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Leaving the church, men shake hands, stand for a moment to exchange friendly gossip, or address a few words to the preacher, and then walk home to dinner. There are many salient points of difference. No bonnets appear in public: the squire, after prayers, gives alms to the poor, and departs escorted by two dozen matchlock-men, who perseveringly fire their shotted guns.
It is worked in with a needle, when it becomes permanent: applied with a pen, it requires to be renewed about once a fortnight. The material is sometimes Daum or other palm: there are, however, many plants in more common use; they are made of every variety in shape and colour, and are dyed red, black, and yellow,—madder from Tajurrah and alum being the matter principally used.
In the Somali country it is a cotton sheet eight cubits long, and two breadths sewn together. An article of various uses, like the Highland plaid, it is worn in many ways; sometimes the right arm is bared; in cold weather the whole person is muffled up, and in summer it is allowed to full below the waist.
Generally it is passed behind the back, rests upon the left shoulder, is carried forward over the breast, surrounds the body, and ends hanging on the left shoulder, where it displays a gaudy silk fringe of red and yellow. Though highly becoming, and picturesque as the Roman toga, the Somali Tobe is by no means the most decorous of dresses: women in the towns often prefer the Arab costume,—a short-sleeved robe extending to the knee, and a Futah or loin-cloth underneath.
Ali and Mahmud, the latter a fine young man, fell victims to small pox: Mohammed is now the eldest, and the youngest is a child called Ahmed, left for education at Mocha. The Hajj has also two daughters, married to Bedouin Somal. He was about to take refuge in a mosque, but entering, he stumbled over the threshold. The principal families of outcasts are the following. The Yebir correspond with the Dushan of Southern Arabia: the males are usually jesters to the chiefs, and both sexes take certain parts at festivals, marriages, and circumcisions.
The number is said to be small, amounting to about families in the northern Somali country. The Tomal or Handad, the blacksmiths, originally of Aydur race, have become vile by intermarriage with serviles. They mast now wed maidens of their own class, and live apart from the community: their magical practices are feared by the people,—the connection of wits and witchcraft is obvious,—and all private quarrels are traced to them.
It has been observed that the blacksmith has ever been looked upon with awe by barbarians on the same principle that made Vulcan a deity. In Abyssinia all artisans are Budah, sorcerers, especially the blacksmith, and he is a social outcast as among the Somal; even in El Hejaz, a land, unlike Yemen, opposed to distinctions amongst Moslems, the Khalawiyah, who work in metal, are considered vile. Throughout the rest of El Islam the blacksmith is respected as treading in the path of David, the father of the craft.
There are three distinct tribes of this people, who are numerous in the Somali country: the best genealogists cannot trace their origin, though some are silly enough to derive them, like the Akhdam, from Shimr. All, however, agree in expelling the Midgan from the gentle blood of Somali land, and his position has been compared to that of Freedman amongst the Romans. These people take service under the different chiefs, who sometimes entertain great numbers to aid in forays and frays; they do not, however, confine themselves to one craft.
Many Midgans employ themselves in hunting and agriculture. Instead of spear and shield, they carry bows and a quiver full of diminutive arrows, barbed and poisoned with the Waba,—a weapon used from Faizoghli to the Cape of Good Hope.
Like the Veddah of Ceylon, the Midgan is a poor shot, and scarcely strong enough to draw his stiff bow. He is accused of maliciousness; and the twanging of his string will put to flight a whole village. The poison is greatly feared: it causes, say the people, the hair and nails to drop off, and kills a man in half an hour. The only treatment known is instant excision of the part; and this is done the more frequently, because here, as in other parts of Africa, such stigmates are deemed ornamental.
In appearance the Midgan is dark and somewhat stunted; he is known to the people by peculiarities of countenance and accent. Yet is it not practically the case with ourselves? The players have twelve counters a piece, and each places two at a time upon any of the unoccupied angles, till all except the centre are filled up. It is a game of some skill, and perpetual practice enables the Somal to play it as the Persians do backgammon, with great art and little reflection.
