Swahili Qiṣṣati Yūsufu

All things

Swahili Qiṣṣati Yūsufu


Beauty before your eyes

story by Annachiara Raia

Qiṣṣati Yūsufu is the longest version of the Yusuf story in Swahili verse form in Arabic script. Qiṣṣati Yūsufu was composed on the island of Lamu on the northern Swahili Muslim coast of Kenya, the cradle of traditional Swahili literature in Arabic script. The alleged author is Muhamadi Kijuma, who, among other things, was a well-known poet, calligrapher, musician and wood-carver. Reading the lines of this beautiful handwritten poem will guide you through the calligraphic and ornamental devices that make this story not only pleasing the ear, but also the eye.

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