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بنو هوية
Regions with significant populations




Related ethnic groups

Dir, Isaaq, other Somali clans

The Hawiye (Somali: Hawiiye, Arabic: بنو هوية‎) is a Somali clan. Members of the clan primarily live in central and southern Somalia, in the Ogaden and the North Eastern Province (currently administered by Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively), and in smaller numbers in other countries. Like many Somalis, Hawiye members trace their ancestry to Irir Samaale. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Human Rights Watch indicate that Hawiye is the largest Somali clan.[1][2] Other sources, including the Canadian Report of the Somalia Commission of Inquiry, indicate that the Darod is the largest Somali clan.[3][4] Hawiye is the dominant clan in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.[5]



The first reference to the Hawiye dates back to the 13th century writings of the Arab geographer, Ibn Sa'id, who describes Merca 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.[6]

Settlement and commerce

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 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 Hiiraan region, and north to the ancient port town of Hobyo in the arid central Mudug region.[7]

Subclans of the Hawiye include the Degodia, about 40 percent of whom lives in Ethiopia; when Arthur Donaldson Smith traveled through what is now Bare woreda in 1895, he found that the Degodia were neighbors of the Afgab clan, their territory stretching east to the Weyib and Dawa Rivers.[8]

The economy of the Hawiye includes the predominant nomadic pastoralism in the interior 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.[9][10]

Clan tree

There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.[11][12]

  • Hawiye
    • Gaaljal
    • Hawadle
    • Abgaal (Abgal)
      • Harti
      • Wabudhan
        • Da'oud
        • Rer Mattan
        • Mohamed Muse
      • Wa'esli
    • Murosade
    • Sheekhaal (Sheikal)
    • Habar Gidir (Haber Gedir)
      • Sa'ad
      • Suleiman
      • Ayr
      • Sarur
    • Waadan

In the south central part of Somalia the World Bank shows the following clan tree:[13]

  • Hawiye
    • Karanle
      • Murusade
    • Gorgate
      • Abgal
      • Habargidir
      • Sheikhal
      • Duduble
      • Ujeien
    • Gugun-Dhabe
    • Rarane
    • Haskul
    • Jambeele
      • Hawadle
      • Galje'el
      • Ajuran
      • Dagodi

In Puntland the World Bank shows the following:[14]

  • Hawiye
    • Habar Gidir
    • Abgall
    • Biyamaal
    • Hawaadle
    • Murursade
    • Ujuuran

Notable Hawiye figures


Heads of State


Military personnel

Leading intellectuals

Traditional elders and religious leaders

Music and literature

Political factions and organizations


  1. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (2002). "Ethnic Groups". Somalia Summary Map. Retrieved February 15, 2006. 
  2. ^ Human Rights Watch (1990). "Somalia: Human Rights Developments". Human Rights Watch World Report 1990. Retrieved November 21, 2005. 
  3. ^ "The Situation in Somalia". Report of the Somali Commission of Inquiry, Vol. 1. Retrieved November 21, 2005. 
  4. ^ Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain
  5. ^ "'Truce' after Somali gun battle". BBC News. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  6. ^ Herbert S. Lewis, "The Origins of the Galla and Somali", in The Journal of African History. Cambridge University Press, 1966, pp 27–30.
  7. ^ The Somali, Afar and Saho groups in the Horn of Africa by I.M Lewis
  8. ^ Donaldson-Smith, Through Unknown African Countries: the first expedition from Somaliland to Lake Rudolph (London, 1897), p. 143
  9. ^ Kenya’s past; an introduction to historical method in Africa page by Thomas T. Spear
  10. ^ The Shaping of Somali society; reconstructing the history of a pastoral people by Lee Cassanelli
  11. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55 Figure A-1
  12. ^ Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
  13. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.56 Figure A-2
  14. ^ Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.57 Figure A-3
  15. ^

Gaaljecel is a Somali subclan of the Hawiye clan. The Gaaljecel live in the Hiiraan, Shabeellaha Hoose, Banaadir, Middle jubba and Jubbada Hoose regions of southern Somalia. Large segments of Gaaljecel subclans live in the Somali Region in Ethiopia Kenya and in Yemen.

Sheikh Hassan Barsane, the Somali anti-colonial leader, belonged to this sub-clan.

There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures. The divisions and subdivisions as given here are partial and simplified. Many lineages are omitted. For a comparison of different views on the clan-lineage-structures see the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics.

Gaaljecel subclans

  • Abtisame
  • Aloofi
  • Barsame
  • Milaax Doorwaaq
  • Dirisame
  • Aafi
  • Sugow
  • Dheemoow
  • Nooloow
  • Makaahiil Weynaha
  • Oday Cad
  • Doqondiide


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