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Somalis

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Somalis
Soomaalida
𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖
Somali map.jpg
Traditional area inhabited by the Somali ethnic group
Total population
~34,000,000-36,000,000
Somali people around the world.svg
Regions with significant populations
Horn of Africa
 Somalia17,066,000 (2022)[1](including Somaliland)
 Ethiopia11,748,998 (2017)[2]
 Kenya2,780,502 (2019)[3]
 Djibouti534,000 (2017)[4]
 Yemen500,000 (2014)[5]
 United States170,192 (2018)[6]
 United Kingdom98,000–250,000[7][8]
 United Arab Emirates90,900[9]
 Oman80,000[10]
 Sweden66,369[11][12]
 Canada62,550[13]
 Tanzania60,000[14]
 Norway43,196[15]
 Uganda41,515[16]
 South Africa27,000-40,000[17]
 Netherlands39,737[18]
 Germany38,675[19]
 Saudi Arabia34,000–67,500[20][21]
 Egypt22,709[22]
 Denmark21,210[23]
 Finland20,944[24]
 Australia16,169[25]
 Italy8,228[26]
 Austria7,101[27]
 Switzerland7,025[28]
 Turkey5,518[29]
 Zambia3,000–4,000[30][31]
 Belgium2,627[32]
 Eritrea2,604[33]
 France2,568[34]
 Pakistan2,500[35]
 Libya2,500[36]
 ASEAN1,857[37][38]
 New Zealand1,617[39]
 Ireland1,495[40]
Languages
Somali
Religion
Islam (Sunni)
Related ethnic groups
Afar, Saho, Oromo, Rendille and other Cushitic people[41]
A Somali man in a traditional Koofiyad
A Somali man in a traditional Koofiyad

The Somalis (Somali: Soomaalida 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒆𐒖, Arabic: صوماليون) are a Cushitic ethnic group native to the Horn of Africa[42] who share a common ancestry, culture and history. The Somali language is the shared mother tongue of ethnic Somalis, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family, and are predominately Sunni Muslim.[43][44] They form one of the largest ethnic groups on the African continent, and cover one of the most expansive landmasses by a single ethnic group in Africa.[45]

According to most scholars, the ancient Land of Punt and its native inhabitants formed part of the ethnogenesis of the Somali people. An ancient historical kingdom where a great portion of their cultural traditions and ancestry has been said to derive from.[46][47][48][49] Somalis share many historical and cultural traits with other Cushitic peoples, especially with Lowland East Cushitic people, specifically the Afar and the Saho.[50]

Ethnic Somalis are principally concentrated in Somalia (17.1 million),[1] Ethiopia (11.7 million),[51] Kenya (2.8 million),[3] and Djibouti (534,000).[52] Somali diasporas (around 2 million) are also found in parts of the Middle East, North America, Western Europe, African Great Lakes region, Southern Africa and Oceania.

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Ethnic group

Ethnic group

An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancestry, language, history, society, culture, nation, religion, or social treatment within their residing area. Ethnicity is sometimes used interchangeably with the term nation, particularly in cases of ethnic nationalism, and is separate from the related concept of races.

Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula and geopolitical region in East Africa. Located on the easternmost part of the African mainland, it is the fourth largest peninsula in the world. It is composed of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti; broader definitions also include parts or all of Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. The term Greater Horn Region (GHR) can additionally include Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. It lies along the southern boundary of the Red Sea and extends hundreds of kilometres into the Guardafui Channel, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean and shares a maritime border with the Arabian Peninsula of Western Asia.

Cushitic languages

Cushitic languages

The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa, with minorities speaking Cushitic languages to the north in Egypt and the Sudan, and to the south in Kenya and Tanzania. As of 2012, the Cushitic languages with over one million speakers were Oromo, Somali, Beja, Afar, Hadiyya, Kambaata, Saho, and Sidama.

Afroasiatic languages

Afroasiatic languages

The Afroasiatic languages, also known as Hamito-Semitic, or Semito-Hamitic, and sometimes also as Afrasian, Erythraean or Lisramic, are a language family of about 300 languages that are spoken predominantly in the geographic subregions of Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahara/Sahel. With the exception of its Semitic branch, all branches of the Afroasiatic family are exclusively native to the African continent.

Africa

Africa

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.4 billion people as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita and second-least wealthy by total wealth, behind Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, tribalism, colonialism, the Cold War, neocolonialism, lack of democracy, and corruption. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Land of Punt

Land of Punt

The Land of Punt was an ancient kingdom known from Ancient Egyptian trade records. It produced and exported gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. It is possible that it corresponds to Opone in Somalia, as later known by the ancient Greeks, while some biblical scholars have identified it with the biblical land of Put or Havilah.

Afar people

Afar people

The Afar, also known as the Danakil, Adali and Odali, are a Cushitic-speaking ethnic group inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They primarily live in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, as well as the entire southern coast of Eritrea. The Afar speak the Afar language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Afars are the only inhabitants of the Horn of Africa whose traditional territories border both the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and northeast, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. Ethiopia has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres. As of 2022, it is home to around 113.5 million inhabitants, making it the 12th-most populous country in the world and the 2nd-most populous in Africa after Nigeria. The national capital and largest city, Addis Ababa, lies several kilometres west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the African and Somali tectonic plates.

Kenya

Kenya

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by area. With a population of more than 47.6 million in the 2019 census, Kenya is the 29th most populous country in the world. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest, currently second largest city, and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third-largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret. As of 2020, Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa. Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Its geography, climate and population vary widely, ranging from cold snow-capped mountaintops with vast surrounding forests, wildlife and fertile agricultural regions to temperate climates in western and rift valley counties and dry less fertile arid and semi-arid areas and absolute deserts.

Djibouti

Djibouti

Djibouti, officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Somalia to the south, Ethiopia to the southwest, Eritrea in the north, and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east. The country has an area of 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).

Middle East

Middle East

The Middle East is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabia, Asia Minor, East Thrace, Egypt, Iran, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and the Socotra Archipelago. The term came into widespread usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century. The term "Middle East" has led to some confusion over its changing definitions, and has been viewed by some to be discriminatory or too Eurocentric. The region includes the vast majority of the territories included in the closely associated definition of Western Asia, but without the South Caucasus, and additionally includes all of Egypt and all of Turkey.

African Great Lakes

African Great Lakes

The African Great Lakes are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake Victoria, the second-largest fresh water lake in the world by area, Lake Tanganyika, the world's second-largest freshwater lake by volume and depth, and Lake Malawi, the world's eighth-largest fresh water lake by area. Collectively, they contain 31,000 km3 of water, which is more than either Lake Baikal or the North American Great Lakes. This total constitutes about 25% of the planet's unfrozen surface fresh water. The large rift lakes of Africa are the ancient home of great biodiversity, and 10% of the world's fish species live in this region.

Etymology

Samaale, the oldest common ancestor of several Somali clans, is generally regarded as the source of the ethnonym Somali. One other theory is that the name is held to be derived from the words soo and maal, which together mean "go and milk". This interpretation differs depending on region with northern Somalis imply it refers to go and milk in regards to the camel's milk,[53] southern Somalis use the transliteration "sa' maal" which refers to cow's milk.[54] This is a reference to the ubiquitous pastoralism of the Somali people.[55] Another plausible etymology proposes that the term Somali is derived from the Arabic for "wealthy" (zāwamāl), again referring to Somali riches in livestock.[56][57]

Alternatively, the ethnonym Somali is believed to have been derived from the Automoli (Asmach), a group of warriors from ancient Egypt described by Herodotus, who were likely of Meshwesh origin according to Flinders Petrie. Asmach is thought to have been their Egyptian name, with Automoli being a Greek derivative of the Hebrew word S’mali (meaning "on the left hand side").[58]

An ancient Chinese document from the 9th century CE referred to the northern Somalia coast — which was then part of a broader region in Northeast Africa known as Barbara, in reference to the area's Berber (Cushitic) inhabitants[59] — as Po-pa-li.[60][61] The first clear written reference of the sobriquet Somali, however, dates back to the 15th century. During the conflict between the Sultanate of Ifat based at Zeila and the Solomonic Dynasty, the Abyssinian emperor had one of his court officials compose a hymn celebrating a military victory over the Sultan of Ifat's eponymous troops.[62] Simur was also an ancient Harari alias for the Somali people.[63] Somalis overwhelmingly prefer the demonym Somali over the incorrect Somalian since the former is an endonym, while the latter is an exonym with double suffixes.[64] The hypernym of the term Somali from a geopolitical sense is Horner and from an ethnic sense, it is Cushite.[65]

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Proto-Somali

Proto-Somali

Proto-Somalis were the ancient people and ancestors of Somalis who lived in present-day Somalia. Literature on proto-Somalis largely uses a time-frame pertaining to the 1st millennium BC and 1st millennium AD.

Samaale

Samaale

Samaale, also spelled Samali or Samale is traditionally considered to be the oldest common forefather of several major Somali clans and their respective sub-clans. His name is the source of the ethnonym Somali.

Ethnonym

Ethnonym

An ethnonym is a name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms, or endonyms.

Pastoralism

Pastoralism

Pastoralism is a form of animal husbandry where domesticated animals are released onto large vegetated outdoor lands (pastures) for grazing, historically by nomadic people who moved around with their herds. The animal species involved include cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeer, horses and sheep.

Etymology

Etymology

Etymology is the study of the history of the form of words and, by extension, the origin and evolution of their semantic meaning across time. It is a subfield of historical linguistics, and draws upon comparative semantics, morphology, semiotics, and phonetics.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Herodotus

Herodotus

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian and geographer from the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Persian Empire and a later citizen of Thurii in modern Calabria (Italy). He is known for having written the Histories – a detailed account of the Greco-Persian Wars. Herodotus was the first writer to perform systematic investigation of historical events. He is referred to as "The Father of History", a title conferred on him by the ancient Roman orator Cicero.

Meshwesh

Meshwesh

The Meshwesh were a tribe of Berber origin from ancient Libya, along with other groups like Libu and Tehenou/Tehenu.

Flinders Petrie

Flinders Petrie

Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, commonly known as simply Flinders Petrie, was a British Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and the preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Urlin. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred. Undoubtedly at least as important is his 1905 discovery and correct identification of the character of the Proto-Sinaitic script, the ancestor of almost all alphabetic scripts.

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa, or Northeastern Africa or Northern East Africa as it was known in the past, is a geographic regional term used to refer to the countries of Africa situated in and around the Red Sea. The region is intermediate between North Africa and East Africa, and mainly encompasses the Horn of Africa and the Sudans and as well as Egypt. Sometimes, its borders are stretched to either include Kenya like the NFD region or Eastern Chad and Libya. The region has a very long history of habitation with fossil finds from the early hominids to modern human and is one of the most genetically and linguistically diverse regions of the world, being the home to many civilizations and located on an important trade route that connects multiple continents.

Berbers

Berbers

Berbers or Imazighen are an ethnic group indigenous to the Maghreb region of North Africa, specifically Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, and to a lesser extent Mauritania, northern Mali, and northern Niger. Smaller Berber communities are also found in Burkina Faso and Egypt's Siwa Oasis. Historically, Berber (Amazigh) nations have spoken Berber languages, which are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family.

Sultanate of Ifat

Sultanate of Ifat

The Sultanate of Ifat, known as Wafāt or Awfāt in Arabic texts, was a medieval Sunni Muslim state in the eastern regions of the Horn of Africa between the late 13th century and early 15th century. It was formed in present-day Ethiopia around eastern Shewa or Zeila. Led by the Walashma dynasty, the polity stretched from Zequalla to the port city of Zeila. The kingdom ruled over parts of what are now Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland.

History

Ruins of the Adal Sultanate in Zeila, a kingdom led in the 16th century by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi (Ahmed Gurey).
Ruins of the Adal Sultanate in Zeila, a kingdom led in the 16th century by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi (Ahmed Gurey).

The origin of the Somali people which were previously theorized to have been from Southern Ethiopia since 1000 BC or from the Arabian peninsula in the eleventh century has now been overturned by newer archeological and linguistic studies which puts the original homeland of the Somali people in Somaliland, which concludes that the Somalis are the indigenous inhabitants of the Horn of Africa for the last 7000 years.[66]

Ancient rock paintings, which date back 5000 years (estimated), have been found in Somaliland. These engravings depict early life in the territory.[67] The most famous of these is the Laas Geel complex. It contains some of the earliest known rock art on the African continent and features many elaborate pastoralist sketches of animal and human figures. In other places, such as the Dhambalin region, a depiction of a man on a horse is postulated as being one of the earliest known examples of a mounted huntsman.[67]

Inscriptions have been found beneath many of the rock paintings, but archaeologists have so far been unable to decipher this form of ancient writing.[68] During the Stone Age, the Doian and Hargeisan cultures flourished here with their respective industries and factories.[69]

The oldest evidence of burial customs in the Horn of Africa comes from cemeteries in Somalia dating back to 4th millennium BC.[70] The stone implements from the Jalelo site in Somalia are said to be the most important link in evidence of the universality in palaeolithic times between the East and the West.[71]

The Citadel of Gondershe was an important site in the medieval Ajuran Empire.
The Citadel of Gondershe was an important site in the medieval Ajuran Empire.

