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Official flag of Zanzibar
Map of Zanzibar's main island
Map of Zanzibar's main island
Zanzibar is situated off mainland Tanzania
Zanzibar is situated off mainland Tanzania
Coordinates: 6°8′S 39°19′E
Country Tanzania
Islands Unguja and Pemba
Capital Zanzibar City
Settled AD 1000
 - Type semi-autonomous part of Tanzania
 - President Amani Abeid Karume
 - Both Islands  637 sq mi (1,651 km²)
Population (2002)
 - Both Islands 981,754

Zanzibar (IPA pronunciation: /ˈzænzɪbɑɹ/) is the collective name for two islands in Tanzania: Unguja and Pemba. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. The city's old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. Although Zanzibar enjoys a high degree of autonomy, it is not a sovereign state: it remains part of Tanzania. The population of Zanzibar was 981,754 in the 2002 census, and its area is 1,651 km² (637 mi²).

Zanzibar's main industries are spices (which include cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper), raffia, and tourism. Zanzibar is also the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus and the elusive Zanzibar Leopard. The word "Zanzibar" probably derives from the Persian زنگبار, Zangi-bar ("coast of the blacks") and it is known as Zanji-bar in Arabic, also. "Zanzibar" may also refer to the spice ginger (genus Zingiber). "Zanzibar" often refers especially to Unguja Island and is sometimes referred to as the "Spice Islands," though this term is more commonly associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. Pemba Island is the only island apart from Zanzibar that still produces cloves on a major basis which is the primary source of spice income for the islands.


[edit] History

Flag of the historical Sultanate of Zanzibar.
Flag of the historical Sultanate of Zanzibar.

The first permanent residents of Zanzibar seem to have been the ancestors of the Hadimu and Tumbatu, who began arriving from the East African mainland around AD 1000. They had belonged to various mainland ethnic groups, and on Zanzibar they lived in small villages and did not coalesce to form larger political units. Because they lacked central organization, they were easily subjugated by outsiders.

Ancient pottery demonstrates existing trade routes with Zanzibar as far back as the ancient Assyrians. Traders from Arabia, the Persian Gulf region of modern-day Iran (especially Shiraz), and west India probably visited Zanzibar as early as the 1st century. They used the monsoon winds to sail across the Indian Ocean and landed at the sheltered harbor located on the site of present-day Zanzibar Town. Although the islands had few resources of interest to the traders, they offered a good point from which to make contact with the towns of the East African coast.

Traders from the Persian Gulf region began to settle in small numbers on Zanzibar in the late 11th or 12th century; they intermarried with the indigenous Africans and eventually a hereditary ruler (known as the Mwenyi Mkuu or Jumbe), emerged among the Hadimu. A similar ruler, called the Sheha, was set up among the Tumbatu. Neither ruler had much power, but they helped solidify the ethnic identity of their respective peoples.

Da Gama's visit in 1499 marks the beginning of European influence. The Portuguese established control over the island in 1503. In August 1505 it became part of the Portuguese Empire when captain John (João) Homere of de Almeida's fleet captured the island and claimed it for Portugal. It was to remain a possession of Portugal until 1698.

In 1698, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman.

Sayyid Said bin Sultan al-Busaid moved his capital from Muscat in Oman to Stone Town in 1840. After his death in 1856, his sons struggled over the succession. On April 6, 1861, Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities. Sayyid Majid bin Said Al-Busaid (1834/5–1870), his sixth son, became the Sultan of Zanzibar, while his brother, the third son Sayyid Thuwaini bin Said al-Said became the Sultan of Oman.

