and now for something completely different…

somali bantus.

i started thinking about them the other day (week) when jayman mentioned all of the somali “refugees” in lewiston, maine. (whyyy?) i know that a lot(?)/most(?) of the somali refugees here in the u.s. are somali bantus — and i remembered reading somewhere that they are the descendants of bantu slaves brought to somalia at some time or another (turns out that was the nineteenth century). but i started wondering about their family/kinship/marriage structures and all that, so i looked ’em up.

the somali somalis refer to the bantu somalis as jareer or “hard hair.” they’re also known as the gosha, which relates to the areas in somalia where they live. it’s estimated that ca. 50,000 bantu slaves were brought to somalia between 1800-1890 [pg. 45], and they hailed from a handful of different ethnic groups from tanzania, mozambique and malawi — so right there, the somali bantu are like african-americans in that they are not all from one ethnic group (i.e. they’re unrelated to some degree).

almost as soon as they arrived in somalia, some of the bantu slaves escaped and sought out a living in the bush — the bush in somalia being two river valleys — the shebelle and jubba river valleys. the earliest escapees formed villages based on ethnicity, i.e. whether they were yao or zingua or whatever. later escapees and, even later, freed slaves (slavery was legally abolished by the italians around 1900) formed villages based on the somali clans to which they had been in servitude. so the later villages were a mix of bantu peoples (yao or zingua or whatever). [pgs. 45-46]

so, did the somali bantu “mix it up” once they lived in multi-ethnic villages? of course not! [pgs. 53-54]:

“How the Gosha see themselves is quite different from this external perception of the Gosha as somehow a clan of their own. They see themselves as a group of people of very different origins living and working together in one geographical area….

“While most people of the Gosha are products of subjugated ancestors (and some of the oldest Gosha were themselves slaves), these ancestors came from different regional areas…. [S]lave children and free descendents of slaves retained a knowledge of the distinction between being of East African (Yao, Nyasa, etc.) and being of Oromo heritage [another non-somali ethnic group in somalia]. Somali clans could have slaves of both Oromo heritage and East African heritage, used for different purposes. Once these slaves attained their freedom, they and their children could then be affiliated to the same Somali clan, despite their separate areas of origin. In this way, villages formed along Somali clan lines in the Jubba Valley could contain people of both Oromo and East African heritage, who claimed affiliation to the same Somali clan. Within a village, while working together and cooperating on village matters, people of different ancestries tend to live separately, and marry endogamously, although this is changing….

“For Gosha individuals, their sense of who they are is quite complex, with many social and cultural components. At base is their knowledge of their ancestry — Oromo, reer Shabelle [yet another group], or other East African groups….”

and, more specifically about the somali bantus’ marriage practices (they have a preference for cousin marriage) [pgs. 84, 105 & 148]:

“Within a village, while working together and cooperating on village matters, people of different ancestries often lived separately and married endogamously (due to a preference for parallel or cross-cousin marriage) in the late 1980s….

As noted above, marriages were often (but certainly not always) arranged between members of the same clan and same ancestry due to the preference for cousin marriage. Thus we see an ongoing recognition — however muted in daily praxis and sentiment — of ancestral identities by Loc villagers….

“Following the preference for cousin marriage, Xalima arranged for her youngest daughter to marry the son of her Laysan brother, which in this case produced another generation of cross-clan marriage….”

oh, i almost forgot — their fundamental extended-family groups are matrilineal, so in that way, the somali bantus are not like somali somalis (or other muslim groups like arabs or afghanis). the matrilineal system is a much more traditional, african system.

so the bantu somalis are not one group of people AND they’ve been maintaining their genetic differences for many generations now — right up until at least the 1980s. we’re not importing one group of somali “refugees” — we’re importing a whole slew of groups who, being inbred, probably don’t get along all that well with each other. this really is a recipe for disaster. *facepalm*

btw – after fleeing somalia, a lot of the somali bantus wanted to return “home” to tanzania — and a lot apparently did. and are still doing so. that sounds like a great idea to me! i’m sure they would be much happier there and would fit in better than they seem to be doing in america (and elsewhere in the west).

