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Lets Map Somalia....

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Thanks Ameenah...Its time we learned something rather than doing what we excel at which is being destructive. I hope you can join us in researching and creating an archive.

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Extracts from the above book.


Bantu culture.....


Daily Life and Values


Although it is difficult to say what is important to all Somali Bantu, let alone describe what they value, the author's experience with the Bantu indicates that they, like Americans, wish to better the lives of their children and are willing to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve this. Like other marginalized minorities around the world, the Somali Bantu have been forced to accept their supposed station in life. Part of this acceptance meant keeping their true feelings about their position in Somali society to themselves. Once in the refugee camps, however, where Kenyan police, aid workers, and Kenyan government officials treated the Somali Bantu more respectfully, the Bantu began to speak out and defend themselves against their mistreatment. By treating the Bantu as fairly and respectfully as they treat other refugee groups, resettlement workers in the United States will help establish rapport and earn the Bantu's trust.


Despite the abuses against them, the Bantu have been described as a resourceful people with many different skills. Bantu who have gone to the cities have worked in a variety of labor intensive occupations. Their resourcefulness and hard work is evident in the refugee camps as well, where the Bantu have been engaged in similar types of jobs as well as agricultural work. The Bantu have also been described as humble and hospitable. They are known for their capacity to easily adjust to any situation.

Family Life

The IOM reports that the average Bantu family consists of between four and eight children, often with a number of very young children, and that a nuclear family typically includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other relatives. Most Bantu adults also consider themselves members of more than one family. A married woman, for example, retains membership in her father's family.

Daily life may vary slightly from one Bantu family to another, but, generally Bantu society is a patriarchal one in which the father is the main provider and the mother is the general manager of the family's domestic affairs. However, for some lower Juba Bantu who have maintained their east African language and culture, traditional rituals are passed down through the mother. Increasingly, women are playing a role in helping provide for the family. Bantu children typically work alongside their parents on the family farm and participate with adults in some traditional ceremonies.

The Bantu maintain their traditional hospitality and support toward extended families in times of trouble. In fact, their hospitality extends to outsiders who are in need of help. For example, when neighboring pastoral communities lose their animals due to drought and disease, they are welcomed to settle with the Bantu communities. In these cases, a house is built and a piece of farm land assigned to the newcomer under a rental agreement known as doonfuul or berkaber, which means sharecropping.


Marriage and Children


Marriage among the Bantu people can be divided into two types. The first, known as aroos fadhi, is consensual and arranged by the parents. The second, known as msafa, is not approved by the parents and involves the couple running away together to the house of a local sheikh to be married. Before performing the wedding, however, the sheikh calls the children's parents to ask them whether they give their blessings to the marriage. The parents on both sides will usually give the wedding their blessing out of respect for the sheikh. In traditional Bantu marriages, the father of the groom pays a dowry to the family of the bride. Bantu weddings are festive occasions where the groom's parents also arrange a large party for the guests after the ceremony. The IOM estimates that while some Bantu marry before the age of 16, it is rare, and that many marry between the ages of 16 and 18. Like Muslims in Somalia, the Bantu practice polygamy.

With the Bantu, as in much of Somali society, the children are given the father's names while the wife keeps her father's names. The Bantu should be addressed by their first name. Traditionally, a child is given a name on the third day after birth. Islamic names are predominantly used these days, although there is also evidence that some Bantu still use traditional names as well. Some male traditional names are Kolonga, Shaalo, Juma, Mkoma, Mberwa, Nameka, Arbow, Kabea, and Kasamila. Examples of male Islamic names are Kabirow, Malik, Mustaf, Abdulrahman, and Mohammed. Several female traditional names are Unshirey, Mwanamku, and Mwanamvua, while some Islamic female names are Fatuma, Nuuria, Rahma, and Amina.

Divorce is not uncommon among the Bantu, and men and women may have children by different partners. Young children typically stay with the mother after divorce, but older children may stay with the father.


Community Life


Public life in Bantu villages is similar to that in other African societies where people know and interact with each other to provide for their sustenance and protection. Daily life for most men is consumed by either working on private farms or at wage earning jobs. Most women play the role of the head of the household, while also being responsible for food preparation and farming tasks. This social structure was recreated in the refugee camps, where the Bantu settled into several community sections or blocks. They quickly organized themselves into functioning communities with gardens for supplemental food, appointed elders and leaders to conduct ceremonies, and built fencing with guards to protect themselves against bandit attacks.