Shahh is another favourite game. The board is made thus, and the pieces as at Shantarah are twelve in number. Children usually prefer the game called indifferently Togantog and Saddikiya. It resembles the Bornou game, played with beans and holes in the sand. None but the travelled know chess, and the Damal draughts and Tavola backgammon of the Turks. This is natural enough, the bravest weapon being generally the shortest—that which places a man hand to hand with his opponent.
Some of the Kafir tribes have discontinued throwing the Assegai, and enter battle wielding it as a pike. Usually, also, the shorter the weapon is, the more fatal are the conflicts in which it is employed. Johnston Travels in Southern Abyssinia, chap.
Should he simply refuse, without, however, disbelieving in prayer, he is to be put to death, and receive Moslem burial; in the other contingency, he is not bathed, prayed for, or interred in holy ground. This severe order, however, lies in general abeyance. They have proved themselves good men in wit as well as war; yet, like the old Greenlanders and some of the Burmese tribes, they are apparently unable to believe in the existence of the Supreme.
The assertion generally passes current that the idea of an Omnipotent Being is familiar to all people, even the most barbarous. My limited experience argues the contrary. Savages begin with fetisism and demon-worship, they proceed to physiolatry the religion of the Vedas and Sabaeism: the deity is the last and highest pinnacle of the spiritual temple, not placed there except by a comparatively civilised race of high development, which leads them to study and speculate upon cosmical and psychical themes.
The consulter, beginning at a chance place, counts up to the mark: if the number of beads be odd, he sets down a single dot, if even, two. This is done four times, when a figure is produced as in the margin. Of these there are sixteen, each having its peculiar name and properties.
The art is merely Geomancy in its rudest shape; a mode of vaticination which, from its wide diffusion, must be of high antiquity. The Arabs call it El Baml, and ascribe its present form to the Imam Jaafar el Sadik; amongst them it is a ponderous study, connected as usual with astrology. Lane, Mod. Egypt, chap. It is useless to offer others, as all bear the closest resemblance. We determined on the 9th of November to visit the island of Saad el Din, the larger of the two patches of ground which lie about two miles north of the town.
To this succeeded a barren flat of silt and sand, white with salt and ragged with salsolaceous stubble, reeking with heat, and covered with old vegetation. Here, says local tradition, was the ancient site of Zayla 1 , built by Arabs from Yemen. The legend runs that when Saad el Din was besieged and slain by David, King of Ethiopia, the wells dried up and the island sank. Something doubtless occurred which rendered a removal advisable: the sons of the Moslem hero fled to Ahmed bin El Ashraf, Prince of Senaa, offering their allegiance if he would build fortifications for them and aid them against the Christians of Abyssinia.
They formed a kind of parish register of births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and manumissions. From them it appeared that in A. It passed two generations ago into the hands of Mohammed Musa, a Hawiyah, and the present Kazi is his nephew.
The Avalites 2 of the Periplus and Pliny, it was in earliest ages dependent upon the kingdom of Axum. In the fourteenth century it became celebrated by its wars with the kings of Abyssinia: sustaining severe defeats the Moslems retired upon their harbour, which, after an obstinate defence fell into the hands of the Christians.
The land was laid waste, the mosques were converted into churches, and the Abyssinians returned to their mountains laden with booty. About A. This is a settlement, of the Berbers 6 , a people of Sudan, of the Shafia sect. The greatest number of the inhabitants, however, are of the Rafizah sect. The trade of India, flying from the same enemy, took refuge in Adel, amongst its partners. They took possession, therefore, of Zayla, which they made a den of thieves, established there what they called a custom-house 11 , and, by means of that post and galleys cruising in the narrow straits of Bab el Mandeb, they laid the Indian trade to Adel under heavy contributions that might indemnify them for the great desertion their violence and injustice had occasioned in Arabia.
This step threatened the very existence both of Adel and Abyssinia; and considering the vigorous government of the one, and the weak politics and prejudices of the other, it is more than probable that the Turks would have subdued both, had they not in India, their chief object, met the Portuguese, strongly established.
Bartema, travelling in A. There is marvellous abundance of gold and iron, and an innumerable number of black slaves sold for small prices; these are taken in War by the Mahomedans out of AEthiopia, of the kingdom of Presbyter Johannes, or Preciosus Johannes, which some also call the king of Jacobins or Abyssins, being a Christian; and are carried away from thence into Persia, Arabia Felix, Babylonia of Nilus or Alcair, and Meccah. In this city justice and good laws are observed.
It hath an innumerable multitude of merchants; the walls are greatly decayed, and the haven rude and despicable. The King or Sultan of the city is a Mahomedan, and entertaineth in wages a great multitude of footmen and horsemen. They are greatly given to war, and wear only one loose single vesture: they are of dark ash colour, inclining to black. When the Turks were compelled to retire from Southern Arabia, it became subject to the Prince of Senaa, who gave it in perpetuity to the family of a Senaani merchant.
The kingdom of Yemen falling into decay, Zayla passed under the authority of the Sherif of Mocha, who, though receiving no part of the revenue, had yet the power of displacing the Governor. By him it was farmed out to the Hajj Sharmarkay, who paid annually to Sayyid Mohammed el Barr, at Mocha, the sum of crowns, and reserved all that he could collect above that sum for himself. The extant remains at Saad el Din are principally those of water-courses, rude lines of coralline, stretching across the plain towards wells, now lost 13 , and diminutive tanks, made apparently to collect rain water.
One of these latter is a work of some art—a long sunken vault, with a pointed arch projecting a few feet above the surface of the ground; outside it is of rough stone, the interior is carefully coated with fine lime, and from the roof long stalactites depend. Near it is a cemetery: the graves are, for the most part, provided with large slabs of close black basalt, planted in the ground edgeways, and in the shape of a small oblong. The material was most probably brought from the mountains near Tajurrah: at another part of the island I found it in the shape of a gigantic mill-stone, half imbedded in the loose sand.
Near the cemetery we observed a mound of rough stones surrounding an upright pole; this is the tomb of Shaykh Saad el Din, formerly the hero, now the favourite patron saint of Zayla,—still popularly venerated, as was proved by the remains of votive banquets, broken bones, dried garbage, and stones blackened by the fire. After wandering through the island, which contained not a human being save a party of Somal boatmen, cutting firewood for Aden, and having massacred a number of large fishing hawks and small sea-birds, to astonish the natives, our companions, we returned to the landing-place.
Here an awning had been spread; the goat destined for our dinner—I have long since conquered all dislike, dear L. After feeding, regardless of Quartana and her weird sisterhood, we all lay down for siesta in the light sea-breeze. Our slumbers were heavy, as the Zayla people say is ever the case at Saad el Din, and the sun had declined low ere we awoke. The tide was out, and we waded a quarter of a mile to the boat, amongst giant crabs who showed grisly claws, sharp coralline, and sea-weed so thick as to become almost a mat.
You must believe me when I tell you that in the shallower parts the sun was painfully hot, even to my well tried feet. We picked up a few specimens of fine sponge, and coral, white and red, which, if collected, might be valuable to Zayla, and, our pic-nic concluded, we returned home. On the 14th November we left the town to meet a caravan of the Danakil 14 , and to visit the tomb of the great saint Abu Zarbay.
The men were wild as ourang-outangs, and the women fit only to flog cattle: their animals were small, meagre-looking, and loosely made; the asses of the Bedouins, however, are far superior to those of Zayla, and the camels are, comparatively speaking, well bred. A caravan so extensive being an unusual event,—small parties carrying only grain come in once or twice a week,—the citizens abandoned even their favourite game of ball, with an eye to speculation.
Presently they entered the streets, where we witnessed their frantic dance in presence of the Hajj and other authorities. The Shaykh Ibrahim Abu Zarbay 16 lies under a whitewashed dome close to the Ashurbara Gate of Zayla: an inscription cut in wood over the doorway informs us that the building dates from A. It is now dilapidated, the lintel is falling in, the walls are decaying, and the cupola, which is rudely built, with primitive gradients,—each step supported as in Cashmere and other parts of India, by wooden beams,— threatens the heads of the pious.
