Qof Ma Dhiban: Somali Orality And the Delineation of Power

Hy Mire, 2017
Vol. 23 No. 16 ISSN 1702-3548


This Major Research Paper (MRP) explores Somali origin myths as a site through which to track the formation, maintenance and transmission of power. It places into conversation colonial anthropological texts and Somali oral stories to examine a contemporary Somali diaspora’s response to the Madhibaan, a qabil (clan) with limited socio-economic power. Throughout the analysis, I ask: Where do Madhibaan Somali women appear? When do they materialize? Why do they show up? What does this absence/presence make possible? I bring together several scholarly communities and conversations in this MRP which include: critical African/Black feminisms; critical race theory; post coloniality; oral histories; Somali studies; and decolonial knowledge production. It is my hope that I will make valuable methodological and theoretical contributions to the field of Somali Studies in particular on scholarship that includes Madhibaan Somalis as well as Somali orality.