In antiquity, the ancestors of the Somali people were an important link in the Horn of Africa connecting the region's commerce with the rest of the ancient world. Somali sailors and merchants were the main suppliers of frankincense, myrrh and spices, items which were considered valuable luxuries by the Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Mycenaeans and Babylonians.[72][73]

According to most scholars, the ancient Land of Punt and its native inhabitants formed part of the ethnogenesis of the Somali people.[46][47][48][49] The ancient Puntites were a nation of people that had close relations with Pharaonic Egypt during the times of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut. The pyramidal structures, temples and ancient houses of dressed stone littered around Somalia may date from this period.[74]

In the classical era, the Macrobians, who may have been ancestral to the Automoli or ancient Somalis, established a powerful tribal kingdom that ruled large parts of modern Somalia. They were reputed for their longevity and wealth, and were said to be the "tallest and handsomest of all men".[75] The Macrobians were warrior herders and seafarers. According to Herodotus' account, the Persian Emperor Cambyses II, upon his conquest of Egypt (525 BC), sent ambassadors to Macrobia, bringing luxury gifts for the Macrobian king to entice his submission. The Macrobian ruler, who was elected based on his stature and beauty, replied instead with a challenge for his Persian counterpart in the form of an unstrung bow: if the Persians could manage to draw it, they would have the right to invade his country; but until then, they should thank the gods that the Macrobians never decided to invade their empire.[75][76] The Macrobians were a regional power reputed for their advanced architecture and gold wealth, which was so plentiful that they shackled their prisoners in golden chains.[76]

After the collapse of Macrobia, several ancient city-states, such as Opone, Essina, Sarapion, Nikon, Malao, Damo and Mosylon near Cape Guardafui, which competed with the Sabaeans, Parthians and Axumites for the wealthy Indo-Greco-Roman trade, also flourished in Somalia.[77]

The Ifat Sultanate's realm in the 14th century.
The Ifat Sultanate's realm in the 14th century.

Islam was introduced to the area early on by the first Muslims of Mecca fleeing prosecution during the first Hejira with Masjid al-Qiblatayn being built before the Qiblah towards Mecca. The town of Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in Africa.

Consequently the Somalis were some of the earliest non-Arabs that converted to Islam.[78] The peaceful conversion of the Somali population by Somali Muslim scholars in the following centuries, the ancient city-states eventually transformed into Islamic Mogadishu, Berbera, Zeila, Barawa, Hafun and Merca, which were part of the Berberi civilization. The city of Mogadishu came to be known as the City of Islam,[79] and controlled the East African gold trade for several centuries.[80]

The Somali Sultanate of Ifat, led by the Walashma dynasty with its capital at Zeila, ruled over parts of what is now eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland.[81][82] The historian al-Umari records that Ifat was situated near the Red Sea coast, and states its size as 15 days travel by 20 days travel. Its army numbered 15,000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. Al-Umari also credits Ifat with seven "mother cities": Belqulzar, Kuljura, Shimi, Shewa, Adal, Jamme and Laboo.[83]

In the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali empires dominated the regional trade including the Ajuran Sultanate, which excelled in hydraulic engineering and fortress building,[84] the Adal Sultanate, whose general Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Ahmed Gurey) was the first commander to use cannon warfare on the continent during Adal's conquest of the Ethiopian Empire,[85] and the Sultanate of the Geledi, whose military dominance forced governors of the Omani empire north of the city of Lamu to pay tribute to the Somali Sultan Ahmed Yusuf.[86] The Harla, an early group who inhabited parts of Somalia, Tchertcher and other areas in the Horn, also erected various tumuli.[87] These masons are believed to have been ancestral to the Somalis ("proto-Somali").[88]

Berbera was the most important port in the Horn of Africa between the 18th–19th centuries.[89] For centuries, Berbera had extensive trade relations with several historic ports in the Arabian Peninsula. Additionally, the Somali and Ethiopian interiors were very dependent on Berbera for trade, where most of the goods for export arrived from. During the 1833 trading season, the port town swelled to over 70,000 people, and upwards of 6,000 camels laden with goods arrived from the interior within a single day. Berbera was the main marketplace in the entire Somali seaboard for various goods procured from the interior, such as livestock, coffee, frankincense, myrrh, acacia gum, saffron, feathers, ghee, hide (skin), gold and ivory.[90] Historically, the port of Berbera was controlled indigenously between the mercantile Reer Ahmed Nur and Reer Yunis Nuh sub-clans of the Habar Awal.[91]

Illustration of Berbera, 1884
Illustration of Berbera, 1884

According to a trade journal published in 1856, Berbera was described as “the freest port in the world, and the most important trading place on the whole Arabian Gulf.”:

“The only seaports of importance on this coast are Feyla [Zeila] and Berbera; the former is an Arabian colony, dependent of Mocha, but Berbera is independent of any foreign power. It is, without having the name, the freest port in the world, and the most important trading place on the whole Arabian Gulf. From the beginning of November to the end of April, a large fair assembles in Berbera, and caravans of 6,000 camels at a time come from the interior loaded with coffee, (considered superior to Mocha in Bombay), gum, ivory, hides, skins, grain, cattle, and sour milk, the substitute of fermented drinks in these regions; also much cattle is brought there for the Aden market.”[92]

As a tributary of Mocha, which in turn was part of the Ottoman possessions in Western Arabia, the port of Zeila had seen several men placed as governors over the years. The Ottomans based in Yemen held nominal authority of Zeila when Sharmarke Ali Saleh, who was a successful and ambitious Somali merchant, purchased the rights of the town from the Ottoman governor of Mocha and Hodeida.[93]

Allee Shurmalkee [Ali Sharmarke] has since my visit either seized or purchased this town, and hoisted independent colours upon its walls; but as I know little or nothing save the mere fact of its possession by that Soumaulee chief, and as this change occurred whilst I was in Abyssinia, I shall not say anything more upon the subject.[94]

However, the previous governor was not eager to relinquish his control of Zeila. Hence in 1841, Sharmarke chartered two dhows (ships) along with fifty Somali Matchlock men and two cannons to target Zeila and depose its Arab Governor, Syed Mohammed Al Barr. Sharmarke initially directed his cannons at the city walls which frightened Al Barr's followers and caused them to abandon their posts and succeeded Al Barr as the ruler of Zeila. Sharmarke's governorship had an instant effect on the city, as he maneuvered to monopolize as much of the regional trade as possible, with his sights set as far as Harar and the Ogaden.[95][96]

In 1845, Sharmarke deployed a few matchlock men to wrest control of neighboring Berbera from that town's then feuding Somali local authorities.[97][98][99] Sharmarke's influence was not limited to the Somali coast as he had allies and influence in the interior of the Somali country, the Danakil coast and even further afield in Abyssinia. Among his allies were the Kings of Shewa. When there was tension between the Amir of Harar Abu Bakr II ibn `Abd al-Munan and Sharmarke, as a result of the Amir arresting one of his agents in Harar, Sharmarke persuaded the son of Sahle Selassie, ruler of Shewa, to imprison on his behalf about 300 citizens of Harar then resident in Shewa, for a length of two years.[100]

Dervish commander Haji Sudi on the left with his brother in-law Duale Idres. Aden, 1892.
Dervish commander Haji Sudi on the left with his brother in-law Duale Idres. Aden, 1892.

In the late 19th century, after the Berlin Conference had ended, the Scramble for Africa reached the Horn of Africa. Increasing foreign influence in the region culminated in the first darawiish becoming the Ali Gheri clan[101][102] the Drawiish had leaders such as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, Haji Sudi and Sultan Nur Ahmed Aman, who sought a state in the Nugaal[103] and began one of the longest African conflicts in history.[104][105] The news of the incident that sparked the 21 year long Dervish rebellion, according to the consul-general James Hayes Sadler, was spread or as he claimed was concocted by Sultan Nur of the Habr Yunis. The incident in question was that of a group of Somali children that were converted to Christianity and adopted by the French Catholic Mission at Berbera in 1899. Whether Sultan Nur experienced the incident first hand or whether he was told of it is not clear but what is known is that he propagated the incident in June 1899, precipitating the religious rebellion of the Dervishes.[106] The Dervish movement successfully stymied British forces four times and forced them to retreat to the coastal region.[107] As a result of its successes against the British, the Dervish movement received support from the Ottomans and Germans. The Ottoman government also named Hassan Emir of the Somali nation,[108] and the German government promised to officially recognise any territories the Dervishes were to acquire.[109] After a quarter of a century of military successes against the British, the Dervishes were finally defeated by Britain in 1920 in part due to the successful deployment of the newly-formed Royal Air Force by the British government.

Ali Yusuf Kenadid, 2nd Sultan of the Hobyo Sultanate.

Majeerteen Sultanate was founded in the early-18th century. It rose to prominence in the following century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud.[110] His Kingdom controlled Bari Karkaar, Nugaaal, and also central Somalia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Majeerteen Sultanate maintained a robust trading network, entered into treaties with foreign powers, and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front.[111][112]

The Majeerteen Sultanate was nearly destroyed in the late-1800s by a power struggle between Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud of the Majeerteen Sultanate and his ambitious cousin, Yusuf Ali Kenadid who founded a separate Kingdom, Sultanate of Hobyo in 1878. Initially Kenadid wanted to seize control of the neighbouring Majeerteen Sultanate, ruled by his cousin Mahamuud. However, he was unsuccessful in this endeavour, and was eventually forced into exile in Yemen.[113] Both sultanates also maintained written records of their activities, which still exist.[114]

Sultan Abdillahi Deria, a prominent Grand Sultan of British Somaliland of the delegation sent from British Somaliland Protectorate to the British government in London to appeal for the return of Haud Reserve Area, a territory ceded by the British to Ethiopia in 1954.
Sultan Abdillahi Deria, a prominent Grand Sultan of British Somaliland of the delegation sent from British Somaliland Protectorate to the British government in London to appeal for the return of Haud Reserve Area, a territory ceded by the British to Ethiopia in 1954.

In late 1888, Sultan Yusuf Ali Kenadid entered into a treaty with the Italian government, making his Sultanate of Hobyo an Italian protectorate known as Italian Somalia. His rival Boqor Osman Mahamuud was to sign a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Majeerteen Sultanate the following year. In signing the agreements, both rulers also hoped to exploit the rival objectives of the European imperial powers so as to more effectively assure the continued independence of their territories.[115] The Italians, for their part, were interested in the territories mainly because of its ports specifically Port of Bosaso which could grant them access to the strategically important Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden.[116] The terms of each treaty specified that Italy was to steer clear of any interference in the Sultanates' respective administrations.[115] In return for Italian arms and an annual subsidy, the Sultans conceded to a minimum of oversight and economic concessions.[117] The Italians also agreed to dispatch a few ambassadors to promote both the Sultanates' and their own interests.[115] The new protectorates were thereafter managed by Vincenzo Filonardi through a chartered company.[117] An Anglo-Italian border protocol was later signed on 5 May 1894, followed by an agreement in 1906 between Cavalier Pestalozza and General Swaine acknowledging that Baran fell under the Majeerteen Sultanate's administration.[115] With the gradual extension into northern Somalia of Italian colonial rule, both Kingdoms were eventually annexed in the early 20th century.[118] However, unlike the southern territories, the northern sultanates were not subject to direct rule due to the earlier treaties they had signed with the Italians.[119]

Following World War II, Britain retained control of both British Somaliland and Italian Somalia as protectorates. In 1945, during the Potsdam Conference, the United Nations granted Italy trusteeship of Italian Somalia, but only under close supervision and on the condition — first proposed by the Somali Youth League (SYL) and other nascent Somali political organizations, such as Hizbia Digil Mirifle Somali (HDMS) and the Somali National League (SNL) — that Somalia achieve independence within ten years.[120][121] British Somalia remained a protectorate of Britain until 1960.[122]

To the extent that Italy held the territory by UN mandate, the trusteeship provisions gave the Somalis the opportunity to gain experience in political education and self-government. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali Republic state, did not have. Although in the 1950s British colonial officials attempted, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated. The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would cause serious difficulties when it came time to integrate the two parts.[123]

Meanwhile, in 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of the Somalis,[124] the British ceded official control of the Haud (an important Somali grazing area that was brought under British protection via treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against raids by Somali clans.[125] Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them.[120] This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to purchase back the Somali lands it had turned over.[120] The British government also granted administration of the almost exclusively Somali-inhabited[126] Northern Frontier District (NFD) to the Kenyan government despite an informal plebiscite demonstrating the overwhelming desire of the region's population to join the newly formed Somali Republic.[127]

Mahmoud Harbi, a Somali politician who campaigned for French Somalia to join a united Somali state.
Mahmoud Harbi, a Somali politician who campaigned for French Somalia to join a united Somali state.

