Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mombasa, the Swahili, and the Making of the Mijikenda$

Justin Willis

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203209.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 30 March 2017

(p.203) Appendix: Biographies of Informants

(p.203) Appendix: Biographies of Informants

Mombasa, the Swahili, and the Making of the Mijikenda
Oxford University Press

As some informants requested anonymity, all are identified by number only. Transcripts of interviews are deposited at the University of Nairobi and at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi.

Informant 1: member of the Kilindini clan of the Three Tribes, born in Hailendi about 1910. He said that his grandfather had come to Mombasa from Pemba, having previously come from Oman. His grandfather’s land in Mtongwe was cultivated by ‘Swahili’ without land, whom he also referred to as Duruma and Jibana. Informant’s father had bought Duruma cattle and sold them in Mombasa, and had a number of Digo wives. Informant had been a merchant seaman most of his life.

Informant 4: a Duruma man, born around 1930. A seller of medicinal plants in Makupa market, he first came to Mombasa in 1960.

Informant 5: a Digo man, born in 1915 in Likoni. His grandfather and several great-uncles had moved to Mombasa from elsewhere, having converted to Islam. His father was brought up in Mombasa. When 5 was 2 years old he was sent to Mombasa to live with his father’s sister, who was a Swahili, and from there he went to live with his great-uncle, who was also a Swahili. In 1938, 5 moved from Mombasa back to the mainland as a result of house demolitions.

Informant 8: a Duruma man, born in Kinango in about 1933. He left home at the age of 9 to live with his wajomba in Changamwe, and has since remained in Mombasa.

Informant 9: a Digo man, born around 1910. His great-greatgrandfather was born in Magodzoni, but moved to Junju and converted to Islam. His great-grandfather lived in Junju and kidnapped people to sell as slaves. He was imprisoned in Fort Jesus as a punishment for this, but he and his wife escaped from there and went to live with his wife’s relatives near Ng’ombeni. From there they went to Pungu. His grandfather lived in Pungu and worked buying cattle from Duruma and Zigua and selling them to his tajiri, Khonzi, a Digo Swahili who lived in Mombasa. He also helped a Swahili/Digo woman relative run a coconut plantation. His father followed the same business in cattle, selling to a Mombasa Arab who had a matrilineal kin tie with him. His father fell out with his neighbours (p.204) in Pungu, was imprisoned for fighting, and after this went with other members of his dance society to found a new village, Shikaadabu. Informant 9 ran away to Mombasa as a child, and joined the Kingi beni, whose leader was a Three Tribes man of Digo origins; he then lived in town and performed as a stunt-man for this beni before tiring of life in the town and returning to Shikaadabu.

Informant 10: a Digo man, born about 1914. His father died in the Carrier Corps, and he went to live with his father’s brother, who tapped and sold palm wine. He worked at Mbaraki as a coal-carrier in the 1930s, and his uncle gave him the wealth to marry.

Informant 12: a Digo man, born in 1911. His grandfather converted to Islam and came to Mombasa, and 12 and his father were both born in Mombasa. His father lived on the land of an Arab friend in Shimanzi until this house was demolished in the 1920s. After this they rented land in Majengo. Informan 12 worked first as an office messenger for Smith-Mackenzie, then on the docks, where he became a serang and an officer in the Sadla beni. In the 1940s he started working for the Navy, and in 1945 he moved to Likoni.

Informant 13: a Digo man, born around 1915. His father was born in Bombo, and left there when 13’s grandfather died, dissatisfied with his uncles’ treatment of him. He went to Likoni, to a relative of his mother. Informant 13 was born here, and his father paid the bridewealth for him to marry. He started working on the Likoni ferry in 1930, and found jobs there for two of his brothers.

Informant 15: a Digo man, born in 1925. His grandfather was a Digo who moved to Mwakirunge and converted to Islam. His father was born in Mwakirunge, and he was born in Kisauni, where they lived on the land of an Arab woman from Mwakirunge. His father died when he was young, and he lived as a fruit-hawker. He married a Rabai wife and paid the bride-price with his own money.

Informant 16: a Giriama man, born around 1918, His greatgrandfather was a slave from Malawi, who was freed and settled at Kwa Jomvu Mission. He married into a Giriama clan, and the family stayed on mission land for several generations until 16, who worked as a clerk, bought land of his own as he wanted to plant trees.

