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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:One hundred years in Brava: the migration of the 'Umar Ba 'Umar from Hadhramaut to East Africa and back, c. 1890-1990
Author:Vianello, AlessandraISNI
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic terms:Somalia
international migration
social life
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2012.729785
Abstract:Contacts between Arabia and the East African Coast, which have marked the history of the western part of the Indian Ocean since ancient times, have often involved the migration of individuals and groups of people who have contributed to the shaping of Swahili society. However, details of group migrations from Arabia (even comparatively recent) remain to this day largely unexplored as to their causes, the impact the newcomers had on the East African societies, and their material and cultural contribution to the Swahili coastal centres. It has also never been assessed how long it took an Arab migrant group to become fully integrated into their new socioeconomic environment. This paper tries to answer some of these questions by illustrating a migration that took place in the late nineteenth century and involved almost the entire South Arabian 'qabila' of the 'Umar Ba 'Umar, originally settled in and around Ghayl Ba Wazir, some 30 km inland from the ports of Mukalla and Shihr. This group left the Hadhramaut in the 1880s and eventually settled in Brava, a coastal city of Southern Somalia, c. 1890. The first mention of their presence in East Africa is found in the judicial records of Brava, which have been preserved for the period 1893-1900. The events that marked the subsequent period, up to the present, have been reconstructed through personal observations by the author and oral information collected mainly in Brava, which the 'Umar Ba 'Umar left when the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia forced them to return to their original home town in the Hadhramaut. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]