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بنو هوية
Regions with significant populations
Islam (Sunni, Sufism)
Related ethnic groups
Dir, Darod, Isaaq, Rahanweyn, other Somalis

The Hawiye (Somali: Hawiye, Arabic: بنو هوية‎) is a Somali clan. Members of the clan traditionally inhabit central and southern Somalia, Somali Region and the North Eastern Province (currently administered by Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively). Like many Somalis, Hawiye members trace their paternal ancestry to Irir, the first son of Samaale.

The Hawiye have produced many prominent Somali figures with the first President, Prime Minister, and the father of the Somali Military all hailing from the Hawiye.


According to an official military survey conducted during the colonial period, Hawiye clan members are by tradition believed to be descended from a forefather named Hawiya Irrir. He is held to be the brother of Dir. I.M. Lewis and many sources maintain that the Dir together with the Hawiye trace ancestry through Irir, fthe first son of Samaale.[1][2][3][4][5]


Traditional territory inhabited by the various Somali clans shown[6]

Due to ancient pastoralist migrations and population movements across the Somali peninsula in search of water wells and grazing land over a period of thousand years, Hawiye clans can today can be found inhabiting an area stretching from the fertile lands of southern Somalia between Barawa and Kismayo, to the regions surrounding Merka, Mogadishu and Warsheikh in the hinterland, west to the modern city of Beledweyne in the Hiran region, and north to the ancient port town of Hobyo in the arid central Mudug region.[7]

Role and Influence in Somalia

The first Prime Minister of Somalia Abdullahi Issa Mohamud
Father of the Somali military Daud Abdulle Hirsi

The Hawiye have historically played an important role in Somalia. The majority of Somalia's founding fathers hailed from the Hawiye. The first President of Somalia, Prime minister, and the father of the Somali Military were all Hawiye. Aden Adde the first president was Udejeen. The first prime minister Abdullahi Issa was Habar Gidir. The father of Somali military Daud Abdulle Hirsi was Abgaal. Since then the Hawiye have produced four more presidents and three more prime ministers. The Hawiye's role in Somalia is not limited to only political affairs. They are also prominent in other important fields in Somali society. The clan also has prominent members within the Somali business and media communities. For example, Abdirahman Yabarow, the editor-in-chief of VOA Somali is also kin. Yusuf Garaad Omar who was the chairman of BBC Somali for over a decade and helped pioneer its rise during his tenure is also a member. Magool and Hasan Adan Samatar who are among some of the most famous Somali musicians of all time also hail from this clan. The Hawiye also play an important role in business. For instance the head of the Somali airline company Jubba Airways and Hormud Telecom are also members. Currently the Hawiye play a large role primarily in the Somali regions of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, South West State and Banadir (Mogadishu) but also Somalia as a whole.


Hawiye along with some Samaale sub-clans migrated to central and southern Somalia in the 1st century AD to populate the Horn of Africa. They established farmlands in the fertile plain lands of southern Somalia and also established flourishing harbor ports in south and central Somalia.[8]

The first written reference to the Hawiye dates back to a 12th-century document by the Arab geographer, Ibn Sa'id, who described Merca at the time as the "capital of Hawiye country". The 12th century cartographer Muhammad al-Idrisi may have referred to the Hawiye as well, as he called Merca the region of the "Hadiye", which Herbert S. Lewis believes is a scribal error for "Hawiye", as do Guilliani, Schleicher and Cerulli.[9]

The Hawiye spearheaded the Ajuran Empire control in the 13th century that governed much of southern Somalia and eastern Ethiopia, with its domain extending from Hobyo in the north, to Qelafo in the west, to Kismayo in the south.[10][11]:102

At the end of the 17th century, the Ajuran Empire was on its decline due to wars against the Portuguese and the Ethiopians which allowed the Hiraab subclan to usurp the Ajuran rulers and ever since this first revolt against the Ajuran other groups would follow in the rebellion which would eventually bring down Ajuran rule of the inter-riverine region.[12]

Lee Cassanelli in his book, The Shaping of Somali society, provides a historical picture of the Hiraab Immate. He writes:

"According to local oral tradition, the Hiraab imamate was a powerful alliance of closely related groups who shared a common lineage under the Gorgaarte clan divisions. It successfully revolted against the Ajuran Empire and established an independent rule for at least two centuries from the seventeen hundreds and onwards.[11]

The alliance involved the army leaders and advisors of the Habar Gidir and Duduble, a Fiqhi/Qadi of Sheekhaal, and the Imam was reserved for the Mudulood branch who is believed to have been the first born. Once established, the Imamate ruled the territories from the Shabeelle valley, the Benaadir provinces, the Mareeg areas all the way to the arid lands of Mudug, whilst the ancient port of Hobyo emerged as the commercial center and Mogadishu being its capital for the newly established Hiraab Imamate in the late 17th century.[11]

