Zanzibar farming. Fruit being carried to the fruit-market in Stonetown around 1894

Slide-show: Fruit carried across the creek to market Zanzibar

 1)Fruit being carried to the fruit-market, just crossing the bridge across the Creek. Stamped A.C. Gomes & Co. This is the mark of the oldest photos by Gomes. The partnership of Gomes with Countinho was dissolved mid 1897.

Size 14,5 by 21 cm.2.Antique photo people brining fruit to the market in Zanzibar

2) Bridge across the Creek, photo below by J. Sturtz 1888 (see ref 4)

Antique photo Bridge creek Zanzibar


3) Traditional  clay home but with street-light in front! (date unclear, but the street-lighting may provide some clues)   Size 11,5 by 17 cm. around 1890


4) Man weaving with his loom, according to the inscription below the photo, the lady on the left is a German lady. As the photo is taken between 1888 and 1890 by J. Sturtz there is a tiny chance it is Emily or Rosalie Ruete, as they spent a large part of 1888 on Zanzibar and there were very few German women on the island.

Weaving ZanzibarFor information on Omani weaving techniques see ref 5

Some rural scenes

While the main crop in Zanzibar was cloves, also many vegetables and fruit are grown like mangoes, bananas and coconut. Please notice the street-lamp in front of the clay home: By  1870 Oil Street lights had been installed along the major streets in Stone Town. These street lights ran out of town, past the harbour, south towards Mbweni.

  1. Emily Ruete, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess,  translated by Lionel Stratchey illustrated, New York Double Page & Company 1907 same photo with the title "Bringing Food into the Town"after page 36.
  2. WH Ingrams Zanzibar Its History and its people 1931 page 399-411
  3. Land und Leute in Deutsch Ost Afrika Wangemann (text); Sturtz (photos) There is a second edition of  1890 and a third of 1894. No copy of the first edition is known: Maybe there is a relation of this first edition with of our set of 50 photos which are higher resolution variants of the Sturtz photos in the Wangemann book.
  4. Erinnerung an die Ostafrikanische Blockade und  meiner Reise an bord SMS Carola 1888-1890 (50 original photos, by naval officer J. Sturz, the album belonged to Emil Voelker and have his manuscript captions on the photos) Emil Voelker was on-board the SMS Carola during these events.
  5. Gigi Crocker Jones, Traditional spinning and weaving in the Sultanate of Oman, published by Historical Association of Oman, 1989 Page 35 shows a similar loom