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China's Great Armada
JULY 2005
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Photo captions by Cliff Tarpy
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China's Great Armada Gallery Photo

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Distant Ties to China?
Photograph by Michael Yamashita

On Pate Island along the Swahili coast of Kenya, the Mohame family pounds corn to make cornbread, a staple of their diet. The Mohameds are one of three families of the Famao clan who claim Chinese lineage. According to local legend, shipwrecked sailors from Zheng's fleet made it to shore and married local women, a belief that has become a central part of the Famao's personal mythology. Hints of past Chinese presence still exist on the island: Local tombs and lion statues have designs that some believe closely resemble those of the Ming era, and bits of Chinese ceramics that have washed ashore decorate the facades of some houses.

Photo Fast Facts
Camera: Canon EOS 1V
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: 16-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/2.8

Weather Conditions: Unrecorded
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: Fill flash

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