By Said S. Samatar
This ebook explores the impact of oral poetry on Somali politics. through reconstructing the heritage of the Somali nationalist resistance stream, regularly by using political oratory in verse shape through its chief, Sayyid Mahammad 'Abdille Hasan', the 'Mad Mullah' of British heritage, acknowledged Samater exhibits how an indigenous source may be harnessed in a non-literate society, not just as a medium of mass verbal exchange but additionally as a device for buying political energy. He strains the intimate correlation among language, politics and oral poetry and seeks to indicate to scholars of African societies methods of reading indigenous types of communique utilized by conventional African creators of large-scale businesses within the absence of writing, to steer public opinion. The ebook is a vital contribution to the historical past of the Horn of Africa and its new fabric at the position of oral literature in a non-literate society will curiosity linguists, sociologists and anthropologists, in addition to scholars of folklore and comparative literature.
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Additional info for Oral Poetry and Somali Nationalism: The Case of Sayid Mahammad 'Abdille Hasan (African Studies)
The pastoral Somalis say the horse and the camel thrive on each other ('Waa isku bahaan'). The observation signifies the importance Somalis attach to the horse as an instrument in camel raiding or defending camels against raid. 42 Somalis recognize two breeds of their ponies, the so-called 'Galbeed' from western Somalia and the 'Bari' or eastern pony. Although the eastern pony is slightly smaller (thirteen to fourteen hands in height at the shoulder) than the Galbeed, it is preferred to its western counterpart.
Moreover, in the ethos of godob, fifty or even a hundred years may pass before the descendants of a murdered man may move to settle up accounts with their foes by killing one or 25 Elements of Somali pastoral oratory: prose several of his descendants or nearest kin. Similarly, if a clan loses property or blood to another, retribution need not be effected in the present generation, but it is bound to be executed, for a debt of godob is one of those unforgettable and unforgivable social transactions which must receive compensation sooner or later.
I sketch graphically in table 1 a few camel names to show something of their variety and cultural significance. The names proliferate ad infinitum and it would not be rash to conjecture that under careful collation a thesaurus of some size could be compiled on them. In their songs, as in their serious verse, Somalis address camels and I have sought in vain for a major Somali poet of this century or the last whose work does not in some way address this ubiquitous beast. There is a special category of songs for watering camels, a special category for herding them, another for milking them, another for driving them and yet another for rustling them.
Oral Poetry and Somali Nationalism: The Case of Sayid Mahammad 'Abdille Hasan (African Studies) by Said S. Samatar