A referendum was held in neighboring Djibouti (then known as French Somaliland) in 1958, on the eve of Somalia's independence in 1960, to decide whether or not to join the Somali Republic or to remain with France. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, largely due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans.[128] There was also widespread vote rigging, with the French expelling thousands of Somalis before the referendum reached the polls.[129] The majority of those who voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia, as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council. Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later.[128] Djibouti finally gained its independence from France in 1977, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958, eventually wound up as Djibouti's first president (1977–1991).[128]

British Somaliland became independent on 26 June 1960 as the State of Somaliland, and the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somalia) followed suit five days later.[130] On 1 July 1960, the two territories united to form the Somali Republic, albeit within boundaries drawn up by Italy and Britain.[131][132] A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa Mohamud and Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal other members of the trusteeship and protectorate governments, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as president of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as the president of the Somali Republic and Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister (later to become president from 1967 to 1969). On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960. The constitution was rejected by the people of Somaliland.[133] In 1967, Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal became Prime Minister, a position to which he was appointed by Shermarke.

On 15 October 1969, while paying a visit to the northern town of Las Anod, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on 21 October 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.[134]

Alongside Barre, the Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) that assumed power after President Sharmarke's assassination was led by Lieutenant Colonel Salaad Gabeyre Kediye and Chief of Police Jama Korshel. The SRC subsequently renamed the country the Somali Democratic Republic,[135][136] dissolved the parliament and the Supreme Court, and suspended the constitution.[137]

The revolutionary army established large-scale public works programs and successfully implemented an urban and rural literacy campaign, which helped dramatically increase the literacy rate. In addition to a nationalization program of industry and land, the new regime's foreign policy placed an emphasis on Somalia's traditional and religious links with the Arab world, eventually joining the Arab League (AL) in 1974.[138] That same year, Barre also served as chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU).[139]

Discover more about History related topics

History of Somalia

History of Somalia

Somalia, officially the Federal Republic of Somalia and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. The country was an important centre for commerce with the rest of the ancient world, and according to most scholars, it is among the most probable locations of the fabled ancient Land of Punt. During the Middle Ages, several powerful Somali states and port towns dominated the regional trade, the Mogadishu Sultanate and Ajuran Sultanate both centered around the port town Mogadishu, but also the port towns of Barawe and Merca.

History of Somaliland

History of Somaliland

The history of Somaliland, a country in the eastern Horn of Africa bordered by the Gulf of Aden, and the East African land mass, begins with human habitation tens of thousands of years ago. It includes the civilizations of Punt, the Ottomans, and colonial influences from Europe and the Middle East.

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia refers to the seafaring tradition of the Somali people. It includes various stages of Somali navigational technology, shipbuilding and design, as well as the history of the Somali port cities. It also covers the historical sea routes taken by Somali sailors which sustained the commercial enterprises of the historical Somali kingdoms and empires, in addition to the contemporary maritime culture of Somalia.

Adal Sultanate

Adal Sultanate

The Adal Sultanate, or the Adal Empire or the ʿAdal or the Bar Saʿad dīn was a medieval Sunni Muslim Empire which was located in the Horn of Africa. It was founded by Sabr ad-Din II after the fall of the Sultanate of Ifat. The kingdom flourished circa 1415 to 1577. The sultanate and state were established by the local inhabitants of Zeila. or the Harar plateau. At its height, the polity under Sultan Badlay controlled the territory stretching from Somaliland to the port city of Suakin in Sudan. The Adal Empire maintained a robust commercial and political relationship with the Ottoman Empire.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east and northeast, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. Ethiopia has a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres. As of 2022, it is home to around 113.5 million inhabitants, making it the 12th-most populous country in the world and the 2nd-most populous in Africa after Nigeria. The national capital and largest city, Addis Ababa, lies several kilometres west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the African and Somali tectonic plates.

Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa

The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula and geopolitical region in East Africa. Located on the easternmost part of the African mainland, it is the fourth largest peninsula in the world. It is composed of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti; broader definitions also include parts or all of Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. The term Greater Horn Region (GHR) can additionally include Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania. It lies along the southern boundary of the Red Sea and extends hundreds of kilometres into the Guardafui Channel, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean and shares a maritime border with the Arabian Peninsula of Western Asia.

Cave painting

Cave painting

Cave paintings are a type of parietal art, found on the wall or ceilings of caves. The term usually implies prehistoric origin, and the oldest known are more than 40,000 years old, found in the caves in the district of Maros. The oldest are often constructed from hand stencils and simple geometric shapes. However, more recently, in 2021, cave art of a pig found in an Indonesian island, and dated to over 45,500 years ago, has been reported.

Laas Geel

Laas Geel

Laas Geel, also spelled Laas Gaal, are cave formations on the rural outskirts of Hargeisa, Somaliland, situated in the Maroodi Jeex region of the country. They contain some of the earliest known cave paintings of domesticated African aurochs in the Horn of Africa. Laas Geel's rock art is estimated to date to circa 3,500-2,500 BC.

Africa

Africa

Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.4 billion people as of 2021, it accounts for about 18% of the world's human population. Africa's population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Despite a wide range of natural resources, Africa is the least wealthy continent per capita and second-least wealthy by total wealth, behind Oceania. Scholars have attributed this to different factors including geography, climate, tribalism, colonialism, the Cold War, neocolonialism, lack of democracy, and corruption. Despite this low concentration of wealth, recent economic expansion and the large and young population make Africa an important economic market in the broader global context.

Dhambalin

Dhambalin

Dhambalin is an archaeological site in the central Sahil province of Somaliland. The sandstone rock shelter contains rock art depicting various animals such as horned cattle and goats, as well as giraffes, an animal no longer found in the country. The site also features the earliest known pictures of sheep in Somaliland. Discovered in autumn 2007, residents of Beenyo Dhaadheer reported the rock art to the Somali archaeologist Sada Mire, Director of the Department of Archaeology within the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Somaliland.

Epigraphy

Epigraphy

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the writing and the writers. Specifically excluded from epigraphy are the historical significance of an epigraph as a document and the artistic value of a literary composition. A person using the methods of epigraphy is called an epigrapher or epigraphist. For example, the Behistun inscription is an official document of the Achaemenid Empire engraved on native rock at a location in Iran. Epigraphists are responsible for reconstructing, translating, and dating the trilingual inscription and finding any relevant circumstances. It is the work of historians, however, to determine and interpret the events recorded by the inscription as document. Often, epigraphy and history are competences practised by the same person. Epigraphy is a primary tool of archaeology when dealing with literate cultures. The US Library of Congress classifies epigraphy as one of the auxiliary sciences of history. Epigraphy also helps identify a forgery: epigraphic evidence formed part of the discussion concerning the James Ossuary.

Buur Heybe

Buur Heybe

Buur Heybe, which translates to "The Hill of the Potter's Sand", is a late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological complex located in the largest granite inselberg in the inter-riverine region of the southern Bay province of Somalia approximately 180 km northwest of the capital Mogadishu. Buur Heybe has a longstanding history of archaeological research dating back to the 1930s when Paolo Graziosi carried out the first professional archaeological excavation in Somalia in the rockshelter site of Gogoshiis Qabe in Buur Heybe. Further excavations by J. Desmond Clark in the 1950s and later by the Buur Ecological and Archaeological Project (BEAP) led by Steven Brandt in the 1980s have made Buur Heybe one of the best dated and closely studied archaeological sites in Somalia.

Demographics

Clans

Somali nomad belonging to the Habr Awal clan
Somali nomad belonging to the Habr Awal clan

Somalis are ethnically of Cushitic ancestry, but have genealogical traditions of descent from various patriarchs associated with the spread of Islam.[140] Being one tribe, they are segmented into various clan groupings, which are important kinship units that play a central part in Somali culture and politics. Clan families are patrilineal, and are divided into clans, primary lineages or subclans, and dia-paying kinship groups. The lineage terms qabiil, qolo, jilib and reer are often interchangeably used to indicate the different segmentation levels. The clan represents the highest kinship level. It owns territorial properties and is typically led by a clan-head or Sultan. Primary lineages are immediately descended from the clans, and are exogamous political units with no formally installed leader. They comprise the segmentation level that an individual usually indicates he or she belongs to, with their founding patriarch reckoned to between six and ten generations.[141]

The five major clan families are the traditionally nomadic pastoralist Dir, Isaaq, Darod, Hawiye and the sedentary agropastoralist Rahanweyn.[141] Minor Somali clans include Benadiri.[142]

The Dir, Hawiye, Gardere (Gaalje'el, Degodia, Garre), Hawadle and Ajuran trace agnatic origins to the patriarch Samaale.[143][144] Sheikh Darod is asserted to have married a woman from the Dir (while some accounts say Hawiye[145][146]), thus establishing matrilateral ties with the Samaale family.[143] The Darod have separate paternal traditions of descent through Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti (Sheikh Darod), who is said to have Arabian Banu Hashim origins through Aqiil Abu Talib ibn Abd al-Muttalib arriving at a later date from the Arabian peninsula, in the 10th or 11th centuries[147] and the Isaaq clan traces paternal descent to the Islamic leader Sheikh Isaaq Bin Ahmed Al Hashimi (Sheikh Isaaq), however contemporary genetic studies indicate that none of these clans possess any noticeable Arab ancestry.[148][149][150][151][152] The Rahanweyn or Sab trace their stirp to the patriarch Sab. Both Samaale and Sab are supposed to have ultimately descended from a common lineage originating in the Arabian peninsula.[143] These traditions of descent from elite Arab forefathers, who settled on the littoral, are debated, although they are based on early Arab documents and northern oral folklore.[153]

A comprehensive genealogy of Somali clans can be found in Abbink (2009), providing detailed family trees and historical background information.[154]

The tombs of the founders of the Darod, Dir and Isaaq major clans, as well as the Abgaal subclan of the Hawiye are all located in northern Somalia. Tradition holds this general area as an ancestral homeland of the Somali people.[142]

Kinship

The traditional political unit among the Somali people has been kinships.[153] Dia-paying groups are groupings of a few small lineages, each consisting of a few hundred to a few thousand members. They trace their foundation to between four and eight generations. Members are socially contracted to support each other in jural and political duties, including paying or receiving dia or blood compensation (mag in Somali).[141] Compensation is obligatory in regards to actions committed by or against a dia-paying group, including blood-compensation in the event of damage, injury or death.[153][155][156]

Social stratification

Notable leaders and elders of the Biimaal clan in Merca
Notable leaders and elders of the Biimaal clan in Merca

Within traditional Somali society (as in other ethnic groups of the Horn of Africa and the wider region), there has been social stratification.[157][158][159] According to the historian Donald Levine, these comprised high-ranking clans, low-ranking clans, caste groups, and slaves.[160] This rigid hierarchy and concepts of lineal purity contrast with the relative egalitarianism in clan leadership and political control.[158]

Nobles constituted the upper tier and were known as bilis. They consist of individuals of ethnic Somali ancestral origin, and have been endogamous.[161]

The lower tier was designated as Sab, and was distinguished by its heterogeneous constitution and agropastoral lifestyle as well as some linguistic and cultural differences. A third Somali caste strata was made up of artisanal groups, which were endogamous and hereditary.[143] Among the caste groups, the Midgan were traditionally hunters and circumcision performers.[162][163] The Tumal (also spelled Tomal) were smiths and leatherworkers, and the Yibir (also spelled Yebir) were the tanners and magicians.[164][165]

According to the anthropologist Virginia Luling, the artisanal caste groups of the north closely resembled their higher caste kinsmen, being generally Caucasoid like other ethnic Somalis.[166] Although ethnically indistinguishable from each other, state Mohamed Eno and Abdi Kusow, upper castes have stigmatized the lower ones.[167]

Outside of the Somali caste system were slaves of Bantu origin and physiognomy.[168] Their distinct physical features and occupations differentiated them from Somalis and positioned them as inferior within the social hierarchy.[169][170]

Marriage

A traditional Somali wedding basket.
A traditional Somali wedding basket.

