Somali Music And Poetry: A Threatened Tradition

A residential area in Hargeisa, the capital of the northwestern Somaliland region of Somalia | © Retlaw Snellac Photography/Flickr


Somalis use the word muusiko to mean music. Although the word is borrowed from the languages of English, French and Italian colonialists, it has a slightly different meaning. In indigenous Somali tradition, music and poetry is considered a single creative act (although poetry can be recited without singing). The idea of music as a separate form of performance only came to prominence after colonialism exposed Somalis to foreign forms. Read more here.

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