Trade on the Swahili Coast, 500 CE. Black Africans and Arab traders came to the East African coast around this time and traded with local African peoples. The descendants of these people developed a new language, Swahili, which was a combination of African and Arabic languages. The Swahili were involved in trade to Arabia, China, and India. They carried animal skins, ivory, gold, and other metals to these places. They brought back many goods, including cotton, silk, and porcelain.