Among Somali clans, in order to strengthen alliance ties, marriage is often to another ethnic Somali from a different clan. According to I. M. Lewis, of 89 marriages initiated by men of the Dhulbahante clan, 55 (62%) were therefore with women of Dhulbahante subclans other than those of their husbands; 30 (33.7%) were with women of adjacent clans of other clan families (Isaaq, 28; Hawiye, 3); and 3 (4.3%) were with women of other clans of the Darod clan family (Majerteen 2, Ogaden 1).[171]

Such exogamy is always followed by the dia-paying group and usually adhered to by the primary lineage, whereas marriage to lineal kin falls within the prohibited range.[172] These traditional strictures against consanguineous marriage ruled out the patrilateral first cousin marriages that are favored by Arab Bedouins and specially approved by Islam. These marriages were practiced to a limited degree by certain northern Somali subclans.[171] In areas inhabited by diverse clans, such as the southern Mogadishu area, endogamous marriages also served as a means of ensuring clan solidarity in uncertain socio-political circumstances.[173] This inclination was further spurred on by intensified contact with Arab society in the Gulf, wherein first cousin marriage was preferred. Although politically expedient, such endogamous marriage created tension with the traditional principles within Somali culture.[174]

In 1975, the most prominent government reforms regarding family law in a Muslim country were set in motion in the Somali Democratic Republic, which put women and men, including husbands and wives, on complete equal footing.[175] The 1975 Somali Family Law gave men and women equal division of property between the husband and wife upon divorce and the exclusive right to control by each spouse over his or her personal property.[176]

FGM is almost universal in Somalia, and many women undergo infibulation, the most extreme form of female genital mutilation.[177] According to a 2005 WHO estimate, about 97.9% of Somalia's women and girls underwent FGM. This was at the time the world's highest prevalence rate of the procedure.[178]

Religion

The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is the largest masjid in the Horn region.
The Mosque of Islamic Solidarity in Mogadishu is the largest masjid in the Horn region.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, the creed breakdown of Muslims in the Somali-majority Djibouti is as follows: 77% adhere to Sunnism, 8% are non-denominational Muslim, 2% are Shia and 13% declined to answer, and a further report inclusive of Somali Region stipulating 2% adherence to a minority sect (e.g. Ibadism, Quranism etc.).[179] There are some nobles who believe with great pride that they are of Arabian ancestry, and trace their stirp to Muhammad's lineage of Quraysh and those of his companions. Although they do not consider themselves culturally Arabs, except for the shared religion, their presumed noble Arabian origins genealogically unite them.[180] The purpose behind claiming genealogical traditions of descent from the Arabian Peninsula is used to reinforce one's lineage and the various associated patriarchs with the spread of Islam.[140]

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Demographics of Somalia

Demographics of Somalia

The demographics of Somalis encompass the demographic features of Somalia's inhabitants, including ethnicity, language, population density, education level, health, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. Somalia is believed to be one of the most homogeneous countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Habr Awal

Habr Awal

The Habr Awal, also contemporarily known as the Subeer Awal, and alternately romanized as the Zubeyr Awal is a major clan of the wider Isaaq clan family, and is further divided into eight sub-clans of whom the two largest and most prominent are the Sa'ad Musa and Issa Musa sub-clans. Its members form a part of the Habr Magaadle confederation. The Habr Awal traditionally consists of nomadic pastoralists, coastal people, merchants and farmers. They are historically viewed as an affluent clan relative to other Somali clans. The Habr Awal are politically and economically influential in present-day Somaliland, and reside in strategic coastal and fertile lands.

Clan

Clan

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clans may claim descent from founding member or apical ancestor. Clans, in indigenous societies, tend to be endogamous, meaning that their members can marry one another. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show that they are an independent clan. Kinship-based groups may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor who serves as a symbol of the clan's unity.

Kinship

Kinship

In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. Anthropologist Robin Fox says that the study of kinship is the study of what humans do with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc. Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but [we] can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic, political and religious groups.

Dir (clan)

Dir (clan)

The Dir is one of the largest and most prominent Somali clans in the Horn of Africa. They are also considered to be the oldest Somali stock to have inhabited the region. Its members inhabit Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya.

Isaaq

Isaaq

The Isaaq is a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large and densely populated traditional territory.

Darod

Darod

The Darod is a Somali clan. The forefather of this clan was Sheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, more commonly known as Darood. The clan primarily settles the apex of the Horn of Africa and its peripheries, the Somali hinterlands up to Oromia, and both sides of the Kenya-Somalia border.

Hawiye

Hawiye

The Hawiye is the largest Somali clan family. Members of this clan traditionally inhabit central and southern Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia and the North Eastern Province in Kenya. They are also the majority in the capital city, Mogadishu.

Benadiri people

Benadiri people

The Banaadiri people are a Somali tribe confederation in Somalia. Banaadiris largely inhabit Somalia's southern coastline.

Gardhere

Gardhere

Gardhere or Gardere or Garder also more commonly known as Gardhere Samale Bin Xill is the first born of Somali Bin Xill also Known as Samaale Bin Xill the Father of all Somalis and Brother to Saab Bin Xill Who is an Uncle to Gardhere Somali Bin Xill. Gardhere descendants are now a large Somali clan that inhabits vast territories in Kenya, Southern Ethiopia, Djibouti and Southern Somalia. Notable sub-clans who belong to the Gardhere Samale are the Garjante, Degodia, Gaalje'el, Masare, Ciise, Garre, and Awrmale whom all trace descent from Gardheere Samaale. Therefore saransoor in general are not part of hawiya.

Gaalje'el

Gaalje'el

The Gaalje'el, , Galjecel is one of the largest Somali clans, whose origins trace back to Samaale. The Galje'el clan belong to the Saransor family of clans, alongside the Issa, Masare and Degodia.

Garre

Garre

The Garre is a major Somali clan whose origins trace back to Samaale who traces the lineage from the Arabian Peninsula through Aqiil Abu Talib. The Garre clan are considered to belong to the Digil clan family sub-clan of Digil-Rahanweyn clan of Rahanweyn Somali clan but genealogically descend from Gardheere Samaale. They are also categorized as southern Hawiye as well.

Languages

Old Somali stone tablet: After Somali had lost its ancient writing script,[181] Somali scholars over the following centuries developed a writing system known as Wadaad writing to transcribe the language.
Old Somali stone tablet: After Somali had lost its ancient writing script,[181] Somali scholars over the following centuries developed a writing system known as Wadaad writing to transcribe the language.

The Somali language (Af-Soomaali) is a member of the Cushitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Its nearest relatives are the Afar and Saho languages.[182] Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages,[183] with academic studies of it dating from before 1900.

Speech sample in Standard Somali.

The exact number of speakers of Somali is unknown. One source estimates that there are 7.78 million speakers of Somali within Somalia and Somalia themselves and 12.65 million speakers globally.[184] The Somali language is spoken by ethnic Somalis in Greater Somalia and the Somali diaspora.

Somali language books on display.
Somali language books on display.

Somali dialects are divided into three main groups: Northern, Benaadir, and Maay. Northern Somali (or Northern-Central Somali) forms the basis for Standard Somali. Benaadir (also known as Coastal Somali) is spoken on the Benadir coast from Adale to south of Merca, including Mogadishu, as well as in the immediate hinterland. The coastal dialects have additional phonemes which do not exist in Standard Somali. Maay is principally spoken by the Digil and Mirifle (Rahanweyn) clans in the southwestern areas of Somalia.[185]

A number of writing systems have been used over the years for transcribing the Somali language. Of these, the Somali Latin alphabet is the most widely used, and has been the official writing script in Somalia since the government of former President of Somalia Mohamed Siad Barre formally introduced it in October 1972.[186] The script was developed by the Somali linguist Shire Jama Ahmed specifically for the Somali language. It uses all letters of the Latin alphabet, except p, v, and z. Besides the Latin script, other orthographies that have been used for centuries for writing Somali include the long-established Arabic script and Wadaad writing. Other writing systems developed in the twentieth century include the Osmanya, Borama and Kaddare scripts, which were invented by Osman Yusuf Kenadid, Abdurahman Sheikh Nuur and Hussein Sheikh Ahmed Kaddare, respectively.[187]

In addition to Somali, Arabic, which is also an Afro-Asiatic tongue, is an official national language in Somalia, Somalia and Djibouti. Many Somalis speak it due to centuries-old ties with the Arab world, the far-reaching influence of the Arabic media, and religious education.[188] Somalia and Djibouti are also both members of the Arab League.[42][189]

Discover more about Languages related topics

Somali language

Somali language

Somali is an Afroasiatic language belonging to the Cushitic branch. It is spoken as a mother tongue by Somalis in Greater Somalia and the Somali diaspora. Somali is an official language in Somalia and Ethiopia, and a national language in Djibouti as well as in northeastern Kenya. The Somali language is written officially with the Latin alphabet although the Arabic alphabet and several Somali scripts like Osmanya, Kaddare and the Borama script are informally used.

Somali literature

Somali literature

Somali literature is the literature used by the ethnic Somalis of Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Cushitic languages

Cushitic languages

The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa, with minorities speaking Cushitic languages to the north in Egypt and the Sudan, and to the south in Kenya and Tanzania. As of 2012, the Cushitic languages with over one million speakers were Oromo, Somali, Beja, Afar, Hadiyya, Kambaata, Saho, and Sidama.

Afroasiatic languages

Afroasiatic languages

The Afroasiatic languages, also known as Hamito-Semitic, or Semito-Hamitic, and sometimes also as Afrasian, Erythraean or Lisramic, are a language family of about 300 languages that are spoken predominantly in the geographic subregions of Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahara/Sahel. With the exception of its Semitic branch, all branches of the Afroasiatic family are exclusively native to the African continent.

Afar language

Afar language

The Afar language is an Afroasiatic language belonging to the Cushitic branch. It is spoken by the Afar people inhabiting Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Saho language

Saho language

The Saho language is an Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia. It belongs to the family's Cushitic branch.

Adale

Adale

Adale, also known as Cadaley, is a coastal town in the southern Middle Shabelle region of Somalia.

Merca

Merca

Merca is a historic port city in the southern Lower Shebelle province of Somalia. It is located approximately 109 km (68 mi) to the southwest of the nation's capital Mogadishu. Merca is the traditional home territory of the Bimal clan and was the center of the Bimal Revolt or Merka Revolt.

Phoneme

Phoneme

In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that can distinguish one word from another in a particular language.

Rahanweyn

Rahanweyn

The Rahanweyn, also known as the Digil and Mirifle are a Somali clan. It is one of the major Somali clans in the Horn of Africa, with a large territory and densely populated fertile valleys of the Jubba and Shebelle rivers and the area between are mainly inhabited by settlers from the Digil and Mirifle lineages.

Somali Latin alphabet

Somali Latin alphabet

The Somali Latin alphabet is an official writing script in the Federal Republic of Somalia and its constituent Federal Member States. It was developed by a number of leading scholars of Somali, including Musa Haji Ismail Galal, B. W. Andrzejewski and Shire Jama Ahmed specifically for transcribing the Somali language, and is based on the Latin script. The Somali Latin alphabet uses all letters of the English Latin alphabet with the exception of p, v and z. There are no diacritics or other special characters, although it includes three consonant digraphs: DH, KH and SH. Tone is not marked and a word-initial glottal stop is also not shown. Capital letters are used for names and at the beginning of a sentence.

Shire Jama Ahmed

Shire Jama Ahmed

Shire Jama Ahmed was a Somali linguist and a scholar. He is notable for his contribution to the creation of the modern Latin script for transcribing the Somali language.

Culture

Somali woman shows traditional incense during an event to showcase traditional Somali culture
Somali woman shows traditional incense during an event to showcase traditional Somali culture
Somali woman building a Somali aqal or buul
Somali woman building a Somali aqal or buul

The culture of Somalia is an amalgamation of traditions developed independently and through interaction with neighbouring and far away civilizations, such as other parts of Northeast Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, India and Southeast Asia.[190]

The textile-making communities in Somalia are a continuation of an ancient textile industry, as is the culture of wood carving, pottery and monumental architecture that dominates Somali interiors and landscapes. The cultural diffusion of Somali commercial enterprise can be detected in its cuisine, which contains Southeast Asian influences. Due to the Somali people's passionate love for and facility with poetry, Somalia has often been referred to by scholars as a "Nation of Poets" and a "Nation of Bards" including, among others, the Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence.[191]

According to Canadian novelist and scholar Margaret Laurence, who originally coined the term "Nation of Poets" to describe the Somali Peninsular, the Eidagale clan were viewed as "the recognized experts in the composition of poetry" by their fellow Somali contemporaries:

Among the tribes, the Eidagalla are the recognized experts in the composition of poetry. One individual poet of the Eidagalla may be no better than a good poet of another tribe, but the Eidagalla appear to have more poets than any other tribe. "if you had a hundred Eidagalla men here," Hersi Jama once told me, "And asked which of them could sing his own gabei ninety-five would be able to sing. The others would still be learning."[192]

All of these traditions, including festivals, martial arts, dress, literature, sport and games such as Shax, have immensely contributed to the enrichment of Somali heritage.

Music

Somalis have a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore. Most Somali songs are pentatonic. That is, they only use five pitches per octave in contrast to a heptatonic (seven note) scale, such as the major scale. At first listen, Somali music might be mistaken for the sounds of nearby regions such as Ethiopia, Sudan or Arabia, but it is ultimately recognizable by its own unique tunes and styles. Somali songs are usually the product of collaboration between lyricists (midho), songwriters (laxan) and singers (Codka or "voice").[193]

Musicians and bands

Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame.
Somali singer Saado Ali Warsame.
  • Aar Maanta – UK-based Somali singer, composer, writer and music producer.
  • Abdi Sinimo – Prominent Somali artist and inventor of the Balwo musical style.
  • Abdullahi Qarshe – Somali musician, poet and playwright known for his innovative styles of music, which included a wide variety of musical instruments such as the guitar, piano and oud.
  • Ali Feiruz – Somali musician from Djibouti; part of the Radio Hargeisa generation of Somali artists.
  • Dur-Dur – Somali band active during the 1980s and 1990s in Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
  • Hasan Adan Samatar – popular male artist during the 1970s and 80s.
  • Hibo Nuura - popular Somali singer.
  • Jonis Bashir – Somali-Italian actor and singer
  • Khadija Qalanjo – popular Somali singer in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • K'naan – award-winning Somali-Canadian hip hop artist.
  • Magool (2 May 1948 – 19 March 2004) – prominent Somali singer considered in Somalia as one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
  • Maryam Mursal (born 1950) – Somali musician, composer and vocalist whose work has been produced by the record label Real World.
  • Mohammed Mooge – Prominent Somali artist from the Radio Hargeisa generation.
  • Poly Styrene – Somali-British punk rock singer; best known as being the lead singer of X Ray Spex.
  • Saado Ali Warsame – Somali singer-songwriter and modern Qaraami exponent.
  • Waaberi – Somalia's foremost musical group that toured through several countries in Northeast Africa and Asia, including Egypt, Sudan and China.
  • Waayaha Cusub – Somali music collective. Organized the international Reconciliation Music Festival in 2013 in Mogadishu.

