Mudcat Café message #2336917 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99389   Message #2336917
Posted By: Azizi
09-May-08 - 09:20 PM
Thread Name: African Folk Songs
Subject: RE: African Folk Songs
Tangledwoodm here's the hyperlink to the website that you posted:


McGrath of Harlow, the Somalis and the Swahili people are two distinct African ethnic populations.

Here's a brief excerpt from

"The Swahili are unique Bantu inhabitants of the East African Coast mainly from Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. They are mainly united by culture and under the mother tongue of Kiswahili, a Bantu language. According to JoshuaProject, the Swahili number in at around 1,328,000. The name Swahili is derived from the Arabic word Sawahil, meaning "coastal dwellers..Note that only a small fraction of those who use Swahili are first language speakers and even fewer are ethnic Swahilis."

* first language-the first language a person learns from birth [mother tongue]

And here's another excerpt about the Swahili peoples:

"For at least a thousand years, Swahili people, who call themselves Waswahili, have occupied a narrow strip of coastal land extending from the north coast of Kenya to Dar es Salaam (the capital of Tanzania). They also occupy several nearby Indian Ocean islands, including Zanzibar, Lamu, and Pate. Over the past few hundred years, the coastal area has been conquered and colonized several timesóby Portuguese in the sixteenth century, by Middle Eastern Arabs who ran a slave trade in the nineteenth century, and by the British in the twentieth century. Thus, Swahili people are accustomed to living with strangers in their midst, and they have frequently acted as middlemen in trade relations. In addition, they have incorporated many people and practices into their vibrant social world"...   


Here's an excerpt about the Somali peoples:

"The Somalis are most closely related to the Rendille and the Afar, and distantly related to the Oromos, all Eastern Cushite peoples. Somalis are not a unitary people group, but a grouping of broad clan federations divided by language and by clan conflicts. Although all Somalis profess strong allegiance to Islam, they hold stronger primary loyalties to self, family and clan, in that order.

"The Somali peoples were never under any unified political structure. Sporadic attempts such as the Gareen dynasty from the Ajuuraan in Central/Southern Somalia in the 1500s (Cassanelli 1992) and the Bartire around Jigjiga, Ethiopia, in the late 1700s were overthrown violently by other clans.

The clans, with various genealogical ties, or political or military alliances, provided a broad, loose identity. In the colonial era, the various European powers easily established a hegemony, then a dominance over various divisions of the Somali peoples. The British, French and Italian Somalilands roughly followed geographical areas of clan alliances or federations and actually helped limit clashes between different clans.

In 1960 Britain and Italy combined their territories into a unified independent Somalia. The French territory remained separate and gained independence in 1977 as Djibouti...

The Somali language is a member of the Eastern Cushite family of languages. Forms of this language are spoken in Djibouti, Ogaadeen (Ethiopia) and the northern areas of Somalia, as well as in Kenya. The language situation, however, is quite complex. Linguists analyze several languages among the Somali peoples which are not mutually intelligible"...


Here's another excerpt about the Somali peoples:

"The Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Ethnic Somalis number around 20-25 million and are principally concentrated in Somalia (more than 8 million[1]), Ethiopia (4,5 million[2]), Yemen (a little under 1 million), northeastern Kenya (about half a million), Djibouti (350,000), and an unknown but large number living in parts of the Middle East, North America and Europe due to the Somali Civil War"