Somaliland: On the Trail of Ancestral Fathers


Schooling under the tree in Erigavo the land of the forefathers of Somaliland

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somalilandsun – During a sojourn in Erigavo the Sanaag regional capital and curious of the genealogy that makes most of us relatives being descendants of the same forefather 600 or more years ago Somalilandsun visited a number of the many tombs of Somaliland clan’s ancestors.

Since not all were possible to visit and in fear of being termed nepotistic it is my wish to humble inform that am of neither the many habros around but a HabarMASAI.

That said and done the tombs visited some being majestic and well taken care-of while two are in a very sorry state include that of Sheikh Isaaq, Sheikh Samaroon, Sheikh Isse, Sheikh Suber Awal, Musa Ismail, Arab and Isaaq.

Musa Deeriyo buried near Sheikh Samaroon could not be found, but hopefully next time

First to visit was Sheikh Suber Awal whose tomb is at Durdur near Jidhali village around 35 kms east of Erigavo town.

Legend has it that the corpse of Suber Awal ended up in that area after Dulbahante clans stole it for want of benefits said to be associated with his final resting.

tomb of Sheikh Suber Awal

The legends have it that the direction of the sheikh’s head would be never water and that of his feet, sheeps. if legends come true this one is because the Musa Ismail clans who buried the sheikh after retrieving the body from the abductors now enjoy an abundance of water all year round from Durdur and sheeps in the area are said to bear twins as a matter of fact.

Next was Musa Ismail tomb which though deserted is well kept presumably due to its location of around three kilometers from Erigavo town on the way to Dallo Mountains and Mayd port.

Tomb of Sheikh Musa Ismail

Deep in the Dallo Mountains and buried in obscure graves without even a headstone let alone a tomblike structure are ARAB and ISAHAAQ whose graves took almost three hours to trace. WILL SIMEBODY DO SOMETHING

Here lies ARAB and ISAHAAQ

Down the British made Tabaa road and some miles from the port of Mayd lies the Sheikh who fathered the clan of ISSE that straddles the western Somaliland border with Djibouti and Ethiopia where they also reside in numbers.

Sorry to say is that the beautifully adorned Tomb of Sheikh Isse is victim of vandals and thence imperative that his ancestors who have put a lot need to have one of their own as caretaker.

the Beautiful but vandalized Sheikh Isse tomb

From there the trail led to Sheikh Isaaq in Mayd in whose tomb are also buried two of his companions from Arabia, his sons Abdirahmin, Ayub and Grandchild Arre Saeed among others. Here spent a soothing night in which not only mosquitoes but snakes shied away and in the morning a bath at the Eel Dahir “Purity Well”.

Company here is multitudes of sheikhs, religious scholars and pilgrims from all regions of Somaliland and beyond.

Sheikh Isahaaq

Following a long detour from Sheikh Isaaq through imposing rock mountains the unbelievable if told flowing water which is part cold and part hot was the next venue thence a few kilometers the final resting place of Sheikh Samaroon father of the Awdalites.

Sheikh Samaroon

For me these two days shall remain etched in my memory for not only being the best but the most rejuvenating of my miserable life.

While legends are told anybody with knowledge of these ancestors kindly submit thence update

A soothing shower at Eel Dahir the zamzam of Somalilanders