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Somalia The Life Of Nomadic

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Published on Mar 15, 2009

The Somali Nomadic lifestyle is what defines the Somali culture. It is from these dry plateaus, valleys and watering holes from which all Somali traditions spring, forming the bedrock of the Somali society and a rich cultural heritage handed down to generations of camel herders and pastoralists. The traditional dances and weddings in Miyi form the basis of almost all Somali poetry and music. And to understand the meaning and origins of Somali poetry, music and literature, one must be fairly informed about the pastoral lifestyle, for without it he looses majority of the meaning, metaphors, allusions and insinuations imbedded within them.

The austerities of life in Miyi are simply remarkable. Life here fundamentally depends on needs rather than wants and the western life of hedonism and extravagance does not fall within the purview of the Somali nomad. As soon as children reach six years of age, their set of responsibilities are laid out before them and, against the backdrop of parched fields and scarcity of water, they traipse the vast open country often parading herds of camels, sheep and goats. A boy at that tender age would be expected to learn tending to the camels whereas a girl would start by guarding the flock of sheep and goats in the nearby green pastures. The female nomads, alleviated from the arduous chores of disassembling huts during the dry seasons of Xagaa and Jiilaal to move to greener pastures, are now engaged in conversations and endless moments of merriment. There is a plenty supply of water and milk the two essential nutrients of the Somali nomads.

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