Majeerteen Sultanate (Somali: Suldanadda Majeerteen, Arabic:
سلطنة مجرتين), also known as Majeerteenia and
Migiurtinia, was a Somali kingdom centered in the Horn of Africa.
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
1.2 Majeerteen-British agreement
1.3 Sultanate of Hobyo
1.4 Majeerteen-Italian treaties
5 See also
8 External links
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 and to the west by the Abyssinian Empire. After
Adal's demise, the
Majeerteen Sultanate was established around 1800 by
Somalis from the
Darod clan. It reached prominence
during the 19th century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor
(King) Osman Mahamuud.
One of the forts of the
Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) in Hafun.
Due to consistent ship crashes along the northeastern Cape Guardafui
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."
Sultanate of Hobyo
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 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.
In late 1889,
Boqor Osman entered into a treaty with Italy, making his
kingdom a protectorate known as Italian Somaliland. His nephew and
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.
The terms of each treaty specified that
Italy was to steer clear of
any interference in the sultanates' respective administrations. In
return for Italian arms and an annual subsidy, the Sultans conceded to
a minimum of oversight and economic concessions. The Italians also
agreed to dispatch a few ambassadors to promote both the sultanates'
and their own interests. The new protectorates were thereafter
Vincenzo Filonardi through a chartered company. 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
administration. With the gradual extension into northern
Italian colonial rule, both Kingdoms were eventually annexed in the
early 20th century. 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.
Main article: Somali aristocratic and court titles
Ruins of King Osman's castle in
Bargal (built in 1878), a seasonal
capital of the
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. Both sultanates
also maintained written records of their activities, which still
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
Majeerteen Sultanate's ruler, however, commanded more power than
was typical of other Somali leaders during the period. As the primus
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.
Part of a series on the
History of Somalia
Laas Gaal (9,000~3,000 BCE)
Land of Punt
Land of Punt (2,500-1,500 BCE)
Dhambalin (3,000~1,000 BCE)
Berber city-states (c. 1st century)
(c. 1st century)
Adal Sultanate (9th-16th c.)
Ifat Sultanate (12th-15th c.)
Ajuran Sultanate (13th-17th c.)
Warsangali Sultanate (13th-19th c.)
Sultanate of Mogadishu
Sultanate of Mogadishu (13th-16th c.)
Geledi sultanate (16th-1910)
Majeerteen Sultanate (16th-1924)
Sultanate of Hobyo
Sultanate of Hobyo (1876-1926)
British Somaliland (1884-1960)
Italian Somaliland (1889-1941)
Dervish State (1896-1920)
Trust Territory (1941-1960)
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-)
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
Yemen using their own vessels.
According to official reports from 1924 commissioned by the Regio
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.
In addition to a strong civil administration, the
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).
Established in 1998, the autonomous
Puntland region in northeastern
Somalia now administers much of the former territories of the
Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia).
Rulers of the
Suldaan Cali Cumar Maxamed
Founder of the
Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Cali Cumar
Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali Cumar
Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Cali
Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Maxamed
Suldaan Cali "Cambarre" Suldaan Maxamed Suldaan Maxamuud
Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali Suldaan Maxamed
Suldaan Maxamuud "Xawaadane" Suldaan Yuusuf Suldaan Cali
Also known as Maxamuud IV.
Suldaan Cismaan "Bah-Dir" Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Yuusuf
Also known as Cismaan II.
Suldaan Yuusuf "Bah-Yaaquub" Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Yuusuf
Also known as Yuusuf IV. Brief reign of only two years.
Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Cismaan Suldaan Maxamuud
Also known as Maxamuud V
Suldaan Cismaan Suldaan Maxamuud Suldaan Cismaan
Also known as
Osman Mahamuud or Cismaan III Maxamuud. Long reign of
almost 70 years. Last
Sultan of the
Yusuf Ali Kenadid
Ali Yusuf Kenadid
Sultanate of Hobyo
Mohamoud Ali Shire
List of Sunni
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:
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^ James Hingston Tuckey, Maritime geography and statistics, or A
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^ Transformation towards a regulated economy, (WSP Transition
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^ Luling, Virginia (1993). The Use of the Past: Variation in
Historical traditions in a South
Somalia community. University of
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^ Istituto italo-africano, Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e
documentazione, Volume 56, (Edizioni africane: 2001), p.591.
^ "Somali Traditional States". Worldstatesmen. Retrieved 5 April
Hess, Robert L. (1964). "The 'Mad Mullah' and Northern Somalia". The
Journal of African History. 5 (3): 415–33.
Issa-Salwe, Abdisalam M. (1996). The Collapse of the Somali State: The
Impact of the Colonial Legacy. London: Haan Associates.
Sheik-ʻAbdi, ʻAbdi ʻAbdulqadir (1993). Divine madness: Moḥammed
ʻAbdulle Ḥassan (1856-1920). Zed Books.
Land of Punt
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Sultanate of Hobyo
Trust Territory of Somaliland
Sa'ad ad-Din Islands
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Eastern Ganga dynasty
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Kingdoms and dynasties of the medieval Horn of Africa
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Shewa (Efrata, Geshe)
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Adal conquest of Ethiopia
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