Somaliland: Safeguarding a Cultural Legacy
Attention is growing on the rich cultural heritage in
Below is an article written by published by Voice of
Somaliland is a relatively new east African republic that broke away from
Scholars say early followers of the Prophet Muhammad fled to Zeila from
Arabs began to administer the small town on the
Throughout the centuries, Zeila developed into a major trading and commercial port.
Yusuf Hassan Muhid is said to be Zeila's oldest resident. Muhid, who villagers say is 100 years old, remembers when tea was shipped in from
With the development of the port in neighboring
Town elder Ibrahim Ahmed decries the sites' condition. "The historical sites are not limited to the mosques. One good example is the museum next door that needs rehabilitation," he said.
Ali Ibrahim is
He adds, "These historical sites need a lot of investment for their own rehabilitation and I think the Ministry of Culture does not have enough funds to do that work. That is why it is trying to attract foreign institutions to collaborate with them in the preservation of these historical sites. So the work has started."
More than 300 kilometers south of Zeila are the hills of Las Geel. Hidden within the hills are ancient caves. Their walls contain paintings estimated to date from 4000 to 3000 B.C.
The paintings depict mostly cows and some human figures. Historians believe that early artists crushed stones of different colors to make a paste that they used as paint. The historians call for the cave paintings to be protected from damage so that the legacy of the ancients can live on.
To download the video documentary, please click on the links below:
Voice of America: Somaliland Cultural Sites Remain Little Known Outside East Africa (Windows Media Player [High-Resolution] 5.6MB)
Voice of America: Somaliland Cultural Sites Remain Little Known Outside East Africa (Windows Media Player [Low-Resolution] 0.8MB)