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African Diaspora Newsletter No.10 - Archival Reports


Omar A. Eno

In summer, 2002, I traveled to East Africa, parts of Europe and Middle East for field research in respect of my doctoral dissertation provisionally entitled "Ethnicity and the Legacy of Slavery: The Case of the Bantu/Jareer in Southern Somalia." Specifically, I visited Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, England, and Italy. At these locations, I collected oral data and archival documents. In London, for instance, I collected materials from the PRO (Public Record Office). However, it was at the Italian archives that I obtained most of the colonial documentation on slavery in Somalia.

In Kenya, I interviewed many important Somali Bantu elders at the Dhadhaab and Kakuma refugee camps where most of the Somali Bantu communities live. My informants willingly shared their memories with my helpers and me. In these camps, I interviewed descendants of slaves who came originally from Yao, Wazigwa, Makua, Ngindu and other ethnic groups in modern Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique. Furthermore, while in Kenya, I also had the opportunity to visit "Fort Jesus," the Portuguese Fort in Mombasa, which was taken over by the Omani Empire in the East African Coast. Oral interviews among Bantu refugees were also carried out in Ethiopia and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

I thank the Harriet Tubman Resource Center at York University and the Faculty of Graduate Studies for their grants which supported this research.

Department of History, York University,  Toronto, Canada
Email: nigerian@yorku.ca
Fax: (416) 650-8173