German Boma in Kivinje on Kilwa and chained prisoners in front 1891

German Boma Kivinje on Kilwa Chained prisoners


Prisoners / forced labourers chained by the neck (!) with their DOAG German guards in front of the German Boma in Kivinje on Kilwa taken around 1891. 


 Antique photo Kivinje Zanzibar

 German chained prisoners Eastafrica

Prisoners, chained by the Germans,  in front of Kivinji Fort on Kilwa


Boma Kilwa

Soldiers marching in front of Kivinji Fort on Kilwa


Background to the German Boma in Kivinje (Kilwa)

Rare photo. The black prisoners have been chained to each other by the Germans, like slaves of the Arabs previously. The chains are connected to  steel bands around their necks.

This Boma was a customs station of Deutsch-Ostafrikanischen Gesellschaft. In 1888 two employees of D.O.A.G were killed by the uprise of the Arabs against the Germans and the Sultan. In May 1890 the D.O.A.G station was taken over by von Wissmann. The photo below shows how the ruined building looks like a few years ago, see also Ref 1 page 63.The same reference book also shows many early monuments in Kilwa and their background. Very interesting is that the architectural elements from ruins in Kilwa shown in ref 1 page 39, are also used in antique Safavid Persian copper-ware found in Nizwa Oman, see the "imports to Oman" section of our website. Ref 1 page 29 top left shows Islamic pottery similar to that found in Qalhat Oman.The common historic link is the probably seaborn kingdom of Hormuz (10-16th cent) run by Persians and Arabs (Omani).

Kivinji Fort on Kilwa

This is how the Boma looked a few years ago

  1. Karen Moon Kilwa Kisiwani  Ancienne cite portuaire de la cote d´Afrique de l´Est, Total identity, Dar es-Salam, Tanzania 2005 (French edition)
  2. Karen Moon Kilwa Kisiwani Ancient port of the East African coast 2005 (English Edition)
  3. Slavernij en bevrijding in Oost Afrika in de 19e eeuw by Afrika museum Berg en Dal 2003.
  4. HGM Tullemans Pere Etienne Baur en d Arabische opstand van 1888-1889 Promotion Thesis 1982 2 volumes University of Nijmegen

Youtube film Kilwa: