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Name: ALLEN, James de Vere

Nee: son of Victor de Vere Allen

Birth Date: 1936 Nairobi

Death Date: 1990 Mombasa

First Date: 1936

Last Date: 1990

Profession: Lecturer at both Makerere and Nairobi Universities. Curator, Lamu Museum.

Area: Nairobi, Kampala, Kwale

Author: Swahili Origins 1992

Book Reference: EAWL

School: Kenton College, King's School Canterbury, Magdalen College Oxford

General Information:

Jim Allen was well known in historical and archaeological circles in Kenya, and his book on Swahili origins has been published posthumously. It largely deals with Lamu.
Source:- David Nicholson
Taught at Duke of York School, Nairobi.
Scholarship to University of Kuala Lumpur.
1964 - taught history at Makerere
1970 joined Kenya National Museums - established museum at Lamu in the old DC house on the waterfront. Left Lamu museum in 1974.
Anne Spoerry, They Call Me Mama Daktari, 1997: Jim de Vere Allen was ... passionately interested in Swahili art ... He also founded the remarkable Lamu Museum, which he opened to preserve the treasures of the past for future generations. He moved heaven and earth to fund this project and was able to buy historic artefacts owned by local families who had no idea of their intrinsic value, but much to his credit he always paid good prices. De Vere Allen was born in Kenya, where his father was the deputy commissioner or prisons. His mother was a history professor. He had been educated in Uganda, had and became a historian, had lived in Indonesia and studied Indonesian civilization. He did much to prevent Lamu from becoming, like Zanzibar, a shanty town and heap of ruins. He pushed the government into buying up entire streets, which he rehabilitated, converting houses into flats for civil servants to rent. Once the rot had been arrested, craftsmen took heart and once again began to make traditional furniture, and the wealthier inhabitants were sufficiently impressed to restore their houses, and to build new ones; even the abandoned coral quarries on the island of Manda were reopened and worked again.

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