Regional Surveys

James de Vere Allen: Swahili Kingdoms

This collection includes rare images of Swahili Kingdom structures and cityscapes, photographed by the scholar James de Vere Allen in Lamu, Diani, and Gedi, Kenya. Although the exact date of photography is unknown, the images were taken prior to 1988. James de Vere Allen was the author of The Swahili House: Cultural and Ritual Concepts Underlying its Plan and Structure (London: AARP, 1979), Swahili Houses and Tombs of the Coast of Kenya (London: AARP, 1979), and Swahili Origins: Swahili Culture and the Shungwaya Phenomenon, among many other works. He is remembered by his fellow scholars for his wide, and occasionally unorthodox, contributions to the study of Swahili history and culture. One of his greatest achievements was the establishment of the Lamu Museum. Archnet thanks the family and friends of Mr. Allen for their assistance and generosity in publishing this collection.

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