Swahili Tales-Vol. I (MS 54341a)

Material Information

Swahili Tales-Vol. I (MS 54341a)
Series Title:
Taylor Papers : Swahili Tales
Taylor, W. E. (William Ernest), 1856-1927 ( Author, Primary )
Publication Date:
Paper ( medium )
Handwritten manuscript : One bound volume with red cover. Only the list of content is in black ink typescript while the rest is handwritten mainly with pencil


Subjects / Keywords:
Swahili poetry ( LCSH )
Oral literature
Riddles ( LCSH )
Proverbs ( LCSH )
Songs ( LCSH )
Short stories ( LCSH )
Oral tradition in literature ( LCSH )
Ahmed bin Muhammed
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Kenya -- Mombasa County -- Eastern Africa -- Mombasa
-4.05466 x 39.66359


The present manuscript is a collection of proverbs, riddles, short poems and songs collected by Taylor, in Mombasa, in 1890. The material was then purchased by W. Hichens, from Mrs Taylor, in 1936, and collated into this volume, namely volume XIII of the Taylor papers. The volume is divided into five sections, with page numbers. In Section 1 we find 14 short stories written by Mwalimu Sikujua, one of the two Tayors’ teachers. The stories include ‘Maskini na Mwanawe’, ‘Mgala na mkewe’, Kibanawasi [Banawasi] na kadhi’ ‘Kibanawasi [Banawasi] na mamake sultani’. Section 2 contains also short stories and proverbs mainly written by Mwalimu Sikujua. They include ‘Mfaume [Mfalme] na mwenye duka’, ‘Sultani na vita’, ‘Mzee Simba na Mzee Fisi’. At page 82, there is a story linked to an historical account of the life of Muhammed Ali Basha, an army officer of the Ottoman Empire who was sent to Egypt where his descendants became rulers. Here, however, the account is partly fictitious and is part of oral history. Section 3 contains a few stories like ‘Kijana na maliye’ and ‘Kijana alomtafuta nduguye’, as well as a word list of Kimvita dialect, a few songs and a prayer. Section 4 contain further stories, like, for instance, ‘Panya na nyoka’, ‘ Panya na paka’, ‘Dobi na kijungu chake’, as well as an oral history’s account of Sa’id bin Ali Mandhiri, a member of the Omani descents’ family al-Mandhiri. Here also there are miscellaneous songs. Finally, in section 5, there are explanations of miscellaneous words, songs, and proverbs, compiled by Mwalimu Sikujua and Taylor. In this section, there are also many scribbles and scattered and unreadable notes. Overall the manuscript is well preserved and it is in itself a small literary anthology of Swahili stories and songs. ( en )
General Note:
Date of Composition: circa 1890 AD (circa 1307 A.H.)
General Note:
Languages: Swahili (Roman script)
General Note:
Dialects: KiMvita
General Note:
Poetic Form: Shairi - nyimbo (wimbo [singular], a song form of verse)
General Note:
Purchased from Kegan Paul, 26 November 1948
General Note:
Extent: 1 small volume
General Note:
Incipit: Swahili Tales. Proverbs, Riddles, and Words Songs and Jingles.
General Note:
See SOAS University of London manuscript MS 193290 (Hichens collection)
General Note:
Archival history: The material was purchased by W Hichens from Mrs Taylor in 1936, and bounded into the present volume by Hichens.
General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Taylor, W. E. (William Ernest), 1856-1927 : URI
General Note:
Africa -- Eastern Africa -- Kenya -- Mombasa County -- Mombasa
General Note:
Publication information: Taylor, W E 1932. A Swahili tale in the dialect of Mombasa. Afrika und Ubersee, 24:1-14

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 54341 ( SOAS manuscript number )
MS 54341a ( SOAS manuscript number )