The building is divided into two compartments, forming a Mosque and a Mazar or place of pious visitation: in the latter are five tombs, the two largest covered with common chintz stuff of glaring colours. Ibrahim was one of the forty-four Hazrami saints who landed at Berberah, sat in solemn conclave upon Auliya Kumbo or Holy Hill, and thence dispersed far and wide for the purpose of propagandism. He travelled to Harar about A. His name is immortalised in El Yemen by the introduction of El Kat.
At daybreak I set out with four Arab matchlock-men, and taking a direction nearly due west, waded and walked over an alluvial plain flooded by every high tide. On our way we passed lines of donkeys and camels carrying water-skins from the town; they were under guard like ourselves, and the sturdy dames that drove them indulged in many a loud joke at our expense. After walking about four miles we arrived at what is called the Takhushshah—the sandy bed of a torrent nearly a mile broad 19 , covered with a thin coat of caked mud: in the centre is a line of pits from three to four feet deep, with turbid water at the bottom.
About the wells stood troops of camels, whose Eesa proprietors scowled fiercely at us, and stalked over the plain with their long, heavy spears: for protection against these people, the citizens have erected a kind of round tower, with a ladder for a staircase. Near it are some large tamarisks and the wild henna of the Somali country, which supplies a sweet-smelling flower, but is valueless as a dye. I remarked the castor-plant,—no one knows its name or nature 20 ,—the Rayhan or Basil, the Kadi, a species of aloe, whose strongly scented flowers the Arabs of Yemen are fond of wearing in their turbans.
After enjoying a walk through the garden and a bath at the well, I started, gun in hand, towards the jungly plain that stretches towards the sea. It abounds in hares, and in a large description of spur-fowl 22 ; the beautiful little sand antelope, scarcely bigger than an English rabbit 23 , bounded over the bushes, its thin legs being scarcely perceptible during the spring. In revenge, I did considerable havoc amongst the spur-fowl, who proved equally good for sport and the pot, besides knocking over a number of old crows, whose gall the Arab soldiers wanted for collyrium.
Returning, we breakfasted in the garden, and rain coming on, we walked out to enjoy the Oriental luxury of a wetting. Ali Iskandar, an old Arab mercenary, afforded us infinite amusement: a little opium made him half crazy, when his sarcastic pleasantries never ceased. We then brought out the guns, and being joined by the other escort, proceeded to a trial of skill. The Arabs planted a bone about paces from us,—a long distance for a people who seldom fire beyond fifty yards;—moreover, the wind blew the flash strongly in their faces.
Some shot two or three dozen times wide of the mark and were derided accordingly: one man hit the bone; he at once stopped practice, as the wise in such matters will do, and shook hands with all the party. He afterwards showed that his success on this occasion had been accidental; but he was a staunch old sportsman, remarkable, as the Arab Bedouins generally are, for his skill and perseverance in stalking.
Having no rifle, I remained a spectator. My revolvers excited abundant attention, though none would be persuaded to touch them. The largest, which fitted with a stock became an excellent carbine, was at once named Abu Sittah the Father of Six and the Shaytan or Devil: the pocket pistol became the Malunah or Accursed, and the distance to which it carried ball made every man wonder.
The Arabs had antiquated matchlocks, mostly worn away to paper thinness at the mouth: as usual they fired with the right elbow raised to the level of the ear, and the left hand grasping the barrel, where with us the breech would be. Hassan Turki had one of those fine old Shishkhanah rifles formerly made at Damascus and Senaa: it carried a two-ounce ball with perfect correctness, but was so badly mounted in its block-butt, shaped like a Dutch cheese, that it always required a rest.
On our return home we met a party of Eesa girls, who derided my colour and doubted the fact of my being a Moslem. The Arabs declared me to be a Shaykh of Shaykhs, and translated to the prettiest of the party an impromptu proposal of marriage. She showed but little coyness, and stated her price to be an Audulli or necklace 26 , a couple of Tobes,—she asked one too many—a few handfuls of beads, 27 and a small present for her papa. She promised, naively enough, to call next day and inspect the goods: the publicity of the town did not deter her, but the shamefacedness of my two companions prevented our meeting again.