Informant 18: a Duruma man, born around 1910. His maternal grandfather was a Muslim who lived at Changamwe and herded cattle, and who married a slave from the area which is now Tanzania. He moved to Mariakani to find better grazing for his cattle. His mother married a Duruma from near Mariakani, then left him and fled to her mother, who still lived in Changamwe. Her eldest son worked as a hawker to pay back the bridewealth which his father had (p.205) paid for his mother; having done so, this son then became the head of the family. In Changamwe the family lived by selling tobacco, hawking fruit, and herding stock for others.

Informant 20: a Ribe man, born around 1900. He was born near Mtanganyiko, and his mother was a Ribe from Mwakirunge. In the 1918 famine the family moved to Mwakirunge, and 20 went to stay with his father’s sister who had married an Arab in Mtanganyiko and lived with him in Mombasa. He worked as a casual at the docks and as a healer. He married in Mombasa. When his aunt and her husband died, 20 went to live with their children in Junda, but his wife fell ill and these cousins would not help her, so he and his wife moved back to Mwakirunge, to his natural father. His wife died, and he went back to Mombasa to work as a court interpreter and as a member of the Native Tribunal, until he retired back to Mwakirunge.

Informant 21: a Jibana man, born in 1920. He was born at Mgamboni, in Jibana, and as a young boy he went to Mombasa, where he lived in the house of an Arab woman in Bondeni, hawking perfume which the woman made. He danced with the Scotchi beni. He left Mombasa in 1937 (when there was an outbreak of fighting between Luo and Hadhrami Arabs in Mombasa), because a group of Arabs mistook him for a Luo. He never returned.

Informant 22: a Jibana man, born around 1926. His father was a Christian, who came to Tsunguni in Jibana in 1914, having been expelled from the Sabaki area, where he had lived among the Giriama. His father died when he was young, and he went to Mombasa because his uncles did not care for him. He worked as a domestic for an Arab in Bondeni, but left because the wages were so bad. He worked briefly in a shop, then as a building labourer, employed by a Giriama serang. In 1946 he returned to Jibana, and his uncle paid for him to marry.

Informant 23: a Jibana man, born in 1923. His father was a Christian. He was taken for forced labour in 1941, and after this he went to Mombasa to stay with a Chonyi relative in the house of this relative’s uncle, who had converted to Islam and lived in Mombasa. He found a job as a building labourer, rented a room, and himself became a serang. He remitted wages to his father and maintained a wife injibana. In Mombasa he danced the mavunye and after five years of intermittent labour he retired to Jibana to live off the income from palm trees planted by his wife.

Informant 24: a Ribe woman, born around 1905. She was born in Mwakirunge. Her father was a Giriama convert to Islam who had been living in Mombasa. When she was 2 years old her mother left (p.206) her father and went to live in Mombasa with her sister and brother. She was given to a Three Tribes family to be raised, as the head of this family had originally converted her mother. Her mother was taken back to Mwakirunge by her husband, but fled again when he was conscripted for the Carrier Corps. Her mother returned to Mombasa and lived in Kilindini selling fruit. Informant 24 married once but quickly separated, and lived by selling cooked food outside her house. She earned enough to build a house and live off the rent from this.

Informant 25: a Chonyi man, born around 1908. His father farmed rice and maize and planted coconuts at Mwarakaya. Informant 25 left Mwarakaya as a boy, his father not having enough money to support him, and went to stay with Chonyi relatives in Kuze, Mombasa. They were renting the house from a Swahili. There were no women in the house, and the men shared all the housework. He worked first cleaning lighters at Kilindini and then at the coal wharf, where his father’s brother was a serang. After three years he left and went back to Chonyi, where his grandfather paid for him to marry, his father having died. In the 1930s he and his wife went briefly to hawk firewood in Mombasa, to earn tax money.

Informant 26: a Chonyi man, born in Mwarakaya around 1918. He left because of his parents’ poverty and went to live in Mombasa at the house of his father’s brother, who worked at Kilindini. He worked first at the Regal Cinema and then at Kilindini, where his serangi was Salim bin Ali. In Mombasa he lived for a while at a house where another Chonyi was staying, this house being the property of the other man’s aunt, who was married in the town and had plantations in Changamwe on which the other man worked. He married in the town, and paid the bridewealth himself. He danced in the Sadla. In 1959 he left Kilindini for a monthly job with Shell Oil, and in 1973 he returned to Mwarakaya to live alone, his wife having left him.