Cinema and theatre

Somali film producer and director Ali Said Hassan.
Somali film producer and director Ali Said Hassan.

Growing out of the Somali people's rich storytelling tradition, the first few feature-length Somali films and cinematic festivals emerged in the early 1960s, immediately after independence. Following the creation of the Somali Film Agency (SFA) regulatory body in 1975, the local film scene began to expand rapidly. Hassan Sheikh Mumin was considered one of the most prolific and early playwrights and composers in Somali literature. Mumin's most important work is Shabeel Naagood (1965), a piece that touches on the social position of women, urbanization, changing traditional practices, and the importance of education during the early pre-independence period. Although the issues it describes were later to some degree redressed, the work remains a mainstay of Somali literature.[194] Shabeel Naagood was translated into English in 1974 under the title Leopard Among the Women by the Somali Studies pioneer Bogumił W. Andrzejewski, who also wrote the introduction. Mumin composed both the play itself and the music used in it.[195] The piece is regularly featured in various school curricula, including Oxford University, which first published the English translation under its press house.

During one decisive passage in the play, the heroine, Shallaayo, laments that she has been tricked into a false marriage by the Leopard in the title:

"Women have no share in the encampments of this world

And it is men who made these laws, to their own advantage.

By God, by God, men are our enemies, though we ourselves nurtured them

We suckled them at our breasts, and they maimed us:

We do not share peace with them."

The Somali filmmaker Ali Said Hassan concurrently served as the SFA's representative in Rome. In the 1970s and early 1980s, popular musicals known as riwaayado were the main driving force behind the Somali movie industry.

Epic and period films as well as international co-productions followed suit, facilitated by the proliferation of video technology and national television networks. Said Salah Ahmed during this period directed his first feature film, The Somali Darwish (The Somalia Dervishes), devoted to the Dervish movement. In the 1990s and 2000s, a new wave of more entertainment-oriented movies emerged. Referred to as Somaliwood, this upstart, youth-based cinematic movement has energized the Somali film industry and in the process introduced innovative storylines, marketing strategies and production techniques. The young directors Abdisalam Aato of Olol Films and Abdi Malik Isak are at the forefront of this quiet revolution.[196]

Art

A Somali woman with kohl eyes.
A Somali woman with kohl eyes.
Somali women knitting
Somali women knitting

Somalis have old visual art traditions, which include pottery, jewelry and wood carving. In the medieval period, affluent urbanites commissioned local wood and marble carvers to work on their interiors and houses. Intricate patterns also adorn the mihrabs and pillars of ancient Somali mosques. Artistic carving was considered the province of men, whereas the textile industry was mainly that of women. Among the nomads, carving, especially woodwork, was widespread and could be found on the most basic objects such as spoons, combs and bowls. It also included more complex structures, such as the portable nomadic house, the aqal. In the last several decades, traditional carving of windows, doors and furniture have given way to workshops employing electrical machinery, which deliver the same results in a far shorter time period.[197]

Additionally, henna is an important part of Somali culture. It is worn by Somali women on their hands, arms, feet and neck during wedding ceremonies, Eid, Ramadan and other festive occasions. Somali henna designs are similar to those in the Arabian peninsula, often featuring flower motifs and triangular shapes. The palm is also frequently decorated with a dot of henna and the fingertips are dipped in the dye. Henna parties are usually held before the wedding takes place. Somali women have likewise traditionally applied kohl (kuul) to their eyes.[198] Usage of the eye cosmetic in the Horn region is believed to date to the ancient Land of Punt.[199]

Sports

Mo Farah the most decorated athlete in British athletics history
Mo Farah the most decorated athlete in British athletics history

Football is the most popular sport amongst Somalis. Important competitions are the Somalia League and Somalia Cup. The Ocean Stars is Somalia's multi-ethnic national team.[200]

Basketball is also played in the country. The FIBA Africa Championship 1981 was hosted in Mogadishu from 15 to 23 December December 1981, during which the national basketball team received the bronze medal.[201] The squad also takes part in the basketball event at the Pan Arab Games. Other team sports include badminton, baseball, table tennis, and volleyball.[200]

In the martial arts, Faisal Jeylani Aweys and Mohamed Deq Abdulle also took home a silver medal and fourth place, respectively, at the 2013 Open World Taekwondo Challenge Cup in Tongeren. The Somali National Olympic committee has devised a special support program to ensure continued success in future tournaments.[202] Additionally, Mohamed Jama has won both world and European titles in K1 and Thai Boxing.[203] Other individuals sports include judo, boxing, athletics, weight lifting, swimming, rowing, fencing and wrestling.[200] Somalis have also produced many world-class distance runners like their neighboring countries with Mo Farah, Abdi Bile and Mohammed Ahmed.

Attire

Somali man wearing a macawis sarong.
Somali man wearing a macawis sarong.

Traditionally, Somali men typically wear the macawis. It is a sarong that is worn around the waist. On their heads, they often wrap a colorful turban or wear the koofiyad, which is an embroidered fez.[204]

Due to Somalia's proximity to and close ties with the Arabian Peninsula, many Somali men also wear the jellabiya (jellabiyad or qamiis). The costume is a long white garment common in the Arab world.[205]

Somali woman in traditional Guntino.
Somali woman in traditional Guntino.

During regular, day-to-day activities, Somali women usually wear the guntiino. It is a long stretch of cloth tied over the shoulder and draped around the waist. The cloth is usually made out of alandi, which is a textile that is common in the Horn region and some parts of North Africa. The garment can be worn in different styles. It can also be made with other fabrics, including white cloth with gold borders. For more formal settings, such as at weddings or religious celebrations like Eid, women wear the dirac. It is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress made of silk, chiffon, taffeta or saree fabric. The gown is worn over a full-length half-slip and a brassiere. Known as the gorgorad, the underskirt is made out of silk and serves as a key part of the overall outfit. The dirac is usually sparkly and very colorful, the most popular styles being those with gilded borders or threads.[204]

Married women tend to wear headscarves referred to as shaash. They also often cover their upper body with a shawl, which is known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian garb, such as the jilbab and abaya, is also commonly worn.[204]

Additionally, Somali women have a long tradition of wearing gold jewelry, particularly bangles. During weddings, the bride is frequently adorned in gold. Many Somali women by tradition also wear gold necklaces and anklets.[204]

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Culture of Somalia

Culture of Somalia

The culture of Somalia is an amalgamation of traditions in that were developed independently since the Proto-Somali era. The hypernym of the term Somali from a geopolitical sense is Horner and from an ethnic sense, it is Cushite.

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa, or Northeastern Africa or Northern East Africa as it was known in the past, is a geographic regional term used to refer to the countries of Africa situated in and around the Red Sea. The region is intermediate between North Africa and East Africa, and mainly encompasses the Horn of Africa and the Sudans and as well as Egypt. Sometimes, its borders are stretched to either include Kenya like the NFD region or Eastern Chad and Libya. The region has a very long history of habitation with fossil finds from the early hominids to modern human and is one of the most genetically and linguistically diverse regions of the world, being the home to many civilizations and located on an important trade route that connects multiple continents.

Arabian Peninsula

Arabian Peninsula

The Arabian Peninsula, or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi), the Arabian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in the world.

India

India

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia. The nation's capital city is New Delhi.

Pottery

Pottery

Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard and durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery, used by the ASTM International, is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products". In art history and archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and sculpted figurines of the same material are called "terracottas".

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture is the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. It is both the process and the product of sketching, conceiving, planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. The term comes from Latin architectura; from Ancient Greek ἀρχιτέκτων (arkhitéktōn) 'architect'; from ἀρχι- (arkhi-) 'chief', and τέκτων (téktōn) 'creator'. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia refers to the seafaring tradition of the Somali people. It includes various stages of Somali navigational technology, shipbuilding and design, as well as the history of the Somali port cities. It also covers the historical sea routes taken by Somali sailors which sustained the commercial enterprises of the historical Somali kingdoms and empires, in addition to the contemporary maritime culture of Somalia.

Canadians

Canadians

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Margaret Laurence

Margaret Laurence

Jean Margaret Laurence was a Canadian novelist and short story writer, and is one of the major figures in Canadian literature. She was also a founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community.

Festival

Festival

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect or aspects of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. A festival constitutes typical cases of glocalization, as well as the high culture-low culture interrelationship. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.

Istunka

Istunka

Istunka, also known as isgaraac, is a festival held annually in Afgooye, Somalia on the Somali new year. The tournament was developed during the medieval Ajuran period, and was centralized in the 19th century under the Sultanate of the Geledi. Consisting of several teams engaging each other in mock combat, it is celebrated alongside other ceremonies such as Dabshiid.

Folklore

Folklore

Folklore is shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. This includes oral traditions such as tales, legends, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, taking actions for folk beliefs, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact or traditional cultural expression. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folklore studies or folkloristics, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.

Ethnic flag

Somali woman wearing a Somali flag dress.
Somali woman wearing a Somali flag dress.

The Somali flag is an ethnic flag conceived to represent ethnic Somalis.[206] It was created in 1954 by the Somali scholar Mohammed Awale Liban, after he had been selected by the labour trade union of the Trust Territory of Somalia to come up with a design.[207] Upon independence in 1960, the flag was adopted as the national flag of the nascent Somali Republic.[208] The five-pointed Star of Unity in the flag's center represents the Somali ethnic group inhabiting the five territories in Greater Somalia.[208][209]

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Flag of Somalia

Flag of Somalia

The flag of Somalia, also known as the Somali flag, was adopted on October 12, 1954, and was designed by Mohammed Awale Liban. The flag was initially used within the Trust Territory of Somaliland before being adopted by the short-lived State of Somaliland and the Somali Republic. It is an ethnic flag for the Somali people; the flag's five-pointed star represents the five regions in which Somalis reside.

Ethnic flag

Ethnic flag

An ethnic flag is a flag that symbolizes a certain ethnic group. Ethnic flags are often introduced to the ethnic community through the respective cultural or political ethnic movements. They are popular among diasporas, ethnic minorities, and some ethnic majorities, especially in multiethnic countries.

Mohammed Awale Liban

Mohammed Awale Liban

Hagi Mohammed Awale Liban was a Somali scholar. He is noted for having designed the flag of Somalia in 1954. Liban also later served as the Chief of Cabinet of the Presidency in the nascent Somali Republic.

Independence Day (Somalia)

Independence Day (Somalia)

The Independence Day of Somalia is a national holiday observed annually in Somalia on July 1. The date celebrates the unification of the Trust Territory of Italian Somaliland and the British Somaliland on July 1, 1960, which formed the Somali Republic. A government was subsequently formed by Abdullahi Issa and Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate governments, with speaker of the SOMALIA ACT OF UNION Hagi Bashir Ismail Yussuf as President of the Somali National Assembly, Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President of the Somali Republic, On July 20, 1961 and through a popular referendum, the people of Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960.

Somali Republic

Somali Republic

The Somali Republic was a sovereign state composed of Somalia and Somaliland, following the unification of the Trust Territory of Somaliland and the State of Somaliland. A government was formed by Abdullahi Issa Mohamud and Muhammad Haji Ibrahim Egal and other members of the trusteeship and protectorate administrations, with Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf as President of the Somali National Assembly and Aden Abdullah Osman Daar as President of the Somali Republic. On 22 July 1960, Daar appointed Abdirashid Ali Shermarke as Prime Minister. On 20 July 1961 and through a popular referendum, Somalia ratified a new constitution, which was first drafted in 1960. The new constitution was rejected by Somaliland.

Greater Somalia

Greater Somalia

Greater Somalia is a concept to unite all ethnic Somalis comprising the regions in or near the Horn of Africa in which ethnic Somalis live and have historically inhabited. The territory historically encompassed British Jubaland Province, British Somali Coast Protectorate, Italian Somaliland, French Somaliland, the Somali Region in Ethiopia, the Northern Frontier District in Kenya, and the intra-46th meridian east territories. At the present, it encompasses Somalia proper, Jubaland, southern Djibouti, the Somali Region and Dire Dawa in Ethiopia, and the Garissa, Wajir and Mandera Counties in Kenya.

Cuisine

Women from Fafan village in the Somali Regional State offering camel milk.
Women from Fafan village in the Somali Regional State offering camel milk.

