The Customs of the Swahili People: The Desturi Za Waswahili of Mtoro Bin Miwinyi Bakari and Other Persons
Publisher: University of California Press
xv+34299 with frontispiece, appendexes, bibliography and index. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1/4") issued in brown coth with gilt lettering. Edited and translated into English by J W T Allen, compiled in memorian with notes and studies by various Makerere colleagues, African, American, Asian, British and European. 1st edition.
The present work began as a new edition of the Swahili text by J W T Allen, using modern orthography and developments in Swahili philology since the turn of the century (1903), when the volume was first published. It is complete and unabridged, except for the omission of a summary of the Law of Islam on certain matters. The Africans who wrote the Desturi were "pure Swahili persons" around the town of Bagamoyo in Tanzania, directly opposite Zanzibar Island. Int eh 1890s they were asked by Dr Carl Velten, a German linguist, to write down the traditions and customs of their people, which they did in Swahili, using Arabic script. From his introduction to the volumes he published in 1903, it is clear that Dr Velten was the compiler, and that a good part of Swahili prose, who had alos reworked the whole and given it homogeneity and distinction of style. This master was Bwana Mtoro bin Mwinyi Bakari of Bagamoyo, who is recorded by Dr Velten as being Lektor at the Oriental Seminar in Berlin, where he taught Swahili.
Dust jacket back fold over edge chipped along edge, else a very good copy in like jacket.