The Info List - Majeerteen Sultanate

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The Majeerteen
Sultanate (Somali: Suldanadda Majeerteen, Arabic: سلطنة مجرتين‎), also known as Majeerteenia and Migiurtinia, was a Somali kingdom centered in the Horn of Africa. Ruled by Boqor
Osman Mahamuud during its golden age, the sultanate controlled much of northern and central Somalia
in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The polity had all of the organs of an integrated modern state and maintained a robust trading network. It also entered into treaties with foreign powers and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front. Much of the Sultanate's former domain is today coextensive with the autonomous Puntland
region in northeastern Somalia.


1 History

1.1 Establishment 1.2 Majeerteen-British agreement 1.3 Sultanate of Hobyo 1.4 Majeerteen-Italian treaties

2 Administration

2.1 Bureaucracy 2.2 Commerce 2.3 Military

3 Puntland 4 Sultans 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] Establishment[edit] According to the 16th century explorer Leo Africanus, the Adal Sultanate's realm encompassed the geographical area between the Bab el Mandeb and Cape Guardafui. It was thus flanked to the south by the Ajuran Empire
Ajuran Empire
and to the west by the Abyssinian Empire.[1] After Adal's demise, the Majeerteen
Sultanate was established around 1800 by Somalis
from the Majeerteen
clan.[2] It reached prominence during the 19th century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud.[3] Majeerteen-British agreement[edit]

One of the forts of the Majeerteen
Sultanate (Migiurtinia) in Hafun.

Due to consistent ship crashes along the northeastern Cape Guardafui headland, Boqor
Osman's kingdom entered into an informal agreement with Britain, wherein the British agreed to pay the King annual subsidies to protect shipwrecked British crews and guard wrecks against plunder. The agreement, however, remained unratified, as the British feared that doing so would "give other powers a precedent for making agreements with the Somalis, who seemed ready to enter into relations with all comers."[4] Sultanate of Hobyo[edit] Main article: Sultanate of Hobyo Osman Mahamuud's Sultanate was nearly destroyed in the mid-19th century by a power struggle between himself and his ambitious cousin, Yusuf Ali Kenadid. After almost five years of battle, the young upstart was finally forced into exile in Yemen. A decade later, in the 1870s, Kenadid returned from the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
with a band of Hadhrami musketeers and a group of devoted lieutenants. With their assistance, he managed to overpower the local Hawiye clans and establish the separate Sultanate of Hobyo
Sultanate of Hobyo
(Obbia) in 1878.[3][5] Majeerteen-Italian treaties[edit] In late 1889, Boqor
Osman entered into a treaty with Italy, making his kingdom a protectorate known as Italian Somaliland. His nephew and rival Sultan
Kenadid had signed a similar agreement vis-a-vis his own Sultanate of Hobyo
Sultanate of Hobyo
the year before. Both Boqor
Osman and Sultan Kenadid had entered into the protectorate treaties to advance their own expansionist goals, with Sultan
Kenadid looking to use Italy's support in his ongoing power struggle with Boqor
Osman over the Majeerteen
Sultanate, as well as in a separate conflict with the Omani Sultan of Zanzibar
Sultan of Zanzibar
over an area to the north of Warsheikh. In signing the agreements, the rulers also hoped to exploit the rival objectives of the European imperial powers so as to more effectively assure the continued independence of their territories.[6] The terms of each treaty specified that Italy
was to steer clear of any interference in the sultanates' respective administrations.[6] In return for Italian arms and an annual subsidy, the Sultans conceded to a minimum of oversight and economic concessions.[7] The Italians also agreed to dispatch a few ambassadors to promote both the sultanates' and their own interests.[6] The new protectorates were thereafter managed by Vincenzo Filonardi through a chartered company.[7] An Anglo-Italian border protocol was later signed on 5 May 1894, followed by an agreement in 1906 between Cavalier Pestalozza and General Swaine acknowledging that Baran fell under the Majeerteen
Sultanate's administration.[6] With the gradual extension into northern Somalia
of Italian colonial rule, both Kingdoms were eventually annexed in the early 20th century.[8] However, unlike the southern territories, the northern sultanates were not subject to direct rule due to the earlier treaties they had signed with the Italians.[9] Administration[edit] Bureaucracy[edit] Main article: Somali aristocratic and court titles

