East African Travelers and Traders in the Indian Ocean: Swahili Ships, Swahili Mobilities ca. 1500–1800

  • Thomas Vernet
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


In 1596 or 1597 Sultan Muhammad, king of Malindi and Mombasa, wrote to Philip II of Spain to ask him, among other things, for his ships to sail freely and tax free to the fortresses of the Portuguese Empire. He also asked the right to send a ship of pilgrims to Mecca (i.e. Jeddah), presumably each year, on the basis that this right had already been granted by the Portuguese Crown to the Muslim rulers of India. However, his plans for his men and traveling agents were greater: he also asked for the free passage of a trading mission to China, the profit of which would help him and his sons to improve their finances.1 These requests were all accepted but unfortunately the records do not mention these voyages afterwards.


Indian Ocean Western Indian Ocean East African Coast Mangrove Wood Home Port 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Michael Pearson 2015

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  • Thomas Vernet

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