During this period, the Sultan of Zanzibar also controlled a substantial portion of the east African coast, known as Zanj, including Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, and trading routes extended much further into Africa, such as to Kindu on the Congo river. In November 1886, a German-British border commission established the Zanj as a ten-nautical mile (19 km) wide strip along the coast from Cape Delgado (now in Mozambique) to Kipini (now in Kenya) including all offshore islands and several towns in what is now Somalia. However, from 1887 to 1892, all of these mainland possessions were subsequently lost to the colonial powers of Britain, Germany, and Italy although some were not formally sold or ceded until the 20th century (Mogadishu to Italy in 1905 and Mombasa to Kenya in 1963).

Zanzibar carries the distinction of having the first steam locomotive in East Africa, when Sultan Bargash bin Said ordered a tiny 0-4-0 tank engine to haul his regal carriage from town to his summer palace at Chukwani.

The British Empire gradually took over, and Zanzibar and the British position was formalized by the 1890 Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany pledged not to interfere with British interests in insular Zanzibar. Zanzibar became a protectorate of the United Kingdom that year. The British appointed first Viziers from 1890 to 1913, and then British Residents from 1913 to 1963.

The death of Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896, saw the usurper Seyyid Khalid bin Bargash son of Sultan Bargash bin Said take over the palace and declare himself the new ruler. This was contrary to the wishes of the British Government since the rightful ruler should have been Sultan Hamoud bin Mohammed. This led to a showdown on the morning of 27 August when ships of the Royal Navy destroyed the Beit al Hukum palace having given Khalid an ultimatum to leave. He refused and at 9 am the ships opened fire and despite a substantial return fire from Khalid's rebel troops a cease fire was declared 45 minutes later after Khalid had fled to the German Consulate. The bombardment subsequently became known as The Shortest War in History. Sultan Hamoud was declared the new ruler and peace was restored once more[1]. Acquiescing to British demands, Hamoud brought an end to Zanzibar's role as a centre for the eastern slave trade that had begun under Omani rule in 17th Century by banning slavery and freeing the slaves of Zanzibar with compensation in 1897.

On December 10, 1963, Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. This state of affairs was short-lived, as the Sultan was overthrown on January 12, 1964, and on April 26 of that year Zanzibar merged with the mainland state of Tanganyika to form Tanzania, a part of which it remains to this day.

This period of transition was not without violence:

On January 12, 1964, a violent revolution ousted the ZNP-led coalition...More than 5,000 Arabs were killed, according to reports, and thousands of others were detained and their property either confiscated or destroyed. Yeager, Rodger (1989). Tanzania: An African Experiment. 

The film Africa Addio also documented the massacre of Arabs. bo

[edit] Political status

The new flag of Zanzibar was hoisted for the first time in January 2005.
The new flag of Zanzibar was hoisted for the first time in January 2005.

Although Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, it elects its own president who is head of government for matters internal to the island. Amani Abeid Karume was re-elected to that office on October 30, 2005 under criticism from opposition candidate Seif Shariff Hamad [2]. Earlier, the fairness of his election on October 2000 was queried, and in January 2001 at least 27 protestors were killed by the police. [3]

Zanzibar also has its own Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives (with 50 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms) to make laws especially for it; these make up the semi-autonomous Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar.

The Island of Zanzibar comprises three administrative regions: Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North and Zanzibar Urban/West. On the Island of Pemba are the two regions Pemba North and Pemba South.

[edit] Sultans of Zanzibar

  1. Majid bin Said (1856–1870)
  2. Barghash bin Said (1870–1888)
  3. Khalifah bin Said (1888–1890)
  4. Ali bin Said (1890–1893)
  5. Hamad bin Thuwaini (1893–1896)
  6. Khalid bin Barghash (1896)
  7. Hamud bin Muhammed (1896–1902)
  8. Ali bin Hamud (1902–1911) (abdicated)
  9. Khalifa bin Harub (1911–1960)
  10. Abdullah bin Khalifa (1960–1963)
  11. Jamshid bin Abdullah (1963–1964)

[edit] Viziers

  1. Sir Lloyd William Matthews, (1890 to 1901)
  2. A.S. Rogers, (1901 to 1906)
  3. Arthur Raikes, (1906 to 1908)
  4. Francis Barton, (1906 to 1913)

