Photos Scanned And Provided By Barghash Barghash



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  1905 - Zanzibar - Sikuku(Eid) celebrations at Mnazi Moja


  July 27, 1902 - Zanzibar - H.H. the new Sultan Ali Bin Hamoud arrives in Zanzibar


The above Sikuku photo is an old postcard. Ali Pira Harji was one of at least 4 photographers working in Zanzibar between 1895 -1910. He made several postcards, which are rather rare now. This one it is believed is circa 1905.

The most favorite is the second one above. It is believed that this one may be dated exactly as July 27, 1902. It shows the people awaiting the immanent arrival of the new Sultan. That would have been Sultan Ali, (Sayyid Ali Bin Hamoud) who had been away when the old Sultan died.

It is said that the underage and nervous new ruler (who had been travelling back to Zanzibar after 3 years away in British boarding Schools when he heard the news) was so overcome by the unexpected death of his father and by the overwhelming crowds upon his arrival; that Sayyid Ali was unable to speak for two days.

He could not address the large crowd shown in the photo and they left disappointed. A bad omen perhaps for a new reign. Sultan Ali later became the only Zanzibar Sultan ever to abdicate.


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