definition of Wikipedia
|Lamu Old Town *|
View of the seaside, Lamu Town
|Criteria||ii, iv, vi|
|Inscription||2001 (25th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO
|Lamu Island||Lamu Town †•
|Manda Island||Manda Town ‡
|Pate Island||Faza †
--Rulers of Pate
---- Bwana Mkuu
---- Bwana Tamu
---- Fumo Madi
|† Administrative Centre
‡ Archaeological site
• World Heritage Site
Lamu Town on Lamu Island is Kenya's oldest continually inhabited town, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa.
There are some other accounts that mention Chinese ships of Zheng He's fleet sinking near Lamu Island in Kenya in 1415. Survivors settled on the island and married local women. This has been proven recently by archaeological work on the island that has resulted in the finding of evidence to suggest this connection. Further DNA testing done on some residents show that they indeed have Chinese ancestors.
The town was first attested in writing by an Arab traveller Abu-al-Mahasini who met a Judge from Lamu visiting Mecca in 1441.
The town's history was marked by a Portuguese invasion in 1506, and then Omani domination from around 1813 (the year of the Battle of Shela). The Portuguese invasion was prompted by the nation's successful mission to control trade along the coast of the Indian Ocean. For considerable time, Portugal had a monopoly on shipping along the East African coast and imposed export taxes on pre-existing local channels of commerce. In the 1580s, prompted by Turkish raids, Lamu led a rebellion against the Portuguese. In 1652, Oman assisted Lamu to resist Portuguese control. Lamu's years as an Omani protectorate mark the town's golden age. During this period, Lamu became a center of poetry, politics, arts and crafts as well as the trade.
Lamu is a popular destination for backpackers.
Lamu's economy was based on slave trade until abolition in the year 1907. Other traditional exports included ivory, mangrove, turtle shells and rhinoceros horn, which were shipped via the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and India. In addition to the abolition of slavery, construction of the Uganda Railroad in 1901 (which started from the competing port of Mombassa) significantly hampered Lamu's economy. Tourism has gradually refuelled the local economy in recent times.
In 2011, proposals were being advanced to build a deep-water port which would have much greater capacity in terms of depth of water, number of berths, and ability for vessels to arrive and depart at the same time than the country's main port at Mombasa.
The town was founded in the 14th century and it contains many fine examples of Swahili architecture. The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".
Once a center for the slave trade, the population of Lamu is ethnically diverse. Lamu was on the main Arabian trading routes, and as a result, the population is largely Muslim. Due to the narrowness of the streets, automobiles are not allowed - the city is easily explored by foot, bicycle, or, as many locals favour, donkey. From respect to the Muslim inhabitants, tourists in town are expected to wear more than shorts or bikinis.
There are several museums, including the Lamu Museum, home to the island's ceremonial horn (called siwa); other museums are dedicated to Swahili culture and to the local postal service. Notable buildings in Lamu town include:
In a 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, Global Heritage Fund identified Lamu as one of 12 worldwide sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and damage, citing insufficient management and development pressure as primary causes.
The Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) aka The Lamu corridor is a transport and infrastructure project in Kenya that when complete will be the country's second transport corridor. Lamu Port is expected to consist of 30 berths when complete, will cost US $ 3.5 billion and be 1,000 acres in size. The port will be a deep water port at 18 metres depth. From bids requested by the Kenyan Government, the first phase of the port will include 3 deep water berths with a capability of handling ships with a dead-weight capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes. The port will be built at Manda Bay and is expected to be operational starting December 2012. Although the planned infrastructure will have irreversible environmental, social, and demographic impacts on what is a unique area and politically sensitive area, up to this point in time, state-decision makers have proceeded without consultation with the Lamu community as the key stakeholders or an environmental impact assessment. In 2009, Lamu Environmental Protection and Conservation (LEPAC) spearheaded an initiative to unite groups and individuals in a campaign to save the Lamu Archipelago against the proposed Lamu Port. Out of this initiative, a coalition of groups came together under the banner Save Lamu, a registered community-based organization (CBO). The coalition includes community members from over 15 local and national organizations. As a result of its successful work in such a short period of time, Save Lamu was recently nominated as Civil Society of the year 2011 by Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) to recognize its contributions to human rights on the Coast Province. The demands of the community groups as per their petition are: 1) The Government of Kenya (GOK) publicly shares all information on the proposed project to the local communities; 2) The GOK publicly facilitates for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to be carried out by independent experts; 3) A participatory process is undertaken with the local communities involved in the assessment of the impacts and planning of the proposed project; 4) The land rights violations against the indigenous Lamu communities are adequately investigated and addressed before any further development plans are inaugurated.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lamu|
Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.