fatima Shaaban Abdullah (b. 1939), whose boldly colored works have been exhibited worldwide, trained at the Women's Teacher Training College, Zanzibar (1959), and the Makerere School of Fine Arts, Kampala, Uganda, later returning to Zanzibar to teach at Nkrumah Teacher Training College. A later group of painters who emerged in Tanzania in the 1980s evinced a desire to move away from abstract designs towards a more academic manner; these include watercolor painters of landscapes Abdallah Farahani and his son Iddi Abdallah Farahani. Dr. Ali Hussein Darwish, who started with figurative painting before moving to designs based on Arabic calligraphy, is one of the best-known painters from Zanzibar.

Bibliography

  • Enc. Islam/2: “Zandjibār”.
  • F. R. Barton: “Zanzibar Doors,” Man, xiv/6 (1924), pp. 81–3, pl. F
  • N. I. Nooter: “Zanzibar Doors,” Afr. A., xvii/4 (1984), pp. 34–9, 96.
  • U. Malasins: The Stone Town of Zanzibar (Zanzibar, 1985).
  • P. O. Mlama: “Tanzania's Cultural Policy and its Implications for the Contributions of the Arts to Socialist Development,” Utafiti, vii/1 (1985), pp. 9–19.
  • E. Abdul Sheriff: The History & Conservation of Zanzibar Stone Town (Zanzibar, 1995).
  • M. A. Muombwa: “Kofia in Zanzibar,” Swahili Forum II/Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere, xlii (1995), pp. 132–7.
  • F. Siravo: Zanzibar: A Plan for the Historic Stone Town (Geneva, 1996).
  • M. A. Mwalim: Doors of Zanzibar (London, 1998).
  • R. Harris and G. Myers: “Hybrid Housing: Improvement and Control in Late Colonial Zanzibar,” J. Soc. Archi. Hist., lxvi/4 (Dec. 2007), pp. 476–93.
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Look It Up What is This? Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2022. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice