Specimens of Swahili Literature in Translation (MS 53494a)

Material Information

Specimens of Swahili Literature in Translation (MS 53494a)
Series Title:
Hichens Collection :
Hichens, William, -1944 ( Author, Primary )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Typescript manuscript with black ink on 11 thin paper pages; with 30 blank hard paper pages


Subjects / Keywords:
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Kiswahili mashairi
Liongo Fumo ( DNB )
Fumo Liyongo
Muyaka bin Haji
Sikujua, Mwalimu
Ayub bin Salim
Ali bin Athman
Sh. Muhammad bin Abubakar
Poetry ( LCTGM )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
-9.633997 x 39.778998


This manuscript contains 25 poems, by various poets, translated into English by W Hichens. The first five poems are by Muyaka bin Haji and are entitled, in the translated version, in order, ‘The Lion of the Seas’, ‘Silence’, ‘Thy Friends’, ‘Remorse’, and ‘Fortune’. The originals in Swahili can be found in MS 263325. These poems are followed by three poems entitled ‘The Fickle Maid’, ‘ The Princess of Gongwa’, and ‘O Flower of mine’, dated AD 1780, by an unknown author of Mombasa. A single poem by Sh. Muhammad bin Abubakar follows, dated AD 1810, entitled ‘The Thankless Bride’. This is followed by a poem entitled ‘The Betrothed’, apparently a heroic drama composed for the Sultan of Pate in 1710. There are then 4 songs attributed to Fumo Liongo, dated AD1250, intercalated with poems from Lamu, Pate, Siu, as well as one poem by Mwalimu Sikujua entitled ‘Their Sons Remain’ (AD 1850), and one poem by Ayub bin Salim entitled ‘Grant me Good Dwelling, Lord’ (AD 1885). The final extracts are, first, from the ‘Utendi wa Liongo’ by Umar bin Abubakar dated 1910 second, a political comic dialogue by an unknown author, dated c.1750, and entitled ‘The Farmer’s Plight’, and, finally, two verses from a dialogue, in poetic form, between Ali bin Athman and Mwalimu Musa, where Mwalimu Musa accuses Ali bin Athman of neglecting the hours of prayer. For the Fumo Liongo poems see also Mss 53492, 53493, 205000. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition is unknown
General Note:
Languages: English (Roman script)
General Note:
Poetic Form: Shairi
General Note:
Extent: 11 leaves
General Note:
Incipit: From the Diwani of Muyaka bin Haji al-Ghassany. The Lion of the Seas.
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Hichens, William, -1944 : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Swahili Coast
General Note:
Purchased from Kegan Paul, 6 October 1948

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
This item is likely protected by copyright. Its status has yet to be assessed.
Resource Identifier:
MS 53494 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 53494a ( SOAS manuscript number )