Utenzi wa Jaʿfar

This page offers materials related to the اُتٖنْزِ وَ جَعْفَر (Utenzi wa Jaʿfar, The Ballad of Jaʿfar), as edited by Kevin Donnelly and Yahya Ali Omar. Various digital editions of the ballad are offered, all of them including the Arabic-script text of both the original manuscripts used: Y (a photocopy of a text copied by Sheikh Yahya Ali Omar) and R (an original manuscript (copyist unknown), which is likely to be a copy of an older text). More detailed information on all the aspects summarised below is available in the introduction to the aligned edition. All items here are licensed under the General Public License v3 or higher.

This project has had three aims:

Aligned edition

In this version, the stanzas of both manuscripts are aligned, with the Y text in green and the R text in blue. A close transcription of the Arabic-script text into Roman script is given, with the words reading left to right like the Arabic-script original. A transliteration more closely approximating standard Swahili in Roman script follows, reading right to left. A translation and notes are also included, along with some introductory material.

Aligned edition of both Y and R manuscripts of the Utenzi wa Jaʿfar. (900 Kb)

Individual editions

Each manuscript is available in a self-standing edition, with the same layout as the aligned edition. Note, however, that translation and notes are only provided in the R edition when the text significantly differs from or does not appear in the Y manuscript. Also be aware that stanza references in the notes relate to the stanza numbers for the aligned edition, not to those for the stand-alone edition.

Stand-alone version of Y. (465 Kb)
Stand-alone version of R. (380 Kb)

Editions containing Arabic script only (Herufi za kiarabu tu)

These editions convert the paper manuscript into a modern digital edition for those who wish to read the text unencumbered by transliteration, notes or translation.

Y version in Arabic script only. (140 Kb)
R version in Arabic script only. (155 Kb)

Original manuscripts

Scans of both manuscripts are provided here. The small versions are likely to be adequate for most purposes, but a higher resolution scan is also provided.

Small version of Y manuscript. (7 Mb)
Small version of R manuscript. (12 Mb)
Hi-res version of Y manuscript. (58 Mb)
Hi-res version of R manuscript. (65 Mb)

Typed transcriptions

The typed transcriptions of the manuscripts are given here in odt format, which can be opened in a word-processor such as the one in LibreOffice.

Y transscript. (30 Kb)
R transscript. (35 Kb)

Database tables

The database tables containing the words, transliterations, notes, and translation for each of the manuscripts are given here in cvs format, which can be opened in a spreadsheet such as the one in LibreOffice.

Y database table. (355 Kb)
R database table. (365 Kb)