Informant 27: a Chonyi man, born around 1911. He was born in Mwarakaya, and in 1928 worked briefly at Kilindini cleaning lighters. In Mombasa he stayed with his father’s cousin, who lived in the town, having been taken there as a child.

Informant 30: a Jibana man, born around 1918 near Kilulu, Jibana. He was taken to Mombasa as a boy by his father’s brother. This man worked in Bondeni, having found a job as a domestic through an aunt converted to Islam who lived in Kisauni. He lived as a child/domestic servant in the house of a Swahili family in Kibokoni. He left this job and his aunt found him another in Kisauni, where he lived as a domestic, eating separately. He danced in the namba at (p.207) Kisauni, which dance was led by a Giriama water-seller. In the 1930s he returned to Kilulu and tapped palm trees for his father. In 1945 he moved on to Muses Muhammad’s land on the coast, and there married a Jibana woman. He returned to Kilulu when his father died.

Informant 31: a Rabai man, born around 1925 at Mgumowapadza, Rabai. In the 1936 famine he worked in Mombasa as a domestic servant, and his father collected his wages every month. In 1938 he returned to work as a tapper for his father.

Informant 32: a Rabai man, born about 1910. His father died in the Carrier Corps, and he was brought up by his father’s elder brother. In the 1918 famine, he was sent to Mombasa to sell chickens and buy grain. In the later 1920s, he started working as a tapper in Majengo, his younger brother having worked there already. He worked intermittently there for nine years, renting a room in Majengo from a Duruma.

Informant 35: a Rabai woman, born in Mgumowapadza in about 1920. As a married woman, she earned money for herself by cutting firewood in Rabai and taking it to Mombasa to hawk. She also carried her father-in-law’s copra to Mombasa for sale, but received no payment for this.

Informant 36: a Rabai man, born around 1906. He was taken by his father to work as a tapper on a plantation in Changamwe in the 1920s. He lived on the plantation, and sent his earnings to his father, who paid for him to marry. Informant 36 also found other Rabai to work on this plantation.

Informant 37: a Rabai woman, born in about 1898. She was married in 1916, but her husband was taken for the Carrier Corps, and his younger brother took her as his wife. He tapped palms, and she made ghee from the milk of her father-in-law’s cattle, the earnings from which she gave to her father-in-law.

Informant 38: a Kambe man, born in 1918 at Pangani (north of Mombasa, between the ridge and the sea). His father sold rice to itinerant Arab traders and transported copra and bananas through Mwakirunge to Mombasa. His father became a Muslim, but he himself went to mission school and became a Christian. In the 1930s he went to work on a sisal estate with an older Kambe man, against the wishes of his father to whom he did not remit his wages. He returned to his father after this work, however.

Informant 39: a Ribe man, born around 1920, near Chauringo. He disliked having to farm for his father, and ran away while still a boy. (p.208) He worked first in Rabai, as a domestic for the Arab clerk of an Indian trader. The father of this Arab adopted him and took him to Mombasa, where he paid for him to marry and employed him on a coffee-stall. When this man died, his son chased him away. He returned to Ribe, then went to work as a policeman at Kilifi, where he lived well on bribes.

Informant 40: a Ribe man, born in 1917 at Kinung’una. His father was a Christian, and had worked briefly as a building labourer in Mombasa. Informant 40 went to Mombasa in 1932, to work as a domestic for a European family, alternating this with periods of casual labour pushing a hand-cart. He stayed in Bondeni, in the house of some Ribe who had gone to Mombasa and never returned. He always remitted money to his father, and in 1938 returned to stay with him. His father paid for him to marry.

Informant 41: a Giriama man, born around 1920 at Vuga, in Jibana. His father was a Jibana by birth, but left Jibana in anger as a young man because his sisters were sold as slaves. He joined a Giriama homestead near the Sabaki. In 1914 he returned to Vuga. In 1918–19 he and his wife went briefly to Kisauni as building labourers. 41 herded his father’s cattle as a child, then learned to tap. In about 1934 he went to Mombasa with some other Giriama and worked with them for a Swahili building contractor who employed only Giriama labour. He was adopted by this Swahili and taken into his house, then he rented his own room, living with a succession of women. In the second year of this his natural father came and took him back to Jibana, and paid for him to marry. He never returned to Mombasa. In 1936 and 1944 he was sentenced to forced labour for tax default.

