After hearing about Filipino myths from my friend, I realized that I didn’t know much about that side of Somali. I didn’t know pre-islamic Somalia or the royal family or the myths that were passed down from father to daughter and grandmother to grandson. I have the story of Dhegdheer – a long eared woman who ate children – that my grandmother would tell me and my siblings just before bed (it was frightening) but I want more.I Somali all the time (2016), https://ardoomer.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/i-somali-all-the-time/
I’ve been looking into pre-Islamic Somali folklore since 2016 (on and off). The TinyLetter I planned on writing to chronicle my adventures didn’t pan out because of my ole pal, Depression, but the pandemic and a new job has given me the space to try again.
I plan to use this blog to write about the experience without promising a particular frequency. I’ll write when I have something worth writing. I also want to have something to point people to because I’m sure there are other Somalis from the diaspora who are also curious about our folklore and myths.
So for some research updates:
I recently submitted a flash fiction piece for a publication that was “spec-fic but make it Somali” and it led to questions about Somali folklore involving the water. Somalia has the longest coast in Africa and the fact that it wasn’t something that was easy to find was interesting (my mom and her side of the family grew up on the coast but she couldn’t think of stories along the lines of mermaids or selkies). I’ll be looking into that!
My recent dive into research has yielded some results! Here are the works I’ll be reading for the next little bit:
- Divine Fertility: The Continuity in Transformation of an Ideology of Sacred Kinship in Northeast Africa by Sada Mire
- Historical Dictionary of Somalia by Mohamed Haji Mukhtar
- Folktales from Somalia / Sheekoxariirooyin Soomaaliyeed by Ahmed Artan Hanghe