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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Zanj (meaning "Blacks") was a name used by medieval Muslim geographers to refer to both a certain portion of Southeast Africa (primarily the Swahili Coast), and to the area's Bantu inhabitants. This word is also the origin of the place-names Zanzibar ("coast of the black people") and the Sea of Zanj.

Zangī (زنگی) is derived from the word ‘rust’. However, the appellation in Persian is roughly equivalent with "negro". It is recorded in Arabic as zanjī (زنجي), and in Turkish as zencî.

The latinization Zingium serves as an archaic name for the coastal area in modern Kenya and Tanzania in southern East Africa. The architecture of these commercial urban settlements are now a subject of study for urban planning. For centuries the coastal settlements were a source of ivory, gold, and slaves, from sections of the conquered hinterland, to the Indian Ocean world.

Zanj Rebellion

The Zanj Rebellion was a series of uprisings that took place between 869 and 883 AD near the city of Basra (also known as Basara), situated in present-day Iraq.

The Zanj who were taken as slaves to the Middle East were often used in strenuous agricultural work. In particular, Zanj slaves were used in labor-intensive plantations, harvesting crops such as sugarcane in the lower Mesopotamia basin of what is now southern Iraq. Harsh circumstances apparently provoked three rebellions between the seventh and ninth centuries. What is now called the Zanj Rebellion was the largest of these.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zanj" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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