There are quite a few famous cases of Africans who traveled to Asia (voluntary or involuntarily) prior to 1700s such as Malik Ambar (India), Yasuke (Japan), and Ibn_Battuta (India, Sri Lanka, China, and more). In the other direction, Admiral Zheng He made voyages to East Africa in the 1400s, even bringing back a giraffe to China. Even more dramatically, Austronesians (originally from Taiwan) at some point made the journey from Borneo to Madagascar circa 500 A.D.
I'm curious about a few related questions:
- What is the earliest supported example of an African traveling to Southeast/East Asia? Earliest voluntary example?
- What are some other notable examples of Africans in Southeast/East Asia prior to the 1700s?
- Did any Africans voyage with Zheng He's fleet back to China?