Ruins of King Osman's castle in Bargal
(built in 1878), a seasonal capital of the Majeerteen

As with the Sultanate of Hobyo, the Majeerteen
Sultanate exerted a strong centralized authority during its existence, and possessed all of the organs and trappings of an integrated modern state: a functioning bureaucracy, a hereditary nobility, titled aristocrats, a state flag, as well as a professional army.[10][11] Both sultanates also maintained written records of their activities, which still exist.[12] The Majeerteen
Sultanate's main capital was at Alula, with its seasonal headquarters at Bargal. It likewise had a number of castles and forts in various areas within its realm, including a fortress at Murcanyo.[13] The Majeerteen
Sultanate's ruler, however, commanded more power than was typical of other Somali leaders during the period. As the primus inter pares, Boqor
Osman taxed the harvest of aromatic trees and pearl fishing along the seaboard. He retained prior rights on goods obtained from ship wrecks on the coast. The Sultanate also exerted authority over the control of woodland and pastureland, and imposed both land and stock taxes.[14] Commerce[edit]

Part of a series on the

History of Somalia


Laas Gaal
Laas Gaal
(9,000~3,000 BCE) Land of Punt
Land of Punt
(2,500-1,500 BCE) Dhambalin (3,000~1,000 BCE)


Macrobians Berber city-states (c. 1st century) Azania city-states

(c. 1st century)

Middle Ages

Adal Sultanate
Adal Sultanate
(9th-16th c.) Ifat Sultanate
Ifat Sultanate
(12th-15th c.) Ajuran Sultanate
Ajuran Sultanate
(13th-17th c.) Warsangali Sultanate
Warsangali Sultanate
(13th-19th c.) Sultanate of Mogadishu
Sultanate of Mogadishu
(13th-16th c.)

Early modern

Geledi sultanate
Geledi sultanate
(16th-1910) Majeerteen
Sultanate (16th-1924) Sultanate of Hobyo
Sultanate of Hobyo

Colonial period (1884–1960)

British Somaliland
British Somaliland
(1884-1960) Italian Somaliland
Italian Somaliland
(1889-1941) Dervish State
Dervish State
(1896-1920) Trust Territory (1941-1960)

Modern Somalia (since 1960)

Somali Republic
Somali Republic
(1960-1969) Communist rule (1969-1991) Transitional National Government
Transitional National Government
(2000-2004) Transitional Federal Government
Transitional Federal Government
(2004-2012) Federal Government (2012-)


v t e

In the early 19th century, Somali seamen on the northern coast barred entry to their ports, while engaging in trade with Aden
and Mocha in adjacent Yemen
using their own vessels.[15] According to official reports from 1924 commissioned by the Regio Governo della Somalia
Italiana, the Majeerteen
Sultanate maintained robust commercial activities before the Italian occupation of the following year. The Sultanate reportedly exported 1,056,400 Indian Rupees (IR) worth of commodities, 60% of which came from the sale of frankincense and other gums. Fish and other sea products sold for a total value of 250,000 IR, roughly equivalent to 20% of the Sultanate's aggregate exports. The remaining export proceeds came from livestock, with the export list of 1924 consisting of 16 items.[16] Military[edit] In addition to a strong civil administration, the Majeerteen
Sultanate maintained a regular army. Besides protecting the polity from both external and internal threats, military officials were tasked with carrying out the King's instructions. The latter included tax collection, which typically came in the form of the obligatory Muslim alms (seko or sako) ordinarily tithed by Somalis
to the poor and religious clerics (wadaads).[14][17] Puntland[edit] Established in 1998, the autonomous Puntland
region in northeastern Somalia
now administers much of the former territories of the Majeerteen
Sultanate (Migiurtinia).[18] Sultans[edit] Rulers of the Majeerteen

# Sultan Reign Notes

1 Suldaan Cali Cumar Maxamed

Founder of the Majeerteen

2 Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Cali Cumar

3 Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali Cumar

4 Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Cali

5 Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Maxamed

6 Suldaan Cali "Cambarre" Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Maxamuud

7 Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali Suldaan Maxamed

8 Suldaan Maxamuud "Xawaadane" Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali ?–1815 Also known as Maxamuud IV.

9 Suldaan Cismaan "Bah-Dir" Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Yuusuf 1815–1842 Also known as Cismaan II.