Informant 43: a Rabai man, born in Buni, Rabai, in about 1908. In 1923 he went to work as a tapper in Changamwe. All the tappers who worked with him were Rabai. After a period back in Rabai, he went to Mombasa briefly as a casual builder, to earn tax money. After a further period in Rabai he went to work at the coaling wharf. He then returned to marry in Rabai, going back to Mombasa in the mid-1930s as a tapper for a brief period to earn the price of a second wife.

Informant 44: Kambe man, born around 1910. He was born in Mereni, but moved with his father to live in kaya Kambe. His father died there, and he then had no one to care for him and so went to work on a sisal plantation. He left there, as the work was hard, and got a job on the Nyali bridge construction, 1928–9. He then returned briefly to Mereni, but quickly went to Mombasa to stay with his (p.209) father’s younger brother who had converted to Islam and married a Swahili, paying the bride-price with his own money. He was then adopted by a Mombasan of slave origins who converted him to Islam and for whom he worked crewing a tourist boat. They lived first in Hailendi, and then in Kisauni. Both he and his patron danced in the Sadla beni, of which his patron was an official. In 1933 he rejected all this and returned to Kambe to live.

Informant 45: a Giriama man, born in Godoma about 1908. His father lived in Mombasa during the 1898–9 famine, staying with a sister who had married there. He and his wife left when his wife fell ill. After the 1914 rising, the family moved to Mariakani to avoid the fine imposed by the British. From there, troubled by disease in their herds, they moved to Mibani, to a homestead where one of his sisters was married. In the 1920s he went to work at the coaling wharf, finding work through a Kauma serang who was related by marriage to his mother’s brother. He danced namba in the town and returned to his father’s homestead to marry.

Informant 46: a Giriama man, born at Godoma before 1913. Father and mother moved to Kisauni, to mission land, during the 1898–9 famine, then moved to Gotani, near Mariakani. In the 1920s, 46 was given a wife by his father, but she died, and he worked for the Public Works Department for several years before marrying again and returning to Gotani.

Informant 47: a Giriama man, born in Gotani in 1912. His family moved to Mwamleka in 1915 to plant palm trees, for which Gotani is too dry. In 1929 he went to Mombasa with other Giriama, hoping to earn bridewealth. In Mombasa his father’s younger brother introduced him to the Giriama overseer of a quarry near Changamwe. The overseer found him work and a room to rent in the house of a Digo Swahili. He sent his wages to his father, who paid for him to marry, and his wife stayed on his father’s homestead. In 1944, he was moved to a new quarry near Mtwapa, and he brought his family to live there too, on the land of a Digo.

Informant 48: a Digo man, born near Mtwapa around 1909. (Other informants insisted that this man was a Kambe.) His father converted to Islam in Mtongwe and then came to Mtwapa. He went to Mtongwe as a young man, and worked at Kilindini, where his father’s elder brother was a serang. He sent his earnings to his father, who invested them in goats and paid for him to marry. He returned to live in Mtwapa at his father’s homestead.

Informant 49: a Swahili man, born in Shariani about 1908. His grandfather was a Nyasa slave, who farmed maize at Shariani for his (p.210) master. Informant 49 said ‘we are the real Swahili’. His father lived on the same land as his grandfather, and one of his father’s brothers bought a portion of this land after working for the IBEA Company. He went to Mombasa in 1918 to stay with his mother, who had run away from his father and lived unmarried in a house in the Old Town with many other people. The house was owned by a Swahili of Giriama origins. His mother’s brother found him a job on the boats carrying people to and from the steamers. In 1925 this work ended, and he took a monthly job with the Railways, which he kept until 1957. In 1933 he married a Swahili of Digo origins, paying the bride-price with his own money. He played trumpet in the Sadla as a young man, his mother’s brother being an official of this beni.

Informant 50: a Digo man, born about 1920. His father was born in Matuga and converted to Islam there, living as a fisherman and planting palms. He was born in Matuga and went to Mombasa in the later 1930s, staying first with friends. He worked as a casual porter at the station at this time, and rented a room in the house of a Chonyi Muslim who found him work in an eating-house owned by an Arab. The Arab trusted him, promoted him, and paid the bridewealth for him to marry, and in 1945 he moved to Mtwapa as the overseer of this Arab’s land.