(note: comments do not require an email. and now for something completely different…)

20 Comments

  1. @ihtg – “Yay for Bantu Zionism.”

    heh! (^_^)

    tanzania must be a h*ck of a place — 120+ native ethnic groups plus some newcomers like arabs and indians and chinese. now THAT’S multi-culturalism!

    Reply

  2. Ugh. Somali Bantus. It’s like our immigration policy is designed for mass destruction.

    Reply

  3. It’ll be interesting to see if the generally smaller Bantu population of Lewiston will actually intensify their cousin-marrying habits. Of course, the males will have plenty of opportunities to breed with, if not marry, other individuals.

    Without Lewiston’s Bantu population, upper New England would have been too obvious a piece of evidence that a HIGHLY diverse (French, Finnish, Greek, Scandi, pan-British) white population can live with both economical government and fairly generous social programs (not to mention moderate crime, social peace, etc.–if it is not burdened with subsidizing* people suited to a wholly different climate and a wholly different way of life.

    I love the way, “since race doesn’t exist”, it’s totally impossible to explain why Americans have so much higher a crime rate than Europeans. All going well for the white-hating elites, we won’t keep having to explain why Maine’s crime rate is so … well … EUROPEAN … for an American city.

    * and turning the other cheek to

    Reply

  4. Olave, are you serious? We already have an explanation why American cities are more violent than Europe’s–too many guns. That’s why we have to repeal the second amendment. You’ve never heard that one before?

    And America don’t use as much public transportation as Europeans because of oil companies… or something.

    And schools in the Bible belt suck because of too much religion. etc.

    Reply

  5. @bleach – “We already have an explanation why American cities are more violent than Europe’s–too many guns.”

    oh, yeah. guns are a big problem. you can see that for yourself in the way that the swiss are always shootin’ each other up.

    oh wait…. (~_^)

    Reply

  6. Columbus, Ohio, has a large Somali population, too. They have settled in the local African-American ghetto. They do not get along with native African-Americans, and there is a low-level race war going on between the two groups.

    The local press has no interest in the problem. Many of the Somalis are Muslim, but that is not discussed. The Somalis do appear to be Bantu, but the Muslim dress code makes them easily identifiable, especially the women.

    Reply

  7. @bob – “They do not get along with native African-Americans, and there is a low-level race war going on between the two groups.”

    my impression after reading about somali bantus (for a full two-and-a-half hours yesterday!) is that, for the most part, the somali somalis don’t want to have anything to do with the bantus. the bantus are inferior, “hard hair” people. they certainly don’t want to marry them or anything like that. and, of course, the bantus got (are still getting?) severely beaten up during the civil war. the bantus were the farmers of somalia (somali somalis are herders), so they had all the food when the war broke out. became targets of the different somali clans ’cause of that (and, prolly, just ’cause they were bantus, too). =/

    Reply

  8. @olave – “It’ll be interesting to see if the generally smaller Bantu population of Lewiston will actually intensify their cousin-marrying habits.”

    that would be nuts. *sigh* but wouldn’t surprise me.

    Reply

  9. Olave, are you serious? We already have an explanation why American cities are more violent than Europe’s–too many guns. That’s why we have to repeal the second amendment. You’ve never heard that one before?

    Ha ha, yes, I’ve heard that one but I must have blocked it out because I had disproved it so long ago.

    Incidentally, I just discussed relative crime rates over at OneSTDV’s place.
    To recap, here are the murder rates per million residents for a couple of years in selected polities:

    All the countries in Southern Africa – 373 (2004), 320 (2010)
    All the countries in East Africa – 208 (2004), 230 (2010)
    All the countries in West & Central Europe 15 (2004), 12 (2010)

    Looks like Europe is a good place, in terms of creating social peace. Take a look at this:

    Sweden – 18 (2006)

    Way below America’s average of 48 (2010). But the USA is a big country. Let’s break that down a little bit.

