Explorations in History and Society

Exploring and Collecting the History of the Somali clan of Hawiye.

Some vaunts of the clans

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What impassions some tribes

“The wild beasts appeared and the Murúsada flung themselves upon them”

The verse refers to the widespread belief that the Murúsada were werewolves; and thus here they seem to have stolen the ferocity of the wild beasts

“Respect appeared and the Daud flung themselves upon it”

The Daud are praised for the regard that they show toward guests.

“Bad manners appeared and the Darod flung themselves upon them”

The Darod, foreign to the Hawiyya peoples, to whom the singer belonged, are mocked for their impulsive reactions.

 “The purge appeared and the Hillibi flung themselves upon it”

And finally in this verse a joke is made about the frequency with which the Hillibi have recourse to a purgative beverage (digoo) in their villages.

 

Where to look for some things among the various tribes

 

“I went to raid the raw durra in the tribe of Galgä‘el”

The Galgä‘el, nomadic pastoralists — according to this verse, insulting for them — are used to eating durra in the ear, raw and not yet threshed. The unthreshed durra is called qamir   in the dialect of the Hawadlä; gilqab   in the Abgal dialect, whereas the Galgä‘el themselves call it addun.

“I went to raid the boiled beans in the tribe of the Abgal”

Here fun is made of the Abgäl and of their food of boiled beans (qalon)

“I went to raid the strength in the tribe of the Bimal”

The Bimal, of the region of Jilib, had made themselves a reputation for bravery.

“I went to raid the vehemence in the tribe of the Mobilen”

The Mobilen, the singer says, are famous for the qoq,   that is, the facility with which they become excited ( qoq ) , in the dialects of the Hawiyya, is properly speaking the period of heat of animals.

“I went to raid the beauty in the tribe of the Hawadlä”

 

Rich hospitality and poor hospitality among the tribes

Hawadla singer, who had requested hospitality in a village of the Badi ‘Addä and had been — he says — treated with the parsimony characteristic of the prudent agriculturalists, composed these verses in order to avenge himself, comparing the generosity of his tribe of pastoralists with the avarice of the Badi ‘Addä.

1) Qaf  is the Koran placed. My Lord is powerful.

2-4) The one who butchers a young camel for you and at the same time slices a watermelon for you and the one who instead warms green leaves for you and at the same time piles up the stubble for you (for a bed): according to my measure, they are not equal. Come on, choose one!

5-6) The one who has squeezed for you (essence of) coffee (milk of a) camel with large shoulders and the one who instead told you “take some!” of the polenta without gravy: according to my measure, they are not equal. Come on, choose one!

7-9) The one who has loaded for you a camel with a blackened neck and a she-camel fit for transport and the one who instead has put your loads on a braying donkey; do you not have brains? Come on, choose one!

These verses too resulted in a series of encounters between[unknown] Hawadlä and Badi ‘Addä; and one is to note also the usual ironic allusion (as in the song published above) to the predilection of the Badi ‘Addä peasants for the donkeys as beasts of burden instead of the noble camels of the pastoralists.

 

Tribes as inimical as leopards and lambs

Another poet of the Hawadlä, having recognized in groups that were dancing on a moonlit night some young men of the Galgä‘el tribe who had infiltrated into that meeting intended for the Hawadlä only, sang these verses; and it is easy to imagine what the consequences were.

1-4) The Bes, drinkers of milk, and the Bersanä of Gabay, the Bila‘, the Kabolä, and the Adan Yäbär who live in this Bay: and our boys of Bulo Balläy are two factions that are to be kept separated.

5-6) The spotted leopard and a little lamb of the sheep are two factions that are to be kept separated.

7-8) The speckled cow and the lame hyena are two factions that are to be kept separated.

The various peoples mentioned in the first stanza, Bes, Bersanä, Bila‘, Kabolä, and Aden Yäbär, all belong to the Galgä‘el tribe. Bulo Balläy, on the other hand, is a village of the Hawadlä. Bay is the pasture zone east of the Giuba /Juba/;Gabay is the pasture zone between Bay and the Webi.

 

References; Enrico Cerulli ” How a Hawiye tribe use to live”

Written by daud jimale

May 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm

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