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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Heritage, tourism, and slavery at Shimoni: narrative and metanarrative on the East African coast
Authors:Wynne-Jones, StephanieISNI
Walsh, MartinISNI
Periodical:History in Africa (ISSN 1558-2744)
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:cultural heritage
oral history
slave trade
About person:Roger WhittakerISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v037/37.1.wynne-jones.pdf
Abstract:The earliest description of the inside of the caves of Shimoni at the southern Kenya coast has been written down by Kenya-born singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker after his visit to Shimoni in 1982, and was published in his autobiography (1986). Whittaker sang his 'Shimoni' in 1983, focusing on one of a number of narratives about the caves' past usage, thus bringing Shimoni and its caves to wider attention and contributing to the town's touristic development. The lyrics of 'Shimoni' did not simply embellish a local tale, but (re)created it in the image of metanarratives about the history of slavery on the East African coast. The present authors present a brief history of the area around Shimoni, tying this in with a discussion of economic changes in the area and the emergence of the Shimoni slave cave as a key tourist destination. They then relate their differing experience of research in the area, citing examples of similarity and difference in the narratives offered, and the approaches taken. This leads to a discussion of the nature of oral histories here, that may be of broader interest to historians and others whose research involves the collection of oral testimony. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]