10 Suldaan Yuusuf "Bah-Yaaquub" Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Yuusuf 1842–1844 Also known as Yuusuf IV. Brief reign of only two years.

11 Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Cismaan Suldaan Maxamuud 1844–1860 Also known as Maxamuud V

12 Suldaan Cismaan Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Cismaan 1860–1927 Also known as Osman Mahamuud or Cismaan III Maxamuud. Long reign of almost 70 years. Last Sultan
of the Majeerteen

See also[edit]

Yusuf Ali Kenadid Ali Yusuf Kenadid Sultanate of Hobyo Mohamoud Ali Shire Warsangali Sultanate Adal Sultanate Ajuran Sultanate List of Sunni Muslim
dynasties List of Muslim
empires and dynasties


^ Africanus, Leo (1526). The History and Description of Africa. Hakluyt Society. pp. 51–54. Retrieved 9 May 2017.  ^ Fergusson, James (2013-05-01). The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306821583.  ^ a b Helen Chapin Metz, Somalia: a country study, (The Division: 1993), p.10. ^ David D. Laitin, Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience, (University Of Chicago Press: 1977), p.71 ^ Lee V. Cassanelli, The shaping of Somali society: reconstructing the history of a pastoral people, 1600-1900, (University of Pennsylvania Press: 1982), p.75. ^ a b c d Issa-Salwe (1996), 34–35. ^ a b Hess (1964), 416–17. ^ The Majeerteen
Sultanates ^ Ismail, Ismail Ali (2010). Governance: The Scourge and Hope of Somalia. Trafford Publishing. p. xxiii. ISBN 1426983743.  ^ Horn of Africa, Volume 15, Issues 1-4, ( Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
Journal: 1997), p.130. ^ Michigan State University. African Studies Center, Northeast African studies, Volumes 11-12, (Michigan State University Press: 1989), p.32. ^ Sub-Saharan Africa Report, Issues 57-67. Foreign Broadcast Information Service. 1986. p. 34.  ^ S. B. Miles, On the Neighbourhood of Bunder Marayah, Vol. 42, (Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the institute of British Geographers): 1872), p.61-63. ^ a b I. M. Lewis, A pastoral democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa, (LIT Verlag Münster: 1999), p.208. ^ James Hingston Tuckey, Maritime geography and statistics, or A description of the ocean and its coasts, maritime commerce, navigation, &c, (Printed for Black, Parry, and Co.: 1815), p.30. ^ Transformation towards a regulated economy, (WSP Transition Programme, Somali Programme: 2000) p.62. ^ Luling, Virginia (1993). The Use of the Past: Variation in Historical traditions in a South Somalia
community. University of Besançon. p. 178.  ^ Istituto italo-africano, Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione, Volume 56, (Edizioni africane: 2001), p.591. ^ "Somali Traditional States". Worldstatesmen. Retrieved 5 April 2015. 


Hess, Robert L. (1964). "The 'Mad Mullah' and Northern Somalia". The Journal of African History. 5 (3): 415–33. doi:10.1017/s0021853700005107.  Issa-Salwe, Abdisalam M. (1996). The Collapse of the Somali State: The Impact of the Colonial Legacy. London: Haan Associates. ISBN 187420991X.  Sheik-ʻAbdi, ʻAbdi ʻAbdulqadir (1993). Divine madness: Moḥammed ʻAbdulle Ḥassan (1856-1920). Zed Books. ISBN 0-86232-444-0.  The Majeerteen

External links[edit]

The Majeerteen

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