Informant 51: a Duruma man, born in Rabai about 1920. His father was Duruma and his mother half Duruma and half Giriama. His mother ran away to Mombasa, where she lived in the house of a Chonyi Muslim woman and converted to Islam. She hawked water in the town. His father died when he was about 7 years old, and his mother took him to Mombasa, where he worked as a domestic in the house of the Chonyi woman. His mother then married a Giriama man, and moved to the Sabaki. She took 51 part of the way, but left him at the homestead of some of her relatives in Vitengeni. He ran away from there to join the Public Works Department. His mother left her new husband after a few months and went to Changamwe, where she married again and remained until she died. Informant 51 was laid off from his work and went to live at Majengo-Mtwapa, on Crown Land. Here he was arrested for tax default. An Arab paid his taxes for him, and he converted to Islam and worked for this Arab carrying water to the mosque.

Informant 53: a Hadhrami man, born in Shariani about 1905. His father had come to Mombasa from the Hadhramaut and set up shops in Shariani and around Mtanganyiko, where he bought grain from local farmers for shipment to Mombasa. He married several Mijikenda wives. Informant 53’s mother was a Kauma, a lineage which he (p.211) recites with as much pride as his Arab lineage. His mother’s father was killed in a fight with some Duruma over slave-raiding, and his children fled to 53’s father for protection, as some of them had already converted to Islam under his influence. As a boy, he worked at Kilindini and danced in the Scotchi beni. He then returned to Shariani and sold water, paying others to farm land there for him. His father’s shops went bankrupt, a fate which he attributes to his elder brother having struck and abused his mother because she was an ‘Mnyika’. He himself divorced his first wife, an Arab, because she mistreated his Kauma mother. He then ran a shop for an Arab in Shariani, married a number of Mijikenda wives, and finally moved to Kidutani, to the land of one of his fathers-in-law, whom he had converted to Islam.

Informant 55: a Digo man, born around 1910 at Jumba la Mtwana. His father was a Muslim who had moved to the area from south of Mombasa. In 1926 55 went to Mombasa, worked as a fisherman, and danced in the Scotchi. Before going to Mombasa he had sold fish, which he and his father caught, to a Digo at Mombasa fishmarket, and when he went to Mombasa he stayed with this man, whom he referred to as his ‘father’ and tajiri. He worked on this man’s boat. He spent almost all his money in Mombasa, on women and dancing, but did occasionally send some to his father. He stayed in Mombasa until 1950 without marrying. His Mombasan father then died, and he returned to Mtwapa, where he married and stayed in his father’s homestead.

Informant 56: a Rabai man, born in Jitoni, near Miritini. His father was a drunkard, who mortgaged his palm trees to buy another wife for himself. His father also bought him a wife, but she died and there was no money either to buy another wife or to feed the child of his first marriage. In 1929 he went to Mombasa, where he found work at Kilindini. When he missed work he scavenged crabs and fruit to eat. In Mombasa he rented part of an unfinished house to sleep in, and sent wages back to his mother to support his child. Then a friend found him a job as a hire-purchase hawker for an Indian, but in 1935 he left this job, fearing that he would grow old in Mombasa with no place of his own, ‘like an ex-slave’. He went to Jitoni, and started growing sugar-cane. He joined the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which lent him the money to marry again. Then the land at Jitoni, to which he had no claim, was taken by the Veterinary Department, and he moved to Buni to plant palm trees.

Informant 58: a Digo man, born in Waa about 1915. He lived with his father, the then chief of Waa, and his father bought him a wife; but in the early 1930s resenting his dependence on his father, he (p.212) went to work in Mombasa. He lived first at Likoni in the house of a great-aunt, sharing a room with seven or eight other Digo men, and then he moved to Majengo to rent his own room. He worked as a casual at Kilindini and danced in the Sadla. Another Digo then found him a job working as a hawker for an Arab. In this job he worked with Digo, Giriama, and Taita, but he joined another beni group (possibly a subgroup of Sadla) called MP. He became very close to his employer, adopted an Arabic genealogy and cut off contact with his wife in Waa. The special treatment he received inspired the enmity of his colleagues, who persuaded the employer’s business associate, another Arab, that 58 had seduced his wife. He was fired sometime in the late 1930s, and returned to Waa.

