Chapter

Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany Swahili poetry and the conservation of cultural knowledge

Kai Kresse

in Philosophising in Mombasa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748627868
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652976 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627868.003.0005
Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany Swahili poetry and the conservation of cultural knowledge

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Historically, poetry and its performance were applied to a wide range of incidents in Swahili social life. Swahili poetry has long been used for Islamic and social education, as well as for ideological attacks between political or religious opponents. Reformist poets, for instance, railed against the supposed enemies of ‘pure’ Islam, such as the traditional healers practising divination or spirit-possession. This chapter presents an epigraph characterising Nabhany's literary and cultural project that can serve as a guideline through these passages which attempt to give a portrait of this important intellectual. Nabhany is a self-trained scholar who has assisted many academics in their research and, over decades, himself worked through various fields of Swahili cultural knowledge.

Keywords: Swahili social life; Islamic education; Ahmed Sheikh Nabhany; Swahili cultural knowledge

Chapter.  15887 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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