    New Hampshire – 10 (2010), 8 (2009) (very lax gun control laws!)
    North Dakota – 15 (2010), 19 (2009)
    West Virginia – 33 (2010), 46 (2009)
    California – 49 (2010), 53 (2009)
    Louisiana – 112 (2010), 118 (2009)

    So well-to-do white states in the US have approximately the same crime rates as European countries, a deprived white state like West Virginia is worse than western Europe but better than a rich multiethnic state like California, and countries laden with Bantus are awful.

    Reply

  10. “countries laden with Bantus are awful”

    dramatic when you look at the numbers side by side like that.

    i was thinking Africans were less bad than slave-descended blacks because with the exception of Somalis, Africans tend to be the victims most of the time in black vs African murders. looking at those numbers i guess that may be more to do with the relative numbers right now – wishful thinking.

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  11. @olave – “So well-to-do white states in the US have approximately the same crime rates as European countries, a deprived white state like West Virginia is worse than western Europe but better than a rich multiethnic state like California, and countries laden with Bantus are awful.”

    very interesting! and you’ve also got the “albion’s seed”/other settler patterns divides there:

    – new hampshire/north dakota – the puritans (and, later, the scandis)
    – west virginia – those scots-irish and indentured servants from wessex (i’ve been reading albion’s seed!)
    – california – vibrant mexicans
    – louisiana – blacks

    vibrancy might be fun, but it is not safe.

    btw – where’d the data come from? and — you should do a post on this! (^_^)

    Reply

  12. Oh, yeah, when I copied and pasted my links didn’t come thru. Duh.

    European data is from NationMaster. (Comments on that site are wonderful–tons of people are mad that the European Institute for Crime Prevention “excluded” African countries from the data set. I got a good laugh.)

    Data comparing US state to state came from an anti-death penalty site. (The whole site is basically devoted to the “correlation is causality” fallacy–another good laugh.) The Albion’s Seed angle on this one is pretty interesting, and draws into question the idea the WV being poor is why they are more murderous than New England.

    Data comparing region to region came from La Wik.

    I don’t believe the same data from other kinds of crime would be quite as usable; who’s to say they even have GTA or contributing-to-the-delinquency or whatever in other countries. (Crime is crime, usually, but East African categories are prolly not East Asian categories. Etc.) Homicide is a pretty obvious touchstone for violence, although even that varies somewhat country to country.

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  13. Olave
    “I don’t believe the same data from other kinds of crime would be quite as usable”

    Agree. Homicide is the only thing where there’s even a chance of getting reasonably comparable data.

    I’d actually say male on male non-family stabbings and shootings (fatal or otherwise) would be the clearest metric but you could never get the data (unless you could get hold of hospital records) because it’s recorded by the police least well in the places where it happens the most.

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  14. @olave – thanks! (^_^)

    also – “Data comparing US state to state came from an anti-death penalty site. (The whole site is basically devoted to the ‘correlation is causality’ fallacy–another good laugh.)”

    heh. well, at least they’re good for something — i.e. providing some useful data. (~_^)

    Reply

  15. @g.w. – “…because it’s recorded by the police least well in the places where it happens the most.”

    *sigh*

    (heh. that actually did make me sigh! poor people — i feel sorry for them.)

    Reply

  16. Thanks for discussing this with me. On OneSTDV’s site *boo hoo* I don’t think anyone was interested in the homicide data. I think I will put up a post on it, this weekend perhaps.

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  17. @olave – “I think I will put up a post on it, this weekend perhaps.”

    you really should ’cause the point about “well-to-do white states” having similar homicide rates to european countries is very, very interesting. folks need to know that!

    Reply

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