Brill, Leiden, 2023
This contribution argues that the poet Ustadh Mau not only shapes, but is himself shaped by Lamu society. It sheds light on the poet’s figure as a person who makes an impact on his society through his poems, his preaching and daily practice, and also explains why conversing through poetry has become the standard moral way of communicating in his society. Poetic language use and textual production are common speaking conventions that have been spurred by two fundamental paradigms of social interaction. Among the Swahili of Lamu, manners of speaking are considered as part of proper conduct in Islamic life.