Informant 59: a Digo woman, born in Ukunda about 1915. Her parents were Muslims, and died when she was young. She moved to her father’s brother at Magodzoni, and was then taken by her elder sister to Changamwe, to stay with another brother of her father. He was living on the land of a Swahili, guarding it but doing no other work and paying no rent. The land was worked by migrant Duruma. Her sister was married, and her sister’s husband worked as a coconut harvester, while 59 worked in the household for her sister. They then moved to her sister’s father-in-law’s house in Mtongwe. Informant 59 was married here. Her husband soon died, and she moved to Mombasa in the 1930s and lived there for three years in a house owned by a woman of Digo origins. Informant 59 lived with a succession of young men, and was a member of a spirit-possession society. Then she moved to Waa, where her sister’s husband had land and she had palm trees, and she married again.

Informant 60: a Digo man, born in Matuga about 1920. His father was a drunkard, and, as a boy, he worked helping his mother carry charcoal to sell in Mombasa. He then ran away to a relative of his mother who was an ex-slave of Ali bin Salim el-Busaidi. She lived in Hailendi and still worked for Ali bin Salim. Through her he found work with other Arabs as an errand-boy, but his mother’s brother persuaded him to go back to Matuga. He and his mother then lived as petty traders: he earned money picking coconuts, which money they invested in chickens to sell in Mombasa. They sold chickens and charcoal to Hadhrami traders in Mombasa, and brought tobacco and dried fish back to Matuga to sell. This precarious capital accumulation was twice disrupted by 60 marrying and then leaving his wife. In 1946 he made a brief foray into Mombasa market, lending money to a Digo stall-holder at Mwembe Tayari to buy more goods, but they abandoned the stall in the 1947 strike and could not get another.

(p.213) Informant 66: a Duruma man, born in Mlafyeni around 1918. His father died when he was young and he was brought up by his father’s brother. As a boy he herded goats, until his uncle lent him money to start trading in chickens. He gave the profits from this trade to the homestead head, who bought him a wife. He walked to and from Mombasa in this trade, but avoided sleeping on the island, where he feared muggers and mumiani. When his uncle could not afford to pay tax for him, he worked as a casual agricultural labourer for Digo or Duruma farmers. He set up his own homestead on the death of his uncle.

Informant 67: a Digo man, born in Dar es Salaam about 1910. His father had gone there from Mombasa. In about 1918 his parents returned to Mombasa, but he went to Tanga and was found work as a servant to a European elephant hunter. This man was killed by an elephant near Moshi, and 67 went to Mombasa to stay with his parents in Hailendi. His father died very shortly after this; 67’s elder brothers were in Mombasa, and took care of him. He worked at the coaling-wharf, then as a winch-man, and then at Kilindini into the 1950s. He danced in the Sadla. In later life he started to farm at Ukunda, on the land of his mother’s clan, where he grew annual crops for the Mombasa market. In old age he returned to Mombasa, renting out the land at Ukunda.

Informant 71: a man who refused to claim membership of any group. He was born in Takaungu about 1910. His father worked as a ship’s captain in Takaungu, and when his father died in 1920, he went to Mombasa and stayed with his elder brother in Mwembe Kuku. His elder brother worked at Kilindini, and he himself found work there, through a serang who had known his mother’s brother. This man became his adoptive father. Informant 71 stayed on the docks until 1973.

Informant 74: a Digo woman, sister of informant 67. She was born in Dar es Salaam in about 1912. Unlike 67, she said that their father was a Yao slave who had run away from Mombasa and married a Digo woman in Ukunda; their move to Dar seems to have been connected with the flight there of some Mazrui after they launched a brief revolt in 1895. She came back to Mombasa with her parents and was brought up by a Duruma woman in Hailendi, who was part of a spirit-possession group. This woman had been taken to Takaungu as a slave, then had been taken from there by an Arab who married her to a convert to Islam. She later left this husband and went to farm at Tsunza. Informant 74 was brought up by this woman and by her mama wa kumwosha, who taught her correct behaviour at (p.214) puberty and for whom she did domestic work. This woman was in the same dance society as the Duruma woman who raised her. Informant 74 was married to a Pemba man, whom she managed to leave. She was then married to a Mazrui man, who took great care of her. When he died she left his house, though she could have inherited it, because she thought his relatives had murdered him by witchcraft and they might kill her too. Then she lived by casual work at the coffee factory and by food-selling, remaining in Mombasa until now.