The Somalis staple food comes from their livestock, however, the Somali cuisine varies from region to region and consists of a fusion of diverse culinary influences. In the interiors, the cuisine is mainly local with usage of Ethiopian grains and vegetables while in the coast it is the product of Somalia's rich tradition of trade and commerce. Despite the variety, there remains one thing that unites the various regional cuisines: all food is served halal. There are therefore no pork dishes, alcohol is not served, nothing that died on its own is eaten, and no blood is incorporated.[210]

Breakfast (quraac) is an important meal for Somalis, some drink tea (shahie or shaah) others coffee (qaxwa or bun). The tea is often in the form of haleeb shai (Yemeni milk tea) in the north. The main dish is typically a pancake-like bread (canjeero or canjeelo) similar to Ethiopian injera, but smaller and thinner, or muufo a Somali flat bread traditionally baked on a clay oven. These breads might also be eaten with a stew (maraqe) or soup at lunch or dinner.[211] Qado or lunch is often elaborate, varieties of bariis (rice), the most popular being basmati are usually served as the main dish alongside goat, lamb or fish. Spices like cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and garden sage are used to aromatize these different rice delicacies. Somalis eat dinner as late as 9 pm. During Ramadan, supper is often served after Tarawih prayers; sometimes as late as 11 pm.[210]

In some regions, xalwo (halva) is a popular confection eaten during festive occasions such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. It is made from sugar, corn starch, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee. Peanuts are also sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor.[212] After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using frankincense (lubaan) or incense (cuunsi), which is prepared inside an incense burner referred to as a dabqaad.

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Fusion cuisine

Fusion cuisine

Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions that originate from different countries, regions, or cultures. They can occur naturally and become aspects of culturally relevant cuisines, or they can be part of the post-1970s movement for contemporary restaurant innovations.

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia

Maritime history of Somalia refers to the seafaring tradition of the Somali people. It includes various stages of Somali navigational technology, shipbuilding and design, as well as the history of the Somali port cities. It also covers the historical sea routes taken by Somali sailors which sustained the commercial enterprises of the historical Somali kingdoms and empires, in addition to the contemporary maritime culture of Somalia.

Halal

Halal

Halal is an Arabic word that translates to "permissible" in English. In the Quran, the word halal is contrasted with haram (forbidden). This binary opposition was elaborated into a more complex classification known as "the five decisions": mandatory, recommended, neutral, reprehensible and forbidden. Islamic jurists disagree on whether the term halal covers the first two or the first four of these categories. In recent times, Islamic movements seeking to mobilize the masses and authors writing for a popular audience have emphasized the simpler distinction of halal and haram.

Coffee

Coffee

Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Darkly colored, bitter, and slightly acidic, coffee has a stimulating effect on humans, primarily due to its caffeine content. It is the most popular hot drink in the world.

Injera

Injera

Injera is a sour fermented pancake-like flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, traditionally made of teff flour. In Ethiopia, Eritrea, and some parts of Sudan, injera is the staple. Injera is central to the dining process, like bread or rice elsewhere.

Basmati

Basmati

Basmati, pronounced ['bɑːsmət̪iː], is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice which is traditionally grown in India, Pakistan, and Nepal. As of 2019, India accounted for 65% of the international trade in basmati rice, while Pakistan accounted for the remaining 35%. Many countries use domestically grown basmati rice crops; however, basmati is geographically exclusive to certain districts of India and Pakistan.

Cumin

Cumin

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the Irano-Turanian Region. Its seeds – each one contained within a fruit, which is dried – are used in the cuisines of many cultures in both whole and ground form. Although cumin is thought to have uses in traditional medicine, there is no high-quality evidence that it is safe or effective as a therapeutic agent.

Cardamom

Cardamom

Cardamom, sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. They are recognized by their small seed pods: triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin, papery outer shell and small, black seeds; Elettaria pods are light green and smaller, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.

Clove

Clove

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice, flavoring or fragrance in consumer products, such as toothpaste, soaps, or cosmetics. Cloves are available throughout the year owing to different harvest seasons across various countries.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snack foods, teas, and traditional foods. The aroma and flavour of cinnamon derive from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde, as well as numerous other constituents including eugenol.

Halva

Halva

Halva is a type of confectionery originating from Persia and widely spread throughout the Middle East. The name is used for a broad variety of recipes, generally a thick paste made from flour, butter, liquid oil, saffron, rosewater, milk, cocoa powder, and sweetened with sugar

Corn starch

Corn starch

Corn starch, maize starch, or cornflour is the starch derived from corn (maize) grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the kernel. Corn starch is a common food ingredient, often used to thicken sauces or soups, and to make corn syrup and other sugars. Corn starch is versatile, easily modified, and finds many uses in industry such as adhesives, in paper products, as an anti-sticking agent, and textile manufacturing. It has medical uses as well, such as to supply glucose for people with glycogen storage disease.

Literature

Award-winning author Nadifa Mohamed.
Award-winning author Nadifa Mohamed.

Somali scholars have for centuries produced many notable examples of Islamic literature ranging from poetry to Hadith. With the adoption of the Latin alphabet in 1972 to transcribe the Somali language, numerous contemporary Somali authors have also released novels, some of which have gone on to receive worldwide acclaim. Most of the early Somali literature is in the Arabic script and Wadaad writing.[213] This usage was limited to Somali clerics and their associates, as sheikhs preferred to write in the liturgical Arabic language. Various such historical manuscripts in Somali nonetheless exist, which mainly consist of Islamic poems (qasidas), recitations and chants.[214] Among these texts are the Somali poems by Sheikh Uways and Sheikh Ismaaciil Faarah. The rest of the existing historical literature in Somali principally consists of translations of documents from Arabic.[215]

Authors and poets

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Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed

Nadifa Mohamed is a Somali-British novelist. She featured on Granta magazine's list "Best of Young British Novelists" in 2013, and in 2014 on the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature. Her 2021 novel, The Fortune Men, was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize, making her the first British Somali novelist to get this honour. She has also written short stories, essays, memoirs and articles in outlets including The Guardian, and contributed poetry to the anthology New Daughters of Africa. She was also a lecturer in Creative Writing in the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London until 2021. She will be Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University in Spring 2022.

Islamic literature

Islamic literature

Islamic literature is literature written by Muslim people, influenced by an Islamic cultural perspective, or literature that portrays Islam. It can be written in any language and portray any country or region. It includes many literary forms including adabs, a non-fiction form of Islamic advice literature, and various fictional literary genres.

Hadith

Hadith

Ḥadīth or Athar refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval of the Islamic prophet Muhammad as transmitted through chains of narrators. In other words, the ḥadīth are transmitted reports attributed to what Muhammad said and did.

Arabic script

Arabic script

The Arabic script is the writing system used for Arabic and several other languages of Asia and Africa. It is the second-most widely used writing system in the world by number of countries using it or a script directly derived from it, and the third-most by number of users.

Elmi Boodhari

Elmi Boodhari

Elmi Boodhari was a Somali poet and pioneer in the genre of Somali love poems. He is known among Somalis as the King of Romance. He was born near the border between Ethiopia and Somalia in 1908 and hailed from the Eidagale sub-clan.

Abdillahi Diiriye Guled

Abdillahi Diiriye Guled

Abdillahi Diiriye Guled also known as Arale/Caraale is a Somali literary scholar, Prosodist and is credited with the discovery of the Somali Scansion system.

Ali Bu'ul

Ali Bu'ul

Ali Bu'ul, was a famous Somali poet, military leader and sultan from the 19th century originating from Somaliland and Djibouti. Renown for his short lined poems who were in vogue before the early 20th century. Many of his poems are still known today

Hassan Sheikh Mumin

Hassan Sheikh Mumin

Hassan Sheikh Mumin was a Somali poet, playwright, broadcaster, actor and composer.

Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah

Nuruddin Farah is a Somali novelist. His first novel, From a Crooked Rib, was published in 1970 and has been described as "one of the cornerstones of modern East African literature today". He has also written plays both for stage and radio, as well as short stories and essays. Since leaving Somalia in the 1970s he has lived and taught in numerous countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Sudan, India, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa.

Abdillahi Suldaan Mohammed Timacade

Abdillahi Suldaan Mohammed Timacade

Abdillahi Suldaan Mohammed "Timacadde" was a Somali poet. He was among the most prominent bards of his day.

Mohamud Siad Togane

Mohamud Siad Togane

Mohamud Siad Togane is a Somali-Canadian poet and peace activist.

Maxamed Daahir Afrax

Maxamed Daahir Afrax

Maxamed Daahir Afrax Ph. D. is a Somali novelist, playwright, journalist and scholar.

Law

Federal legislator Muna Khalif chairing a political workshop.
Federal legislator Muna Khalif chairing a political workshop.

Somalis for centuries have practiced a form of customary law, which they call xeer. Xeer is a polycentric legal system where there is no monopolistic agent that determines what the law should be or how it should be interpreted. It is assumed to have developed exclusively in the Horn of Africa since approximately the 7th century. Given the dearth of loan words from foreign languages within the xeer's nomenclature, the customary law appears to have evolved in situ.[217]

Mohamed Osman Jawari, speaker of the Federal Parliament.
Mohamed Osman Jawari, speaker of the Federal Parliament.

Xeer is defined by a few fundamental tenets that are immutable and which closely approximate the principle of jus cogens in international law: payment of blood money (locally referred to as diya or mag), assuring good inter-clan relations by treating women justly, negotiating with "peace emissaries" in good faith, and sparing the lives of socially protected groups (e.g. children, women, the pious, poets and guests), family obligations such as the payment of dowry, and sanctions for eloping, rules pertaining to the management of resources such as the use of pasture land, water, and other natural resources, providing financial support to married female relatives and newlyweds, donating livestock and other assets to the poor.[218] The Xeer legal system also requires a certain amount of specialization of different functions within the legal framework. Thus, one can find odayal (judges), xeer boggeyaal (jurists), guurtiyaal (detectives), garxajiyaal (attorneys), murkhaatiyal (witnesses) and waranle (police officers) to enforce the law.[219]

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Muna Khalif

Muna Khalif

Muna Khalif, popularly known as Muna Kay, is a Somali-American entrepreneur, fashion designer and legislator. She is the founder and CEO of the Muna Kay brand. Khalif also serves as an MP in the Federal Parliament of Somalia, and she's elected from Southwest region.

Customary law

Customary law

A legal custom is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law".

Polycentric law

Polycentric law

Polycentric law is a theoretical legal structure in which "providers" of legal systems compete or overlap in a given jurisdiction, as opposed to monopolistic statutory law according to which there is a sole provider of law for each jurisdiction. Devolution of this monopoly occurs by the principle of jurisprudence in which they rule according to higher law.

Mohamed Osman Jawari

Mohamed Osman Jawari

Mohamed Osman Jawari, also known as Mohamed Jawari or Osman Jawari, is a Somali attorney and politician. He is former Speaker of the Federal Parliament of Somalia. He also briefly served as acting President of Somalia in August and September 2012.

International law

International law

International law is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between states. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptual framework for states across a broad range of domains, including war, diplomacy, economic relations, and human rights. Scholars distinguish between international legal institutions on the basis of their obligations, precision, and delegation.

Clan

Clan

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clans may claim descent from founding member or apical ancestor. Clans, in indigenous societies, tend to be endogamous, meaning that their members can marry one another. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show that they are an independent clan. Kinship-based groups may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor who serves as a symbol of the clan's unity.

Dowry

Dowry

A dowry is a payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom, or his family, to the bride, or her family, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride, or her family, to the groom, or his family. Similarly, dower is the property settled on the bride herself, by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control.

Division of labour

Division of labour

The division of labour is the separation of the tasks in any economic system or organisation so that participants may specialise (specialisation). Individuals, organizations, and nations are endowed with, or acquire specialised capabilities, and either form combinations or trade to take advantage of the capabilities of others in addition to their own. Specialised capabilities may include equipment or natural resources as well as skills, and training and combinations of such assets acting together are often important. For example, an individual may specialise by acquiring tools and the skills to use them effectively just as an organization may specialise by acquiring specialised equipment and hiring or training skilled operators. The division of labour is the motive for trade and the source of economic interdependence.

Jurist

Jurist

A jurist is a person with expert knowledge of law; someone who analyses and comments on law. This person is usually a specialist legal scholar, mostly with a formal qualification in law and often a legal practitioner. In the United Kingdom the term "jurist" is mostly used for legal academics, while in the United States the term may also be applied to a judge. With reference to Roman law, a "jurist" is a jurisconsult (iurisconsultus).

Detective

Detective

A detective is an investigator, usually a member of a law enforcement agency. They often collect information to solve crimes by talking to witnesses and informants, collecting physical evidence, or searching records in databases. This leads them to arrest criminals and enable them to be convicted in court. A detective may work for the police or privately.

Lawyer

Lawyer

A lawyer is a person who practices law. The role of a lawyer varies greatly across different legal jurisdictions. A lawyer can be classified as an advocate, attorney, barrister, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant — with each role having different functions and privileges. Working as a lawyer generally involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific problems. Some lawyers also work primarily in advancing the interests of the law and legal profession.

