Mogadishu: Images from the Past

“Notabili Indigeni”

Posted in 1930s, People by rickjdavies on 27 September, 2009

2013 04 13 ADated 1938, but could have been taken earlier, and used as a postcard in 1938

Who are the people present? Leave a comment below, if you can help

Hobyo / Obbia

Posted in NE Somalia by rickjdavies on 25 September, 2009


La casa del Sultano di Obbia

From “Cesare Maria de Vecchi di Val Cismon. Orizzonti D’Impero. Cinque Anni di Somalia. A Mondadori – Milano”
[ Horizons of Empire: Five Years in Somalia / Cesare Maria De Vecchi di Val Cismon.  Milano. 1935]

Cesare Maria De Vecchi was Governor from 1923-1928


Il sultano Ali Jusuf

Son of Yusuf Ali Kenadid

700Scan10035Obbia: la garessa occupata

700Scan10034Obbia in attessa del Governatore

Obbia (Hobyo) location as found via Google Maps

Other photos of Hobyo, elsewhere on the web


Posted in 1918 - 1940, X: Other locations by rickjdavies on 24 September, 2009

700Scan10027a “La garesa di Hafun”

Other photos of the Hafun area on the internet

Estimated location on Google Maps

Dhikr / Dikri in Waaberi in 1988/89

Posted in 1980s, Audio, Religion by rickjdavies on 19 September, 2009

These are two audio tape recordings I made  in 1988, in the neighbourhood behind Tre Biano, in Waaberi

For information on the History of Somali Sufism see this blog:

On that site I read this with interest: “Local leaders of brotherhoods customarily asked lineage heads in the areas where they wished to settle for permission to build their mosques and communities. A piece of land was usually freely given; often it was an area between two clans or one in which nomads had access to a river” In 1991, while travelling in the area, I heard about a tariiqa that was established in the then non-mans land between the Dulbahante in the Las Anod area and the Isaaq further westward on the rod to Burco.

See also video recordings of dhikr on this website

See also this page on the use of coffee (bun) in relation to dhikr:

Here is a photo of a kur, the wooden vessel in which bun is traditionally served


Comments on dhikr and sufism in Somalia are welcome. Please use the Comment facility below

Zaila / Zelya / Zeila / Seylac

Posted in 1800 - 1900, Zeyla by rickjdavies on 19 September, 2009

“The Town and People of Zaila, Somali Coast, Africa”

Photos and text from The Graphic, May 7, 1887, page 473

textThe game referred to in the text above may be one called “shax”. Here is a guide to the game, which I wrote in the 1980s








Photos of Zeyla on the internet

Google Maps view of Zeyla

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