Arrived at Zayla after a sunny walk, the Arab escort loaded their guns, formed a line for me to pass along, fired a salute, and entered to coffee and sweetmeats. On the 24th of November I had an opportunity of seeing what a timid people are these Somal of the towns, who, as has been well remarked, are, like the settled Arabs, the worst specimens of their race.
Three Eesa Bedouins appeared before the southern gate, slaughtered a cow, buried its head, and sent for permission to visit one of their number who had been imprisoned by the Hajj for the murder of his son Masud. The place was at once thrown into confusion, the gates were locked, and the walls manned with Arab matchlock men: my three followers armed themselves, and I was summoned to the fray.
The prisoner was visited by his brother, who volunteered to share his confinement, and the meeting was described as most pathetic: partly from mental organisation and partly from the peculiarities of society, the only real tie acknowledged by these people is that which connects male kinsmen. The Hajj, after speaking big, had the weakness to let the murderer depart alive: this measure, like peace-policy in general, is the best and surest way to encourage bloodshed and mutilation.
But a few months before, an Eesa Bedouin enticed out of the gates a boy about fifteen, and slaughtered him for the sake of wearing the feather. His relations were directed to receive the Diyat or blood fine, and the wretch was allowed to depart unhurt—a silly clemency!
You must not suppose, dear L. But how explain to you the obstacles thrown in our way by African indolence, petty intrigue, and interminable suspicion? Four months before leaving Aden I had taken the precaution of meeting the Hajj, requesting him to select for us an Abban 30 , or protector, and to provide camels and mules; two months before starting I had advanced to him the money required in a country where nothing can be done without a whole or partial prepayment. I at once begged the governor to exert himself: he politely promised to start a messenger that hour, and he delayed doing so for ten days.
An easterly wind set in and gave the crew an excuse for wasting another fortnight. All the effect was a paroxysm of talking. The Hajj and his son treated me, like a spoilt child, to a double allowance of food and milk: they warned me that the small-pox was depopulating Harar, that the road swarmed with brigands, and that the Amir or prince was certain destruction,—I contented myself with determining that both were true Oriental hyperbolists, and fell into more frequent fits of passion.
The old man could not comprehend my secret. The Hajj strongly recommended us to one of the principal families of the Gudabirsi tribe, who would pass us on to their brother-in-law Adan, the Gerad or prince of the Girhi; and he, in due time, to his kinsman the Amir of Harar.
The chain was commenced by placing us under the protection of one Raghe, a petty Eesa chief of the Mummasan clan. By the good aid of the Hajj and our sweetmeats, he was persuaded, for the moderate consideration of ten Tobes 33 , to accompany us to the frontier of his clan, distant about fifty miles, to introduce us to the Gudabirsi, and to provide us with three men as servants, and a suitable escort, a score or so, in dangerous places. Raghe warned us seriously to prepare for dangers and disasters, and this seemed to be the general opinion of Zayla, whose timid citizens determined that we were tired of our lives.
The honest fellows are not so anxious to plunder as to ennoble themselves by taking life: every man hangs to his saddle bow an ostrich 36 feather,—emblem of truth,—and the moment his javelin has drawn blood, he sticks it into his tufty pole with as much satisfaction as we feel when attaching a medal to our shell-jackets. It is by no means necessary to slay the foe in fair combat: Spartan-like, treachery is preferred to stand-up fighting; and you may measure their ideas of honor, by the fact that women are murdered in cold blood, as by the Amazulus, with the hope that the unborn child may prove a male.
During my short stay at Zayla six or seven murders were committed close to the walls: the Abban brought news, a few hours before our departure, that two Eesas had been slaughtered by the Habr Awal. The Eesa and Dankali also have a blood feud, which causes perpetual loss of life. But a short time ago six men of these two tribes were travelling together, when suddenly the last but one received from the hindermost a deadly spear thrust in the back.
The wounded man had the presence of mind to plunge his dagger in the side of the wayfarer who preceded him, thus dying, as the people say, in company. One of these events throws the country into confusion, for the vendetta is rancorous and bloody, as in ancient Germany or in modern Corsica. Our Abban enlarged upon the unpleasant necessity of travelling all night towards the hills, and lying perdu during the day.
