Azanian Beauty

A lovely young maiden from ancient Azania, a region of East Africa stretching from Kenya to Tanzania along the Indian Ocean. The name comes from ancient Greek and Roman texts, which locate a great marketplace called Rhapta along its coast. Later, during the Middle Ages, Azania would see the rise of the Swahili city-states which had commercial links as far across the Indian Ocean as China. This woman could probably represent the Swahili people’s pre-Islamic ancestors, although her attire here (including the nose piercing) comes entirely from my imagination.

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