Poems and Songs (MS 47755b)

Material Information

Poems and Songs (MS 47755b)
Series Title:
Taylor Papers : Swahili Scripts and Transliterations
Liongo Fumo ( Author, Primary )
Bwana Malenga al-Kilify ( contributor )
Ali Nasir, Sayyid Abdallah, fl. 1750 ( contributor )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Handwritten manuscript : Black and red ink on this old paper; some parts are written in pencil


Subjects / Keywords:
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Songs ( LCSH )
Oral literature
Swahili Literature ( LCSH )
Legends ( LCSH )
Religous poetry
Religious belief
Islam ( LCSH )
Mazrui family ( LCSH )
Imani za kidini
Kiswahili mashairi
Faith ( LCSH )
Oral tradition in literature ( LCSH )
Religion and poetry ( LCSH )
Mazrui family ( NLI )
Mazru'i dynasty
Poetry ( LCTGM )
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Kenya -- Lamu County -- Eastern Africa -- Shanga -- Pate Island -- Shanga Ruins
-2.135 x 41.06467


This section, referred in the MS as Section D, contains poems and songs by Fumo Liongo, Bwana Malenga, Sayyid Abdallah A. Nasir, and Abdalla bin Hamed al-Mazrui. The section begins with an index of poems by means of first lines. The first poems are attributed to the mythical hero Fumo Liongo. Generally, the poems by Liongo are poetic songs however in this collection the main researcher considers them to be poems and not songs. Among the Liongo poems there are a few poems by Bwana Malenga al-Kilify, and finally the famous religious poem ‘Al-Inkishafi’ by Sayyid Abdallah A Nasir. The ‘Al-Inkishafi’ is here presented with notes on the side of most pages written by Taylor in Arabic script. Taylor here uses the scribing system that he had invented when he was in Mombasa at the end of the 19th century. The last poem is a poetic song (nyimbo) by Abdalla bin Hamed al-Mazrui. ( en )
General Note:
Biographical information: The author of the famous poem Al-Inkishafi is generally agreed to have been Sayyid Abdalla bin Sayyid Ali bin Nasir.His father, Ali bin Nasir, was the great grandson of Sheikh Abubakar bin Salim, mentioned in a version of the Pate Chronicle as a Sharif (descendant of the Prophet) from Arabia. Sayyid Abdalla lived and composed his poetry in Pate during the 19th century. -- Liongo Fumo is a mythical Swahili poet and hero, and it is tought that he composed many oral songs and poems narrating about his life time, which is around the 12th and 13th century. For more information on Liyongo, see the field ‘relevant publication’. -- The cataloguers were unable to find biographical information about Bwana Malenga. The word Malenga literally means a good poet, however used without Bwana. Therefore, the name of this author could be an euphemism. -- Abdalla bin Hemed al-Mazrui was a reknown poet from Mombasa belonging to the Mazrui dynasty.
General Note:
Date of Composition is unknown
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Arabic script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiMvita
General Note:
Poetic Form: Various
General Note:
Extent: 50 leaves
General Note:
Incipit: Punguliani mahisi. Ai Kilifi Kilifi
General Note:
For poems by Bwana Malenga see SOAS University of London manuscript MS 53507 (Hichens); for Al-Inkishafi see Mss 47770, 256191, 253029, 196884 (Hichens), 380548 (Knappert); and, for Liongo poems see Mss 47754 (Taylor), 53492, 53493, 53498, 205000, 210012, 210013, 210015, 380526, 380548 (Hichens and Werner)
General Note:
An Index to the first line of each poem exists
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Liongo Fumo : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Kenya -- Lamu County -- Shanga -- Shanga Ruins -- Pate Island
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Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Kenya -- Mombasa County -- Mombasa
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Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Kenya -- Lamu County -- Pate -- Pate Island
General Note:
Publication information: Sayyid Abdallah A. Nasir. 1972 (1939). Al-Inkishafi: The Soul’s Awakening. Trans. and ed. by William Hichens. Nairobi: Oxford University Press.
General Note:
Publication information: Sayyid Abdallah A. Nasir. 1977. Al-Inkishafi: Catechism of a Soul. Trans. and ed. by J. de Vere Allen. Nairobi: East African Literature Bureau.
General Note:
Publication information: Hichens, W. 1939. Al-Inkishafi. London: Sheldon Press
General Note:
Publication information: Allen R. 1946. Inkishafi-A Traslation from the Swahili. African Studies, 5, pp.243-249
General Note:
Publication information: Harris, L. 1962. Swahili Poetry. Clarendon Press: Oxford, pp.86-102
General Note:
Publication information: Mlamali, Mh. Wa. 1980. Ikisiri ya Inkishafi. Nairobi: Longman
General Note:
Publication information: Hamza Mustafa Njozi. 1998. The use of Ambiguity in Al-Inkishafi. Afrika und Ubersee, band 81, pp. 227-238.
General Note:
Publication information: Muhammad bin Abu Bakr Kijumwa. 196-?. Utenzi wa Fumo Liongo. Dar es Salaam: East African Swahili Committee.
General Note:
Publication information: Mbele, Joseph L. 1986. The Liongo Fumo epic and the scholars. Kiswahili 53 (1-2): 128-145.
General Note:
Publication information: Werner, Alice. 1928. The Swahili saga of Liyongo Fumo. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 4: 247-255.
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1987. Four Centuries of Swahili Verse. Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, London. pp. 66-101
General Note:
Publication information: Knappert, Jan. 1983. Epic Poetry in Swahili and Other African Languages. Ch 6. E.J. Brill, Leiden. pp.142-168

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
This item is believed to be in the public domain
Resource Identifier:
MS 47755 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 47755b ( SOAS manuscript number )