The most dangerous times are dawn and evening tide: the troopers spare their horses during the heat, and themselves during the dew-fall. War Joga! If they halt, you send a parliamentary to within speaking distance.
Should they advance 38 , you fire, taking especial care not to miss; when two saddles are emptied, the rest are sure to decamp. I had given the Abban orders to be in readiness,—my patience being thoroughly exhausted,—on Sunday, the 26th of November, and determined to walk the whole way, rather than waste another day waiting for cattle.
As the case had become hopeless, a vessel was descried standing straight from Tajurrah, and, suddenly as could happen in the Arabian Nights, four fine mules, saddled and bridled, Abyssinian fashion, appeared at the door. Even the Sawahil people retain a tradition that their forefathers originated in the south of Arabia. Hossain, Wahabit, and Abdool Kurreem, generals probably detached from the victorious army of Graan Mohammed Gragne , are represented to have come from Mecca, and to have taken possession of the country,—the legend assigning to the first of these warriors as his capital, the populous village of Medina, which is conspicuous on a cone among the mountains, shortly after entering the valley of Robi.
The theory appears to have arisen from a mistake; Berberah, the great emporium of the Somali country, being confounded with the Berbers of Nubia. At present the people of Zayla are all orthodox Sunnites. Adel, Arabia, and India, as Bruce remarks, were three partners in one trade, who mutually exported their produce to Europe, Asia, and Africa, at that time the whole known world. But they soon made it appear that the end proposed was only to ascertain who were the subjects from whom they could levy the most enormous extortions.
Jeddah, Zebid, and Mocha, the places of consequence nearest to Abyssinia on the Arabian coast, Suakin, a seaport town on the very barriers of Abyssinia, in the immediate way of their caravan to Cairo on the African side, were each under the command of a Turkish Pasha and garrisoned by Turkish troops sent thither from Constantinople by the emperors Selim and Sulayman.
It hath also oil, not of olives, but of some other thing, I know not what. There is also plenty of honey and wax; there are likewise certain sheep having their tails of the weight of sixteen pounds, and exceeding fat; the head and neck are black, and all the rest white. There are also sheep altogether white, and having tails of a cubit long, and hanging down like a great cluster of grapes, and have also great laps of skin hanging down from their throats, as have bulls and oxen, hanging down almost to the ground.
I saw there also certain kind having only one horn in the midst of the forehead, as hath the unicorn, and about a span of length, but the horn bendeth backward: they are of bright shining red colour. Living is there good and cheap. A fair price would be about ten dollars. The Somal divide their animals into two kinds, Gel Ad and Ayyun. The former is of white colour, loose and weak, but valuable, I was told by Lieut.
Speke, in districts where little water is found: the Ayyun is darker and stronger; its price averages about a quarter more than the Gel Ad. To the Arabian traveller nothing can be more annoying than these Somali camels.
They must be fed four hours during the day, otherwise they cannot march. They die from change of food or sudden removal to another country. They are never used for riding, except in cases of sickness or accidents. The Somali ass is generally speaking a miserable animal.
Speke, however, reports that on the windward coast it is not to be despised. At Harar I found a tolerable breed, superior in appearance but inferior in size to the thoroughbred little animals at Aden. They are never ridden; their principal duty is that of carrying water-skins to and from the walls. I have preferred the latter orthography upon the authority of the Shaykh Jami, most learned of the Somal. It is generally imported in small camel-loads, consisting of a number of parcels, each containing about forty slender twigs with the leaves attached, and carefully wrapped so as to prevent as much as possible exposure to the atmosphere.
The leaves form the edible part, and these, when chewed, are said to produce great hilarity of spirits, and an agreeable state of wakefulness. Some estimate may be formed of the strong predilection which the Arabs have for this drug from the quantity used in Aden alone, which averages about camel-loads annually. The market price is one and a quarter rupees per parcel, and the exclusive privilege of selling it is farmed by the government for rupees per year.