[edit] British Residents

  1. Francis Pearce, (1913 to 1922)
  2. John Sinclair, (1922 to 1923)
  3. Alfred Hollis, (1923 to 1929)
  4. Richard Rankine, (1929 to 1937)
  5. John Hall, (1937 to 1940)
  6. Henry Pilling, (1940 to 1946)
  7. Vincent Glenday, 1946 to 1951)
  8. John Sinclair, (1952 to 1954)
  9. Henry Potter, (1954 to 1959)
  10. Arthur Mooring, (1959 to 1963)

[edit] Education

The island is home to Zanzibar University.

[edit] Culture

Photograph of woman from Zanzibar by Coutinho brothers, c. 1890
Photograph of woman from Zanzibar by Coutinho brothers, c. 1890

Zanzibar's history was influenced by the British, Persians, Arabs, Indians, Portuguese and the African mainland. Stone Town is a place of winding lanes, circular towers, carved wooden doors, raised terraces and beautiful mosques. Important architectural features are the Livingstone house, the Guliani Bridge, and the House of Wonders, a palace constructed by Sultan Barghash in 1883. The town of Kidichi features the Hammam Persian Baths, built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Sultan Barghash bin Said.

[edit] Trade

Pemba Island is the leading world clove producer. It also exports spices and fine raffia. Zanzibar also has a large fishing and dugout coneo production. Their boat alought of the time maybe primative and hard to use with getting realy good at rowing them and keeping your balance seem to work for the natives. The boats are made up of a 300 year old tree trunk from the zanzibar island. Thier boat prodution is slowed because of lack of 300 year old trees.

[edit] Miscellaneous

  • Zanzibar was the first region in Africa to introduce colour television, in 1973. The current tv-station is called TvZ. The first television service in mainland Tanzania was not introduced until some twenty years later.
  • Gonzo the Great, the famous Muppet, frequently mentions "going to Zanzibar to fight the Zanzibarbarians!" in more recent appearances, especially Muppet Treasure Island. Zanzibar residents do not normally call themselves "Zanzibarbarians".
  • The musician Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara) of Queen was born in Unguja, Zanzibar on September 5, 1946 to Indian Parsi parents who were employed by the British colonial administration. There is also a restaurant named 'Mercurys' on the beachfront of Stone Town. In September 2006, a radical Islamic group on the archipelago, Uamsho, forced organizers to abandon plans to mark his 60th birthday, saying he violated Islam with his openly gay lifestyle.
  • Zanzibar criminalized gay and lesbian sex in 2004 [4] [5].
  • In his book titled 'Jigsaw', Derek Townsend claims that, because his views are so well respected, he was one of the first persons to speak in Zanzibar after the 'revolution'.
  • Up until England played Andorra on the 28th March 2007 in international football, Zanzibar had exactly the same football results as England for five games previously, even though this island is not officially recognised by Fifa and would be ranked 170 places below.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar, Emily Ruete, 1888. (Many reprints). Author (1844-1924) was born Princess Salme of Zanzibar and Oman and was a daughter of Sayyid Said.
  • Banani: the Transition from Slavery to Freedom in Zanzibar and Pemba, H. S. Newman, (London, 1898)
  • Travels in the Coastlands of British East Africa, W. W. A. FitzGerald, (London, 1898)
  • Zanzibar in Contemporary Times, R. N. Lyne, (London, 1905)
  • Pemba: The Spice Island of Zanzibar, J. E. E. Craster, (London, 1913)
  • Hatice Uğur, Osmanlı Afrikası'nda Bir Sultanlık: Zengibar (Zanzibar as a Sultanete in the Ottoman Africa), İstanbul: Küre Yayınları, 2005. For its English version see

[edit] External links

Wikisource has an original article from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia about:

Coordinates: 6°08′S 39°19′E