Last modified: 2017-11-11 by bruce berry
Keywords: somaliland |
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I have a small reproduction of an old map made by Fernão Vaz Dourado in 1576. This map reproduces the south-eastern coastal areas of Africa, from southern Namibia to the easternmost tip of Somalia. It contains nine reproductions of flags over those “city drawings” so common in the maps of that time. I have drawn the flags to the best of my eye resolution (the reproduction is small and some details are not obvious). These are:
The above image is from a map made by
Fernão vaz Dourado in 1576. The
flag is placed in southern Somalia, near the place where Mogadishu is today.
A triangular flag, dark red over dark yellow, with a white crescent at
the hoist, vertically centered.
Jorge Candeias, 01 Sep 1999
I don't have any definite information as to the identity of the cities
whose flags were shown on the chart, but The New Atlas of African History
by G.S.P. Freeman-Grenville provides some possibilities. It shows the leading
ports on the Indian Ocean shore of Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries,
the above could be Mogadishu
Edward Smith, 01 Sep 1999
By the time the Portuguese arrived for the first time on the East African coast there was trade going on between Arabs (or Moors, as the Portuguese called them) and Indians, mainly from Gujarat. It is quite possible, that several flags belong to Arabs or Gujaratis.
There are several Portuguese accounts of the East African coast; G. S. P. Freeman-Grenville selected some in 'The East African Coast', selected documents from the first to the earlier nineteenth century, 1962. A lot of places are named in that book. Of special interest is Duarte Barbosa's account of the East Coast, c. 1517-18. It has no info on flags, just on places/regions. From South to North (well, about):