Forskal found the plant growing on the mountains of Yemen, and has enumerated it as a new genus in the class Pentandria, under the name of Catha. He notices two species, and distinguishes them as Catha edulis and Catha spinosa. According to his account it is cultivated on the same ground as coffee, and is planted from cuttings.
Besides the effects above stated, the Arabs, he tells us, believe the land where it grows to be secure from the inroads of plague; and that a twig of the Kat carried in the bosom is a certain safeguard against infection. Previous to that time they made coffee of the vegetable substance called Cafta, which is the same as the leaf known under the name of Kat, and not of Boon the coffee berry nor any preparation of Boon.
The use of this beverage extended in course of time as far as Aden, but in the days of Mahomed Dhabhani the vegetable substance from which it was prepared disappeared from Aden. Then it was that the Sheik advised those who had become his disciples to try the drink made from the Boon, which was found to produce the same effect as the Kat, inducing sleeplessness, and that it was attended with less expense and trouble.
The use of coffee has been kept up from that time to the present. On the other hand a synod of learned Mussulmans is said to have decreed that as beverages of Kat and Cafta do not impair the health or impede the observance of religious duties, but only increase hilarity and good-humour, it was lawful to use them, as also the drink made from the boon or coffee-berry. I am not aware that Kat is used in Aden in any other way than for mastication. From what I have heard, however, I believe that a decoction resembling tea is made from the leaf by the Arabs in the interior; and one who is well acquainted with our familiar beverage assures me that the effects are not unlike those produced by strong green tea, with this advantage in favour of Kat, that the excitement is always of a pleasing and agreeable kind.
Vaughan has transmitted two specimens called Tubbare Kat and Muktaree Kat, from the districts in which they are produced: the latter fetches the lower price. Catha edulis Forsk. Celastraceae, is figured in Dr. London, Theophile Lefebvre, Lieut.
Petit et Martin-Dillon, docteurs medecins, naturalistes du Museum, Vignaud dessinateur. Achille Richard, is regarded either as a distinct publication under the title of Tentamen Florae Abyssinicae, or as a part of the Voyage en Abyssinie. I quote the following references from the Tentamen Florae Abyssinicae, vol.
Catha No. Trigonotheca serrata Hochs. Celastrus edulis Vahl, Ecl. Daniel Hanbury signed. Like all similar features in the low country, it is a mere surface drain. The Bedouins named it Buamado, but ignored its virtues. Owing to the Bedouin prejudice against eating birds, it is found in large coveys all over the country. The Somal call it Sagaro, the Arabs Ghezalah: it is found throughout the land generally in pairs, and is fond of ravines under the hills, beds of torrents, and patches of desert vegetation.
It is easily killed by a single pellet of shot striking the neck. It was thus flanked to the south by the Ajuran Empire and to the west by the Abyssinian Empire. Adal's headquarters were again relocated the following century, this time southward to Harar. From this new capital, Adal organised an effective army led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi Ahmad "Gurey" or "Gran"; both meaning "the left-handed" that invaded the Abyssinian empire. Vasco da Gama , who passed by Mogadishu in the 15th century, noted that it was a large city with houses several storeys high and large palaces in its centre, in addition to many mosques with cylindrical minarets.
Barbosa also highlighted the abundance of meat, wheat, barley, horses, and fruit on the coastal markets, which generated enormous wealth for the merchants. In the early modern period, successor states to the Adal Sultanate and Ajuran Sultanate began to flourish in Somalia. They continued the tradition of castle-building and seaborne trade established by previous Somali empires. His army came out victorious during the Bardheere Jihad, which restored stability in the region and revitalized the East African ivory trade.
He also received presents from and had cordial relations with the rulers of neighbouring and distant kingdoms such as the Omani, Witu and Yemeni Sultans. Sultan Ibrahim's son Ahmed Yusuf succeeded him and was one of the most important figures in 19th-century East Africa, receiving tribute from Omani governors and creating alliances with important Muslim families on the East African coast.
