The present contribution deals with the occurrence of the Thousand and One Nights in East Africa and offers a survey of available data relating to the Swahili-speaking coast of Kenya and Tanzania. Issues discussed include: (1) versions of tales from the Nights documented between 1860 and 1890 that can be related to printed Arabic sources; (2) the canonical edition of Alfu Lela Ulela (1929) translated as part of the colonial endeavour and aiming to mediate world literature in the perspective of the British Empire; and (3) a new project of translating the Nights into the Swahili language initiated in 1996.
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