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Old February 14th, 2011, 09:36 PM   #1
Janub
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History - the Somali-Portuguese Wars on the Swahili Coast

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The European Age of discovery brought Europe's then superpower the Portuguese empire to the coast of East Africa, which at the time enjoyed a flourishing trade with foreign nations. The wealthy southeastern city-states of Kilwa, Mombasa, Malindi, Pate and Lamu were all systematically sacked and plundered by the Portuguese. Tristão da Cunha then set his eyes on Ajuuraan territory, where the battle of Barawa (southern Somalia) was fought. After a long period of engagement, the Portuguese soldiers burned the city and looted it. However, fierce resistance by the local population and soldiers resulted in the Portuguese's failure to permanently occupy the city, and the inhabitants who had fled to the interior would eventually return and rebuild the city. After Barawa, Tristão would set sail for Mogadishu, which was the richest city on the East African coast. But word had spread of what had happened in Barawa, and a large troop mobilization had taken place. Many horsemen, soldiers and battleships in defense positions were now guarding the city. Nevertheless, Tristão still opted to storm and attempt to conquer the city, although every officer and soldier in his army opposed this, fearing certain defeat if they were to engage their opponents in battle. Tristão heeded their advice and sailed for Socotra instead.


Over the next several decades Somali-Portuguese tensions would remain high and the increased contact between Somali sailors and Ottoman corsairs worried the Portuguese who send a punitive expedition against Mogadishu under Joao de Sepulveda, which was unsuccessful. Ottoman-Somali cooperation against the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean reached a high point in the 1580s when Ajuuraan clients of the Somali coastal cities began to symphatize with the Arabs and Swahilis under Portuguese rule and sent an envoy to the Turkish corsair Mir Ali Bey for a joint expedition against the Portuguese. He agreed and was joined by a Somali fleet, which began attacking Portuguese colonies in Southeast Africa.


The Somali-Ottoman offensive managed to drive out the Portuguese from several important cities such as Pate, Mombasa and Kilwa. However, the Portuguese governor sent envoys to India requesting a large Portuguese fleet. This request was answered and it reversed the previous offensive of the Muslims into one of defense. The Portuguese armada managed to re-take most of the lost cities and began punishing their leaders, but they refrained from attacking Mogadishu. Throughout the 16th and 17th century successive Somali Sultans defied the Portuguese economic monopoly in the Indian Ocean by employing a new coinage which followed the Ottoman pattern, thus proclaiming an attitude of economic independence in regard to the Portuguese.
I'll find more info & documents with time, this is all the info I found on the net with varying sources on a well known subject that is rarely studied.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #2
G.O.E.T.I.A
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you bet I'll reply:

never heard of portugueses activities in Somalia, I learn new things every day, Thanks for Sharing.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #3
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Are there not some descendants of the Portuguese in Somalia today? I forgot what they were called,
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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:17 AM   #4
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Barawni people have some Portuguese in them, I think.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #5
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There are no Portuguese descendants in Somalia, simply for the fact no Portuguese settlement was ever achieved, they were repulsed. Even Portuguese travellers enroute to the Abyssinian court had to pretend they were muslim easterners everytime they entered a Somali port city.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 01:39 AM   #6
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Interesting. Thanks for that, Constantine.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:22 AM   #7
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Goetia, as Constantine said, there is no trace of Portuguese culture or ancestry on the Somali coast, it never came to fruition.

The Bravanese are sometimes associated with having Portuguese ancestry by some, but there is no proof. The Bravani are a Swahili-speaking people like the Bajuni (Kibajuni) of Kismayu. The Bravanese and Kibajuni territories were historically under the rule of various Somali dynasties.
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