James de Vere Allen was Curator of the Lamu Museum.

Swahili Origins

Swahili Culture and The Shungwaya Phenomenon

By James de Vere Allen

Kiswahili has become the lingua franca of eastern Africa. Yet there can be few historic peoples whose identity is as elusive as that of the Swahili. Some have described themselves as Arabs, as Persians or even, in one place, as Portuguese. It is doubtful whether, even today, most of the people about whom this book is written would unhesitatingly and in all contexts accept the name Swahili. This book was central to the thought and lifework of the late James de Vere Allen.


An Uncertain Age
The Politics of Manhood in Kenya
In twentieth-century Kenya, age and gender were powerful cultural and political forces that animated household and generational relationships. They also shaped East Africans’ contact with and influence on emergent colonial and global ideas about age and masculinity.


Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees
Gardening Alternatives to Nonnative Species
In this companion volume to the bestselling The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz offer another indispensible guide to replacing nonnative plants with native alternatives.


Fire Is Your Water
A Novel
Sacred chants are Ada Franklin’s power and her medicine. By saying them, she can remove warts, stanch bleeding, and draw the fire from burns. At age twenty, her reputation as a faith healer defines her in her rural Pennsylvania community. But on the day in 1953 that her family’s barn is consumed by flame, her identity as a healer is upended.


A Head in Cambodia
A Jenna Murphy Mystery
When the alluring, eleventh-century Cambodian stone head of Radha, consort to Krishna, shows up at the Searles Museum, young curator Jenna Murphy doesn’t suspect that it will lead her to a murder.


Hello, This Is Your Body Talking
A Draw-It-Yourself Coloring Book
With Drawing Your Stress Away and Hello, This Is Your Body Talking, art therapist and educator Dr. Lucia Capacchione presents a new concept in adult coloring: the draw-it-yourself coloring book.