Festivities and Ceremonies


Like other Muslims, the Bantu follow the lunar year system while also using the solar year system to determine the timing for crop planting and harvesting. One of the popular and celebrated traditional festivities is the fire festival known as Deb-Shid, in which people dance and sing around a bonfire to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

Bantu ceremonies and dance groups are strongly linked to their community structure and spiritual well-being. Thus, traditional ceremonies and ritual dancing among the Bantu will most likely continue to be an important aspect of their lives once they are settled in the United States. Resettlement agencies should therefore try to incorporate these aspects of community organization into the Bantu's resettlement placement and delivery of services. In the United States, clustering Bantu families together in housing units would allow them to draw on their community cooperation and support.

Another important and traditional festival is Anyakow. This is a dance and singing celebration in which both males and females participate and is mostly held at night in the forest. It is only performed during the day for the commemoration of an important figure in the community or for someone who is about to get married and requests it for the wedding. Other celebrations are held at night to allow participants to spiritually connect with their ancestors. Night is also a time for people to rest and make social acquaintances.

A fascinating and entertaining dance is Masawey, in which men and women wear dried banana leaves on their waists, metal anklets on their feet, and bracelets on their hands to make synchronized rhythmic noises. This is an acrobatic dance with participants simultaneously swinging and moving their bodies. This dance, like Anyakow, is sung in either Swahili or a local dialect. Another famous dance is Cadow Makaraan. Shulay is a dance competition between Bantu villages that is performed by the best boy and girl dancers from each village. In all these events, whether ritual or fantasy, performers play different drums and other instruments.

Artistic woodcarvings are demonstrated during the festivities of Anyakow and other dancing ceremonies. Various carved masks are worn during daytime dances to cover one's face. During these festivities, the artists' mastery of art, literature, and music are said to not only capture the audience's attention, but to mesmerize them as well.

Although festivities are mainly religious, there are other nonreligious social occasions that are celebrated, such as the birth of a baby, marriages, circumcisions, and the commemoration of saints. The Bantu's animist beliefs reveal themselves in rural child-rearing practices. Women with babies under 40 days old traditionally stay inside. If a new mother needs to go outside, she will often take a metallic object with her to ward off evil. This tradition is mostly practiced by those living in rural Somalia, while the urban population often no longer practices such traditions.





The staple food for the Bantu is maize, locally known as soor, which is a thick porridge. Other foods are beans, sorghum, vegetables, and fruits. Through outside influences, additional foods such as rice and spaghetti have become common. The Bantu catch fish for themselves from the Juba River and occasionally buy or trade for ghee, milk, and meat in the market from the nomads. They normally eat three meals a day. Breakfast often includes coffee with bananas, sweet potatoes, or yam. For lunch, they may eat boiled corn and beans mixed with sesame oil and tea. Dinner could be soor with mboga (cooked vegetables), fish or meat, and milk.

The Bantu eat halal meat—that is, meat that comes from animals slaughtered by a Muslim—and are not permitted to eat pork and lard. Some Bantu also hunt wild game to supplement their diets. Although the Bantu follow restrictions against alcohol, a few brew local drinks made of maize and honey, which are consumed during the traditional ritual dance gatherings.

Resettlement agencies may want to provide the Bantu with bread and cereal (hot and cold), the fruit and vegetables listed above, and milk and loose leaf tea to drink. The Bantu have learned to make and cook spaghetti and flat bread (similar to a tortilla) in the refugee camps from their rations of wheat, cooking oil, sugar, and salt. They have also grown tomatoes, onions, papaya, and watermelons in the camps and should be familiar with this produce in the United States.




As mentioned earlier, Bantu women do not wear the hijab for religious purposes. However, if married, they cover themselves by wearing a shaash dango (headscarf), a locally styled blouse called a cambuur-garbeet, and a large wraparound cloth called a gonfo, similar to the Indian sari. Some Bantu dressing styles are worn only on special occasions such as weddings, traditional festivities, and religious celebrations.


Many Bantu men in the refugee camps, and particularly the older ones, dress in buttoned shirts or t-shirts along with the traditional wraparound cloth that other Somalis wear around their waists. Like their Somali compatriots, the Bantu may wear this clothing at home once they arrive in the United States. Younger men engaged in manual labor are more likely to wear pants rather than the wraparound cloth. Some Bantu men also put on the Muslim cap or, less often, a turban.


Clothing worn by the Bantu children in the refugee camp generally mirrors that of the parents. With limited money for clothes, children are often provided with the most affordable clothes that are available in the camps, with girls wearing dresses and wraparound skirts and boys dressing in t-shirts and pants. Due to a lack of money, some refugees even used the liner in their tents as material for clothing


Art, Literature, and Music


Art for the Bantu primarily takes the form of music and dance, as described at length in the sections on religion and festivities. Important aspects of their culture are passed down from one generation to the next through storytelling, singing, and oral recounting of their history. The Bantu play musical instruments, primarily drums, in their traditional ceremonies. Some Bantu work in urban Somalia playing in bands for the wider Somali population.