Police officer

Police officer

A police officer is a warranted law employee of a police force. In most countries, "police officer" is a generic term not specifying a particular rank. In some, the use of the rank "officer" is legally reserved for military personnel.

Architecture

Somali architecture is a rich and diverse tradition of engineering and designing. It involves multiple different construction types, such as stone cities, castles, citadels, fortresses, mosques, mausoleums, towers, tombs, tumuli, cairns, megaliths, menhirs, stelae, dolmens, stone circles, monuments, temples, enclosures, cisterns, aqueducts, and lighthouses. Spanning the ancient, medieval and early modern periods in Greater Somalia, it also includes the fusion of Somali architecture with Western designs in contemporary times.[220]

In ancient Somalia, pyramidical structures known in Somali as taalo were a popular burial style. Hundreds of these dry stone monuments are found around the country today. Houses were built of dressed stone similar to the ones in Ancient Egypt.[74] There are also examples of courtyards and large stone walls enclosing settlements, such as the Wargaade Wall.

The peaceful introduction of Islam in the early medieval era of Somalia's history brought Islamic architectural influences from Arabia and Persia. This had the effect of stimulating a shift in construction from drystone and other related materials to coral stone, sundried bricks, and the widespread use of limestone in Somali architecture. Many of the new architectural designs, such as mosques, were built on the ruins of older structures. This practice would continue over and over again throughout the following centuries.[221]

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Civil engineering

Civil engineering

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.

Design

Design

A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product, or process. The verb to design expresses the process of developing a design. In some cases, the direct construction of an object without an explicit prior plan may also be considered to be a design activity. The design usually has to satisfy certain goals and constraints; may take into account aesthetic, functional, economic, or socio-political considerations; and is expected to interact with a certain environment. Typical examples of designs include architectural and engineering drawings, circuit diagrams, sewing patterns and less tangible artefacts such as business process models.

Masonry

Masonry

Masonry is the building of structures from individual units, which are often laid in and bound together by mortar; the term masonry can also refer to the units themselves. The common materials of masonry construction are bricks, building stone such as marble, granite, and limestone, cast stone, concrete blocks, glass blocks, and adobe. Masonry is generally a highly durable form of construction. However, the materials used, the quality of the mortar and workmanship, and the pattern in which the units are assembled can substantially affect the durability of the overall masonry construction. A person who constructs masonry is called a mason or bricklayer. These are both classified as construction trades.

Castle

Castle

A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages predominantly by the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; from a pleasance which was a walled-in residence for nobility, but not adequately fortified; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Use of the term has varied over time and has also been applied to structures such as hill forts and 19th-20th century homes built to resemble castles. Over the approximately 900 years when genuine castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls, arrowslits, and portcullises, were commonplace.

Citadel

Citadel

A citadel is the core fortified area of a town or city. It may be a castle, fortress, or fortified center. The term is a diminutive of "city", meaning "little city", because it is a smaller part of the city of which it is the defensive core.

Fortification

Fortification

A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to establish rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from Latin fortis ("strong") and facere.

Mausoleum

Mausoleum

A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or people. A mausoleum without the person's remains is called a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb, or the tomb may be considered to be within the mausoleum.

Cairn

Cairn

A cairn is a man-made pile of stones raised for a purpose, usually as a marker or as a burial mound. The word cairn comes from the Scottish Gaelic: càrn [ˈkʰaːrˠn̪ˠ].

Megalith

Megalith

A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. There are over 35,000 in Europe alone, located widely from Sweden to the Mediterranean sea.

Menhir

Menhir

A menhir, standing stone, orthostat, or lith is a large human-made upright stone, typically dating from the European middle Bronze Age. They can be found individually as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Menhirs' size can vary considerably, but they often taper toward the top.

Dolmen

Dolmen

A dolmen or portal tomb is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more upright megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone or "table". Most date from the early Neolithic and were sometimes covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus. Small pad-stones may be wedged between the cap and supporting stones to achieve a level appearance. In many instances, the covering has eroded away, leaving only the stone "skeleton".

Monument

Monument

A monument is a type of structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Some of the first monuments were dolmens or menhirs, megalithic constructions built for religious or funerary purposes. Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Geographic distribution

A Somali-owned grocery in Columbus, Ohio.
A Somali-owned grocery in Columbus, Ohio.

Somalis constitute the largest ethnic group in Somalia, at approximately 85% of the nation's inhabitants.[42] They also comprise around 60% of the inhabitants in Djibouti.[222]

Civil strife in the early 1990s greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora, as many of the best educated Somalis left for the Middle East, Europe and North America.[223] In Canada, the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hamilton all harbor Somali populations. Statistics Canada's 2006 census ranks people of Somali descent as the 69th largest ethnic group in Canada.[224]

UN migration estimates of the international migrant stock 2015 suggest that 1,998,764 people from Somalia were living abroad.[225][226]

Somali women at a political function in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Somali women at a political function in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

While the distribution of Somalis per country in Europe is hard to measure because the Somali community on the continent has grown so quickly in recent years, the Office for National Statistics estimates that 98,000 people born in Somalia were living in the United Kingdom in 2016.[7] This includes secondary migration of Somalis from mainland European countries.[227] Somalis in Britain are largely concentrated in the cities of London, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and Leicester, with London alone accounting for roughly 78% of Britain's Somali population in 2001.[228] There are also significant Somali communities in continental Europe such as Sweden: 63,853 (2016);[11] Norway: 42,217 (2016);[15] the Netherlands: 39,465 (2016);[18] Germany: 33,900 (2016);[19] Denmark: 21,050 (2016);[23] and Finland: 20,007 (2017).[24]

In the United States, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Columbus, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Portland, Denver, Nashville, Green Bay, Lewiston, Portland, Maine and Cedar Rapids have the largest Somali populations.

ONLF separatist rebels fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
ONLF separatist rebels fighting for the right to self-determination for Somalis in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
Sign on Somali Road in the London Borough of Camden.
Sign on Somali Road in the London Borough of Camden.

An estimated 20,000 Somalis emigrated to the U.S. state of Minnesota some ten years ago and the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul) now have the highest population of Somalis in North America.[229] The city of Minneapolis hosts hundreds of Somali-owned and operated businesses offering a variety of products, including leather shoes, jewelry and other fashion items, halal meat, and hawala or money transfer services. Community-based video rental stores likewise carry the latest Somali films and music.[230] The number of Somalis has especially surged in the Cedar-Riverside area of Minneapolis.

A Somali high school student in Cairo, Egypt.
A Somali high school student in Cairo, Egypt.

There is a sizable Somali community in the United Arab Emirates. Somali-owned businesses line the streets of Deira, the Dubai city centre,[231] with only Iranians exporting more products from the city at large.[232] Internet cafés, hotels, coffee shops, restaurants and import-export businesses are all testimony to the Somalis' entrepreneurial spirit. Star African Air is also one of three Somali-owned airlines which are based in Dubai.[231]

Besides their traditional areas of inhabitation in Greater Somalia, a Somali community mainly consisting of entrepreneurs, academics, and students also exists in Egypt.[233][234] In addition, there is an historical Somali community in the general Sudan area. Primarily concentrated in the north and Khartoum, the expatriate community mainly consists of students as well as some businesspeople.[235] More recently, Somali entrepreneurs have established themselves in Kenya, investing over $1.5 billion in the Somali enclave of Eastleigh alone.[236] In South Africa, Somali businesspeople also provide most of the retail trade in informal settlements around the Western Cape province.[237]

Notable individuals of the diaspora

Economist Abdusalam H. Omer.
  • Abdusalam H. Omer – Somali economist and politician. Former Foreign Affairs Minister of Somalia and Governor of the Central Bank of Somalia.
  • Abdi Yusuf Hassan – Somali politician, diplomat and journalist. Former director of IRIN and UNHCR Head of External and Media Relations in Southwest and Central Asia.
Journalist Rageh Omaar.
Journalist Rageh Omaar.
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali elected to the United States Congress.
Ilhan Omar, the first Somali elected to the United States Congress.
  • Ali Said Faqi – Somali scientist and the leading researcher on the design and interpretation of toxicology studies at the MPI research center in Mattawan, Michigan.
  • Amina Moghe Hersi – Award-winning Somali entrepreneur that has launched several multimillion-dollar projects in Kampala, Uganda, such as the Oasis Centre luxury mall and the Laburnam Courts. She also runs Kingstone Enterprises Limited, one of the largest distributors of cement and other hardware materials in Kampala.
  • Amina Mohamed – Somali lawyer and politician. Former Chairman of the International Organization for Migration and the World Trade Organisation's General Council, and current Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya.
  • ASAP Rocky – rapper.
  • Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim – Somali twin fashion designers and owners of the Mataano brand.
  • Ayaan Hirsi AliFeminist and atheist activist, writer and politician known for her views critical of Islam and female circumcision.
  • Ayub Daud – Somali international footballer who plays as a forward/attacking midfielder for FC Crotone on loan from Juventus.
  • Faisal Hawar – Somali engineer and entrepreneur. Chairman of the International Somalia Development Foundation and the Maakhir Resource Company.
  • Halima Ahmed – Somali political activist with the Youth Rehabilitation Center and prospective candidate in the Federal Parliament of Somalia.
  • Halima Aden - Somali american model. minnesota first woman to wear a hijab in Miss Minnesota USA pageant
  • Hanan Ibrahim – Somali social activist. Received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2004 and was made an MBE in 2010.
  • Hassan Abdillahi – Somali journalist. President of Ogaal Radio, the largest Somali community station in Canada.
  • Hibaaq Osman – Somali political strategist. Founder and Chairperson of the ThinkTank for Arab Women, the Dignity Fund, and Karama.
  • Hodan Ahmed – Somali political activist and Senior Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute.
  • Hodan Nalayeh – Somali media executive and entrepreneur. President of the Cultural Integration Agency and the Vice President of Sales & Programming Development of Cameraworks Productions International.
  • Idil Ibrahim – Somali American film director, writer and producer. Founder of Zeila Films.
International lawyer Amina Mohamed.
International lawyer Amina Mohamed.

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Columbus, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is the state capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio. With a 2020 census population of 905,748, it is the 14th-most populous city in the U.S., the second-most populous city in the Midwest, after Chicago, and the third-most populous state capital. Columbus is the county seat of Franklin County; it also extends into Delaware and Fairfield counties. It is the core city of the Columbus metropolitan area, which encompasses 10 counties in central Ohio. The metropolitan area had a population of 2,138,926 in 2020, making it the largest entirely in Ohio and 32nd-largest in the U.S.

Somali Civil War

Somali Civil War

The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war that is taking place in Somalia. It grew out of resistance to the military junta which was led by Siad Barre during the 1980s. From 1988 to 1990, the Somali Armed Forces began engaging in combat against various armed rebel groups, including the Somali Salvation Democratic Front in the northeast, the Somali National Movement in the northwest, and the United Somali Congress in the south. The clan-based armed opposition groups overthrew the Barre government in 1991.

Canada

Canada

Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern and western border with the United States, stretching 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest binational land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Ottawa

Ottawa

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It is located at the confluence of the Ottawa River and the Rideau River in the southern portion of the province of Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, and forms the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2021, Ottawa had a city population of 1,017,449 and a metropolitan population of 1,488,307, making it the fourth-largest city and fourth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Calgary

Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in the western Canadian province of Alberta and the largest metro area of the three Prairie Provinces. As of 2021, the city proper had a population of 1,306,784 and a metropolitan population of 1,481,806, making it the third-largest city and fifth-largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Edmonton

Edmonton

Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta. Edmonton is situated on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, which is surrounded by Alberta's central region. The city anchors the north end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".

Montreal

Montreal

Montreal is the second-most populous city in Canada and most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill around which the early city of Ville-Marie is built. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which obtained its name from the same origin as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. The city is 196 km (122 mi) east of the national capital Ottawa, and 258 km (160 mi) southwest of the provincial capital, Quebec City.

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Hamilton has a population of 569,353, and its census metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 785,184. The city is approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) southwest of Toronto in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Dubai

Dubai

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai. Established in the 18th century as a small fishing village, the city grew rapidly in the early 21st century with a focus on tourism and luxury, having the second most five-star hotels in the world, and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which is 828 metres (2,717 ft) tall.

Continental Europe

Continental Europe

Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent, – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and, by some, simply as the Continent. When Eurasia is regarded as a single continent, Europe is treated as a subcontinent, and called as European subcontinent.

Sheffield

Sheffield

Sheffield is a city in South Yorkshire, England, whose name derives from the River Sheaf which runs through it. The city serves as the administrative centre of the City of Sheffield. It is historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire and some of its southern suburbs were transferred from Derbyshire to the city council. It is the largest settlement in South Yorkshire.

Bristol

Bristol

Bristol is a city, ceremonial county and unitary authority in England. Situated on the River Avon, it is bordered by the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south. Bristol is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-up Area is the eleventh most populous urban area in the United Kingdom.