In Somalland, the Isaaq Sultanate was established in The Isaaq Sultanate was a Somali kingdom that ruled parts of the Horn of Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries. It spanned the territories of the Isaaq clan, descendants of the Banu Hashim clan,  in modern-day Somaliland and Ethiopia.
The sultanate was governed by the Rer Guled branch established by the first sultan, Sultan Guled Abdi , of the Eidagale clan. The sultanate is the pre-colonial predecessor to the modern Republic of Somaliland. There were eight Tolje'lo rulers in total, starting with Boqor Harun Somali : Boqor Haaruun who ruled the Isaaq Sultanate for centuries starting from the 13th century.
The once strong Tolje'lo clan were scattered and took refuge amongst the Habr Awal with whom they still mostly live. In the late 19th century, after the Berlin Conference of , European powers began the Scramble for Africa. In that year, a British protectorate was declared over part of Somalia, on the African coast opposite South Yemen. Italy had access to these areas under the successive protection treaties, but not direct rule. Fascist Italy , under Benito Mussolini , attacked Abyssinia Ethiopia in , with an aim to colonize it.
The invasion was condemned by the League of Nations , but little was done to stop it or to liberate occupied Ethiopia. On 3 August , Italian troops, including Somali colonial units, crossed from Ethiopia to invade British Somaliland , and by 14 August, succeeded in taking Berbera from the British.
They were assisted by Somali forces led by Abdulahi Hassan with Somalis of the Isaaq , Dhulbahante , and Warsangali clans prominently participating. These were advantages that British Somaliland, which was to be incorporated into the new Somali state, did not have. Although in the s British colonial officials attempted, through various administrative development efforts, to make up for past neglect, the protectorate stagnated in political administrative development.
The disparity between the two territories in economic development and political experience would later cause serious difficulties integrating the two parts. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over. 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.
Harbi was killed in a plane crash two years later. On 20 July and through a popular referendum , was ratified popularly by the people of Somalia under Italian trusteeship, Most of the people from the former Somaliland Protectorate didn't participate in the referendum, although only a small number of Somalilanders who participated the referendum voted against the new constitution ,  which was first drafted in Egal would later become the President of the autonomous Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia.
On 15 October , 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. 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 in February, The SRSP was an attempt to reconcile the official state ideology with the official state religion by adapting Marxist precepts to local circumstances.
Emphasis was placed on the Muslim principles of social progress, equality and justice, which the government argued formed the core of scientific socialism and its own accent on self-sufficiency, public participation and popular control, as well as direct ownership of the means of production. While the SRSP encouraged private investment on a limited scale, the administration's overall direction was essentially communist. After the siege of Harar, a massive unprecedented Soviet intervention consisting of 20, Cuban forces and several thousand Soviet experts came to the aid of Ethiopia's communist Derg regime.
By , the Somali troops were ultimately pushed out of the Ogaden. This shift in support by the Soviet Union motivated the Barre government to seek allies elsewhere. It eventually settled on the Soviets' Cold War arch-rival, the United States , which had been courting the Somali government for some time. All in all, Somalia's initial friendship with the Soviet Union and later partnership with the United States enabled it to build the largest army in Africa.
Many Somalis had become disillusioned with life under military dictatorship. The regime was weakened further in the s as the Cold War drew to a close and Somalia's strategic importance was diminished. The government became increasingly authoritarian , and resistance movements , encouraged by Ethiopia, sprang up across the country, eventually leading to the Somali Civil War.
Somalia Civil War Exhumed skeletal remains of victims of the Isaaq genocide found from a mass grave site located in Berbera , Somaliland. Map of the sites related to the Isaaq genocide As the moral authority of Barre's government was gradually eroded, many Somalis became disillusioned with life under military rule.
By the mids, resistance movements supported by Ethiopia's communist Derg administration had sprung up across the country. Barre responded by ordering punitive measures against those he perceived as locally supporting the guerrillas, especially in the northern regions.
The clampdown included bombing of cities, with the northwestern administrative centre of Hargeisa , a Somali National Movement SNM stronghold, among the targeted areas in Fuel shortages caused long lines of cars at petrol stations. Inflation had driven the price of pasta ordinary dry Italian noodles, a staple at that time to five U.
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