Here is another Somali book




....a basic introduction to the people, history, and culture of Somalia. It is designed primarily for service providers and others assisting Somali refugees in their new communities in the United States.

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Extracts from avery interesting civicweb.



The Foundations of the Somali Ethnic Group





Two Chains Leading into the Somali Ethnic Group



The Somaale People, Defined by Zumali Ram Nag




The Foundations of the *** Group of Clans



The Foundations of the Haawiiye Group of Clans



The Foundations of the Isa Group of Clans



The Foundations of the Isaak Group of Clans



The Foundations of the D.a.rood Group of Clans

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^^waa su'aal mudan in aan ku weydiiyo "The Foundations of the *** Group of Clans" xidigyada meesha ey qarineyso maxaad ku dhax qarisay? Eraygaas hoostiisana waxaad ka hadleysaa qabiilada H-A-W-I-Y-E, waxa kaliix oo maskaxdeyda ku soo dhacaayo waxaa waaye in sadaxdaas xidig laga waday a$$, Quantum Leap ma saxsanahay? :mad: :confused:

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QL sxb thanks for info, laakiin magacyada Q ma saxsana sida loo qoray, but overall the info is great,,,,,



Go figure:..................

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QL great info on the Bantu it was very interesting especially about their special dances and festivals!

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QUANTUM LEAP, sometime ago,my friends and i were depating abt how accurate and realible the genealogy "family tree" of the somalis is!! , since most of these were passed as word of mouth and were not written somewhere,anyway good work.



Here are the constitutions of somalia since 1960.



The Constitution of the Somali Republic-1960~~english



The President is elected by the Parliament for the period of 6 years.


- The Government is responsible toward the National Assembly


- The National Assembly has 123 elected for 5 years.


- Suspended the 21st October 1969 by a Military Coup




Somali Constitution 1979,,Somali~~Dastuurka Jamhuuriyadda Dimoqraadiga Somaaliya 16/09/1979 (Somali)



- The President is elected by the Assembly for the period of 7 years.


- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.


- The People Assembly has 177 elected ( 6 of them are appointed by the President) for 5 years.


- Only One party S.R.S.P. (Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party)


- Modified during 1984



Axdiga Qaranka ee Ku-meel Gaarka ah 06/06/2000 ,Somali


-The President is elected by the Assembly for the period of 3 years.


- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.


- The People Assembly has 225 elected ( 25 of them women)


- Official languages Somali and Arabic



The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic-2004~~English

Axdiga Jamhuuriyadda Federaalka ~~2004~~Somali


The President is elected by the Assembly for the period of 5 years.


- The Prime Minister is appointed by the President.


- The People Assembly has 275 elected ( 12% of them women)


- Official languages Somali (Maay and Maxaatiri) and Arabic



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Regardless of where or who we as a nation originate to, we as people have to eliminate this pschological disease tribilism. i do not understand the Somali diaspora who fueling this worthless machine. Obviously, this clan non-sense was a tool for the Europeans, then for Siyad Barre, and Ethiopians have use it last 25+ to divide the Somalis to its own likings. stronger Somalis means smaller Ethiopia, smaller Kenya.wake up and get your act together, quit being so weak. By the way, I'm a new member, so welcome.

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Salam-alaykom bros and sisters.


I would say that its rather disctrimnatary to define a somali by clan.


There are somalis who dont belong to "sab and samaale". That map forgot the xamari people of somalia,

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If it is discriminative as you suggest then perhaps you can suggest what we can do to correct it. As you may or may not know, the Somali history is somehow distorted and not very accurate and all we are doing is to try and find whats wrong with it. So rather than blame, you should correct any wrongs.


Im sure what you said makes sense too.

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Hey nomads!


I've got a request actually, hope that someone here can help me out.

I'm currently developing the annual newsletter of this Somali Organisation I work for and it has a section in which we try and educate Non-Somalis about our background, langauge, culture etc.


This section is specifically about the Luqadda iyo Waxbarashada of Somalia, and I can't seem to find something that would be appropiate for that section. I was wondering if some of you know of or have any pictures that you think would be useful.

I would very much appreciate your efforts!



P.S. I want to bring the newsletter to the printers at the latest thursday so something before that would be good. Sorry for putting a timeline on this smile.gif

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