Hobyo served as a prosperous commercial centre for the Imamate. The agricultural centres of Eldher and Harardhere included the production of sorghum and beans, supplementing with herds of camels, cattle, goats and sheep. Livestock, hides and skin, whilst the aromatic woods and raisins were the primary exports as rice, other foodstuffs and clothes were imported. Merchants looking for exotic goods came to Hobyo to buy textiles, precious metals and pearls. The commercial goods harvested along the Shabelle river were brought to Hobyo for trade. Also, the increasing importance and rapid settlement of more southernly cities such as Mogadishu further boosted the prosperity of Hobyo, as more and more ships made their way down the Somali coast and stopped in Hobyo to trade and replenish their supplies.[11]

The economy of the Hawiye in the interior includes the predominant nomadic pastoralism, and to some extent, cultivation within agricultural settlements in the riverine area, as well as mercantile commerce along the urban coast. At various points throughout history, trade of modern and ancient commodities by the Hawiye through maritime routes included cattle skin, slaves, ivory and ambergris.[13][11]

Soon afterwards, the entire region was snapped up by the fascists Italians and it led to the birth of a Modern Somalia. However, the Hiraab hereditary leadership has remained intact up to this day and enjoys a dominant influence in national Somali affairs."[11]

Clan tree

Ali Jimale Ahmed outlines the Hawiye clan genealogical tree in The Invention of Somalia:[14]

  • Samaale
    • Irir
      • Hawiye
        • Karanle
          • Kaariye Karanle
          • Gidir Karanle
          • Sixaawle Karanle
          • Murusade Karanle
            • Sabti
            • Foorculus
        • Gugundhabe [1]
        • Gorgate
          • Hiraab
            • Mudulood
              • Abgaal
                • Harti
                • Wabudhan
                  • Da'oud
                  • Reer Mattan
                  • Mohamed Muse
                • Wa'esli
              • Wacdaan
              • Moobleen
              • Ujajeen
            • Duduble
            • Habar Gidir
              • Sacad
              • Saleebaan
              • Cayr
              • Saruur
          • Silcis
          • Wadalaan
          • Xawaadle
        • Jambeelle
        • Xaskul
        • Raarane

Notable Hawiye figures


Military personnel

Leading intellectuals

Traditional elders and religious leaders


Music and literature

Political factions and organizations

See also


  1. ^ Ahmed, Ali Jimale (1995). The Invention of Somalia. Lawrenceville, NJ: The Red Sea Press Inc. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-932415-98-1.
  2. ^ Lewis, Ioan. M. (1994). Blood and Bone: The Call of Kinship in Somali Society. Lawrenceville, NJ: The Red Sea Press Inc. pp. 104. ISBN 978-0-932415-92-9.
  3. ^ Lewis, I.M. (2008). Understanding Somali and Somaliland Society: Culture History and Society. Hurst. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-85065-898-6.
  4. ^ Lewis, I. M. (1998-01-01). Saints and Somalis: Popular Islam in a Clan-based Society. The Red Sea Press. p. 99-Chapter 8. ISBN 9781569021033.
  5. ^ Ahmed, Ali Jimale (1995-01-01). The Invention of Somalia. The Red Sea Press. p. 246. ISBN 9780932415998.
  6. ^ "Somalia Maps - Perry-Castañeda Map Collection - UT Library Online". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  7. ^ The Somali, Afar and Saho groups in the Horn of Africa by I.M Lewis
  8. ^ Abdullahi, Abdurahman (18 September 2017). Making Sense of Somali History: Volume 1. Adonis and Abbey Publishers. pp. 43–. ISBN 978-1-909112-79-7.
  9. ^ Herbert S. Lewis, "The Origins of the Galla and Somali", in The Journal of African History. Cambridge University Press, 1966, pp 27–30.
  10. ^ Lee V. Cassanelli, The shaping of Somali society: reconstructing the history of a pastoral people, 1600-1900, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1982), p.102.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Lee V. Cassanelli (1982). The Shaping of Somali Society: Reconstructing the History of a Pastoral People, 1600 to 1900. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-7832-3.
  12. ^ Lee V. Cassanelli, Towns and Trading centres in Somalia: A Nomadic perspective, Philadelphia, 1980, pp. 8-9.
  13. ^ Kenya's past; an introduction to historical method in Africa page by Thomas T. Spear
  14. ^ Ali Jimale Ahmed (1995). The Invention of Somalia. Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea. p. 123. ISBN 0-932415-98-9.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "CRD Somalia". Center for Research and Dialogue. 2005-07-12. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-11. Retrieved 2012-09-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Somalia: Islamic Party Insurgents Declare War On New Govt". 8 February 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2018 – via AllAfrica.