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The Swahili Coast is a coastal area in Southeast Africa inhabited by the Swahili people. It mainly consists of littoral Kenya, Tanzania, and northern Mozambique. The term may also include some of the Indian Ocean islands, such as Zanzibar, Pate and Comoros, which lie off the Swahili Coast. The Swahili Coast has a distinct culture, demography, religion and geography, and as a result - along with other factors, including economic - has witnessed rising secessionism.
The major ports along the Swahili Coast include:
Off-shore island groups associated with this coastal region:
Parts of the area that are today considered Swahili Coast were known as Azania or Zingion in the Greco-Roman era, and as Zanj or Zinj in Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian literature from the 7th to the 14th century . Archaeological evidences of small Hindu settlements from India have been found from 2nd century AD mainly in the Swahili coast of Zanzibar, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Madagascar . Historical documents including the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and works by Ibn Battuta describe the society, culture, and economy of the Swahili Coast at various points in its history.
The rise of the Swahili Coast city-states can be largely attributed to the region's extensive participation in a trade network that spanned the Indian Ocean. Some Swahili coast exports included sorghums, millets, sesame, coconut oil, vinegar, copra, dried fish, hardwoods, ebony, mangrove boats, sisal, coir, rubber, rock crystal, tobacco, carved doors and chests, forged iron, incense, myrrh, gums and resins, gold, copper, iron, domestic and field slaves, and concubines. Some of the imports received from Asia and Europe include cottons, silks, woolens, glass and stone beads, metal wire, jewelry, sandalwood, cosmetics, fragrances, kohl, rice, spices, coffee, tea, other foods and flavorings, teak, iron and brass fittings, sailcloth, pottery, porcelain, silver, brass, glass, paper, paints, ink, carved wood, books, carved chests, arms, ammunition, gunpowder, swords and daggers, gold, silver, brass, bronze, religious specialists, and craftsmen. Evidence for Indian Ocean trade includes the presence of pot sherds on coastal archaeological sites that can be traced back to China and India.
A product of the multi-cultured environment of the Swahili Coast was the development of the Swahili language, a fundamentally Bantu language that contains a number of Arabic  and Hindu  loanwords due to the significant trade with Arab and India .
One of the things that was traded along the Swahili coast was gold. Gold was mined in Zimbabwe and transported through other parts of the Swahili coast. In the 13th century, the city of Kilwa, an island off the coast, took control of the gold trade from Mogadishu. Kilwa became very powerful  and wealthy  because of its control of the gold trade, thriving until the Portuguese arrived on the Eastern coast of Africa. In order to take control of the gold trade the Portuguese attacked settlements on the Swahili coast , including Kilwa in 1505. The city is in ruins to this day.
The kingdoms on the Swahili coast rose because of the trade networks in which they were involved, but they began to decline, possibly in part because of colonization by the Portuguese,  who were interested in controlling the trade markets on the Swahili coast. Since the Portuguese took over the trade markets the kingdoms were not able to trade as much as before and as a result began to decline.
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