kanda [Swahili]

In East Africa, 19ᵗʰ – 20ᵗʰ centuries, a unit of capacity used in the wholesale grain trade.


Grain is sold by the kanda, or sack of grass-matting, or (if from India) by the gunia, a wide sack. The gunia often weighs about 168 lbs. The kanda varies, both with the kind of grain and the place from which it is imported. For instance, while at Kwale, Mgao, and Mvite, towns on the Swahili coast, the kanda of rice at times contains 10, 11, or 12 pishi, and the kanda of Indian corn 10 pishi, at Pangani, Tanga, and Mtang'ata the kanda of rice will contain 15, 16, or 17 pishi, and the kanda of Indian corn 13 or 13½ pishi.

Edward Steere.
A Handbook of the Swahili Language as Spoken at Zanzibar. 3rd ed.
London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1884.
Page 457.

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