Genetics

Uniparental lineages

According to Y chromosome studies by Sanchez et al. (2005), Cruciani et al. (2004, 2007), the Somalis are paternally closely related to other Afro-Asiatic-speaking groups in Northeast Africa.[148][238][149] Besides comprising the majority of the Y-DNA in Somalis, the E1b1b (formerly E3b) haplogroup also makes up a significant proportion of the paternal DNA of Ethiopians, Sudanese, Egyptians, Berbers, North African Arabs, as well as many Mediterranean populations.[238][239] Sanchez et al. (2005) observed the E-M78 subclade of E1b1b1a in about 70.6% of their Somali male samples.[148] According to Cruciani et al. (2007), the presence of this subhaplogroup in the Horn region may represent the traces of an ancient migration from Egypt/Libya.[Note 1][149]

After haplogroup E1b1b, the second most frequently occurring Y-DNA haplogroup among Somalis is the West Asian haplogroup T (M184).[240] The clade is observed in more than 10% of Somali males generally,[148] with a peak frequency amongst the Somali Dir clan members in Djibouti (100%)[241] and Somalis in Dire Dawa (82.4%), a city with a majority Dir population.[242] Haplogroup T, like haplogroup E1b1b, is also typically found among other populations of Northeast Africa, the Maghreb, the Near East and the Mediterranean.[243]

In Somalis, the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) was estimated to be 4000–5000 years (2,500 BCE) for the haplogroup E-M78 cluster γ and 2100–2200 years (150 BCE) for Somali T-M184 bearers.[148]

Deep subclade E-Y18629 is commonly found in Somalis and has a formation date of 3,700 YBP (years before present) and a TMRCA of 3,300 YBP.[244]

A Somali schoolgirl.
A Somali schoolgirl.

According to mtDNA studies by Holden (2005) and Richards et al. (2006), a significant proportion of the maternal lineages of Somalis consists of the M1 haplogroup at a rate of over 20%.[245][246] This mitochondrial clade is common among Ethiopians and North Africans, particularly Egyptians and Algerians.[247][248] M1 is believed to have originated in Asia,[249] where its parent M clade represents the majority of mtDNA lineages.[250] This haplogroup is also thought to possibly correlate with the Afro-Asiatic language family:[246] In addition, Somalis, and other Horn African populations, also carry a significant rate of maternal L lineages associated with sub-Saharan Africa.

"We analysed mtDNA variation in ~250 persons from Libya, Somalia, and Congo/Zambia, as representatives of the three regions of interest. Our initial results indicate a sharp cline in M1 frequencies that generally does not extend into sub-Saharan Africa. While our North and especially East African samples contained frequencies of M1 over 20%, our sub-Saharan samples consisted almost entirely of the L1 or L2 haplogroups only. In addition, there existed a significant amount of homogeneity within the M1 haplogroup. This sharp cline indicates a history of little admixture between these regions. This could imply a more recent ancestry for M1 in Africa, as older lineages are more diverse and widespread by nature, and may be an indication of a back-migration into Africa from the Middle East."[246]

Autosomal ancestry

Genetic components present in select Cushitic populations
Genetic components present in select Cushitic populations
Genetic components present in select Cushitic/HOA populations (Hollfelder, Nina et al., 2017)
Genetic components present in select Cushitic/HOA populations (Hollfelder, Nina et al., 2017)
A young Somali man.
A young Somali man.

Research shows that Somalis have a mixture of a type of native African ancestry unique and autochthonous to the Horn of Africa, as well as ancestry originating from a non-African back-migration. According to an autosomal DNA study by Hodgson et al. (2014), the Afro-Asiatic languages were likely spread across Africa and the Near East by an ancestral population(s) carrying a newly identified non-African genetic component, which the researchers dub as the "Ethio-Somali". This component today is most common among Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations in the Horn of Africa. It reaches a frequency peak among ethnic Somalis, representing the majority of their ancestry. The Ethio-Somali component is most closely related to the Maghrebi non-African genetic component, and is believed to have diverged from all other non-African ancestries at least 23,000 years ago. On this basis, the researchers suggest that the original Ethio-Somali carrying population(s) probably arrived in the pre-agricultural period from the Near East, having crossed over into northeastern Africa via the Sinai Peninsula. The population then likely split into two branches, with one group heading westward toward the Maghreb and the other moving south into the Horn.[251] Ancient DNA analysis indicates that this foundational ancestry in the Horn region is akin to that of Neolithic farmers of the southern Levant.[252]

Furthermore, according to Hodgson et al. both the African ancestry (Ethiopic) and the non-African ancestry (Ethio-Somali) in Cushitic speaking populations is significantly differentiated from all neighboring African and non-African ancestries today. The overall genetic ancestry of Cushitic and Semitic speaking populations in the Horn of Africa represents ancestries not found outside of HOA populations. The researchers state:

"The African Ethiopic ancestry is tightly restricted to HOA populations and likely represents an autochthonous HOA population. The non-African ancestry in the HOA, which is primarily attributed to a novel Ethio-Somali inferred ancestry component, is significantly differentiated from all neighboring non-African ancestries in North Africa, the Levant, and Arabia."[253]

Moreover, Hodgson et al. (2014) elaborates further:

"We find that most of the non-African ancestry in the HOA can be assigned to a distinct non-African origin Ethio-Somali ancestry component, which is found at its highest frequencies in Cushitic and Semitic speaking HOA populations."[254]

Molinaro, Ludovica et al in 2019 characterized the Non-African ancestry in Ethiopian Somalis as being derived from Anatolia Neolithic groups (similar to Tunisian Jews).[255] Ali, A.A., Aalto, M., Jonasson, J. et al. (2020) using principal component analysis showed that approximately 60% of Somali ancestry is East African and 40% Western Eurasian.[256]

Discover more about Genetics related topics

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa

Northeast Africa, or Northeastern Africa or Northern East Africa as it was known in the past, is a geographic regional term used to refer to the countries of Africa situated in and around the Red Sea. The region is intermediate between North Africa and East Africa, and mainly encompasses the Horn of Africa and the Sudans and as well as Egypt. Sometimes, its borders are stretched to either include Kenya like the NFD region or Eastern Chad and Libya. The region has a very long history of habitation with fossil finds from the early hominids to modern human and is one of the most genetically and linguistically diverse regions of the world, being the home to many civilizations and located on an important trade route that connects multiple continents.

Haplogroup

Haplogroup

A haplotype is a group of alleles in an organism that are inherited together from a single parent, and a haplogroup is a group of similar haplotypes that share a common ancestor with a single-nucleotide polymorphism mutation. More specifically, a haplogroup is a combination of alleles at different chromosomal regions that are closely linked and that tend to be inherited together. As a haplogroup consists of similar haplotypes, it is usually possible to predict a haplogroup from haplotypes. Haplogroups pertain to a single line of descent. As such, membership of a haplogroup, by any individual, relies on a relatively small proportion of the genetic material possessed by that individual.

Egyptians

Egyptians

Egyptians are an ethnic group native to the Nile Valley in Egypt. Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population is concentrated in the Nile Valley, a small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to the Mediterranean and enclosed by desert both to the east and to the west. This unique geography has been the basis of the development of Egyptian society since antiquity.

Maghrebi Arabic

Maghrebi Arabic

Maghrebi Arabic is a vernacular Arabic dialect continuum spoken in the Maghreb region, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania. It includes Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, and Hassaniya Arabic. It is known locally as Darja, Derdja, Derja, Derija or Darija, depending on the region's dialect. This serves to differentiate the spoken vernacular from Standard Arabic. The Maltese language is believed to be derived from Siculo-Arabic and ultimately from Tunisian Arabic, as it contains some typical Maghrebi Arabic areal characteristics.

Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The Sea has played a central role in the history of Western civilization. Although the Mediterranean is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is usually referred to as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was partly or completely desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years during the Messinian salinity crisis before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago.

Haplogroup E-V68

Haplogroup E-V68

Haplogroup E-V68, also known as E1b1b1a, is a major human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup found in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia and Europe. It is a subclade of the larger and older haplogroup, known as E1b1b or E-M215. The E1b1b1a lineage is identified by the presence of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation on the Y chromosome, which is known as V68. It is a subject of discussion and study in genetics as well as genetic genealogy, archaeology, and historical linguistics.

Egypt

Egypt

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip of Palestine and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. The Gulf of Aqaba in the northeast separates Egypt from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt, while Alexandria, the second-largest city, is an important industrial and tourist hub at the Mediterranean coast. At approximately 100 million inhabitants, Egypt is the 14th-most populated country in the world.

Libya

Libya

Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. Libya is made of three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 700,000 square miles, it is the fourth-largest country in Africa and the Arab world, and the 16th-largest in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over three million of Libya's seven million people.

Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup

Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup

In human genetics, a human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup is a haplogroup defined by mutations in the non-recombining portions of DNA from the male-specific Y chromosome. Many people within a haplogroup share similar numbers of short tandem repeats (STRs) and types of mutations called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Dir (clan)

Dir (clan)

The Dir is one of the largest and most prominent Somali clans in the Horn of Africa. They are also considered to be the oldest Somali stock to have inhabited the region. Its members inhabit Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya.

Djibouti

Djibouti

Djibouti, officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Somalia to the south, Ethiopia to the southwest, Eritrea in the north, and the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east. The country has an area of 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).

Dire Dawa

Dire Dawa

Dire Dawa is a city in eastern Ethiopia near the Oromia and Somali Region border and one of two chartered cities in Ethiopia. Dire Dawa alongside present-day Sitti Zone were apart of the Dire Dawa autonomous region stipulated in the 1987 Ethiopian Constitution until 1993 when it was split by the federal government into a separately administered chartered city. This was due to the ongoing clashes between the OLF and IGLF and prevented any further escalation.

Somali studies

Pioneering Somali Studies scholar, Osman Yusuf Kenadid.
Pioneering Somali Studies scholar, Osman Yusuf Kenadid.

The scholarly term for research concerning Somalis and Greater Somalia is Somali Studies. It consists of several disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, historiography and archaeology. The field draws from old Somali chronicles, records and oral literature, in addition to written accounts and traditions about Somalis from explorers and geographers in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Since 1980, prominent Somalist scholars from around the world have also gathered annually to hold the International Congress of Somali Studies.

Discover more about Somali studies related topics

Osman Yusuf Kenadid

Osman Yusuf Kenadid

Osman Yusuf Kenadid was a Somali poet, writer, teacher and ruler. Born in Ceel Huur in 1889, he went on to create the Osmanya alphabet for writing Somali. He died on 31 August 1972 in Mogadishu.

Anthropology

Anthropology

Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species. Social anthropology studies patterns of behavior, while cultural anthropology studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. A portmanteau term sociocultural anthropology is commonly used today. Linguistic anthropology studies how language influences social life. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans.

Sociology

Sociology

Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life. It uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order and social change. While some sociologists conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes and phenomenological method. Subject matter can range from micro-level analyses of society to macro-level analyses.

Linguistics

Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguistics is concerned with both the cognitive and social aspects of language. It is considered a scientific field as well as an academic discipline; it has been classified as a social science, natural science, cognitive science, or part of the humanities.

Historiography

Historiography

Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians have studied that topic using particular sources, techniques, and theoretical approaches. Scholars discuss historiography by topic—such as the historiography of the United Kingdom, that of WWII, the British Empire, early Islam, and China—and different approaches and genres, such as political history and social history. Beginning in the nineteenth century, with the development of academic history, there developed a body of historiographic literature. The extent to which historians are influenced by their own groups and loyalties—such as to their nation state—remains a debated question.

Archaeology

Archaeology

Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. It is usually considered an independent academic discipline, but may also be classified as part of anthropology, history or geography.

Somali literature

Somali literature

Somali literature is the literature used by the ethnic Somalis of Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Source: "Somalis", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 29th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalis.

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Notes
  1. ^ Cruciani et al. 2007 use the term Northeastern Africa to refer to Egypt and Libya, as shown in Table 1 of the study. Prior to Cruciani et al. 2007, Semino et al. 2004 East Africa as a possible place of origin of E-M78, based upon Ethiopian testing. This was because of the high frequency and diversity of E-M78 lineages in the region of Ethiopia. However, Cruciani et al. 2007 were able to study more data, including populations from North Africa who were not represented in the Semino et al. 2004 study, and found evidence that the E-M78 lineages which make up a significant proportion of some populations in that region, were relatively young branches (see E-V32 below). They therefore concluded that "Northeast Africa" was the likely place of origin of E-M78 based on "the peripheral geographic distribution of the most derived subhaplogroups with respect to northeastern Africa, as well as the results of quantitative analysis of UEP and microsatellite diversity". So according to Cruciani et al. 2007 E-M35, the parent clade of E-M78, originated in East Africa, subsequently spread to Northeast Africa, and then there was a "back migration" of E-M215 chromosomes that had acquired the E-M78 mutation. Cruciani et al. 2007 therefore note this as evidence for "a corridor for bidirectional migrations" between Northeast Africa (Egypt and Libya in their data) on the one hand and East Africa on the other. The authors believe there were "at least 2 episodes between 23.9–17.3 ky and 18.0–5.9 ky ago".
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Bibliography
  • Hanley, Gerald, Warriors: Life and Death Among the Somalis, (Eland Publishing Ltd, 2004)
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