Appendix 3: Glossary

amerikani unbleached cotton cloth, manufactured in the USA and exported in large quantities to Zanzibar; widely traded in the interior, where it was preferred for its strength; also spelled amerekani
copal a tree resin used to make varnish; fossil copal was "mined" along the coast, often with slave labor
copra dried coconut, prepared for export
cowries shells used as currency (Cypraea moneta)
dhow Arab ship with a sloping mast and a square sail; average cargoes of 50-60 tons (larger tonnages reported)
frasila unit of weight in Indian Ocean and East Coast trade; equal to 35 pounds; also spelled frasela
lascars Indian Ocean sailors on British ships
Maria Theresa =MT$: a coin used on East Coast; also called the Austrian Crown; in the 1860s, the American dollar began to replace it
monsoons seasonal winds used by ships sailing from India, Arabia, and the Persian Gulf to the East African coast (November to March) and returning when the winds shifted
seyyid master or lord; title used by Omani rulers of the Busaidi dynasty
Sidis people (or their descendants) who entered the Indian Ocean world from the Swahili coast, especially men (often manumitted slaves or escapees) employed as sailors or harbor workers