Heritage Beat

Swahili house gentrification

Going… going… gone—life in old town Lamu

Building and renovating houses has become a trendy activity among the wealthy European community who have purchased traditional Swahili houses in Lamu’s historic old town. This building frenzy has its counterpoint among middle class Lamuians who have sold their ancestral homes in the old town and are constructing houses in the ...

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Reconstructing 18th century Deuli Mosque

Mihrab in Deuli Mosque, Shela

Shela village, probably more than 500 years old, is situated on the south-east tip of Lamu Island. The Deuli Mosque ruin, theremains of one of the oldest mosques in Shela, stands beside the battlefield of the famous Battle of Shela fought in 1812. The Battle of Shela, known as Vita vya Kuduhu in Kiswahili, pitted the combined forces of the ...

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