Somali - Identity

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 Digil and Rahawiin (Reewiin) clans, who speak the Maay language, and the Jiiddu and Tunni, speaking their Maay-related languages, are also part of the broader Somali clan structure and political alliances.  These clans include an additional 1.5 million people whose distinct characteristics warrant classifying them as separate ethnic groups.

Last Updated on Friday 13th November 2009