Author: Tim Winter(?)
The Voyages of Chinese Explorer Zheng He between 1405-1433
Zheng He (1371–1433 or 1435), formerly romanized as Cheng Ho, was a Hui Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat, fleet admiral, and court eunuch during China's early Ming dynasty.
Zheng commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. His larger ships stretched 120 meters or more in length. These carried hundreds of sailors on four tiers of decks.
While there is debate whether some of Zheng He's explorations are exaggerated, archaeologists have excavated Chinese porcelains made during the Tang dynasty (618–907) in Kenyan villages. These were believed to have been brought over by Zheng He during his voyages.
On Lamu Island off the Kenyan coast, local oral tradition maintains that 20 shipwrecked Chinese sailors, possibly part of Zheng's fleet, washed up on shore there hundreds of years ago. Given permission to settle by local tribes after having killed a dangerous python, they converted to Islam and married local women. Now, they are believed to have just six descendants left there; in 2002, DNA tests conducted on one of the women confirmed that she was of Chinese descent.(Source: Wikipedia)