Culture – Poems
Documentation on the Bajuni, their language, their culture, is poor. The best documentation is in the mind of elderly Bajunis but as they die out, the chance of documenting their knowledge recedes. General. The best single written source on Bajunis culture is Grottanelli (1955a). Although it represents a culture, language, and society now fast disappearing in Somalia, although it is hard to find, although it is written in Italian, it contains a vast amount of information, and reading it will reward and enlighten those who persevere. Prins (1967) too, although concerned with the whole coast, has a lot of detailed and direct material on the Bajunis area.
Archaeology: Chittick (1976) and especially Wilson (various), who himself worked in northern Kenya in the late 1970s and early 1980s but meticulously examined all previous work done in southern Somalia, with the eye of an archaeologist used to operating and interpreting in the area.
Language: mainly Nurse (various, especially 1982), based on work done in the late 1970s. Since that time he has worked on many refugee cases involving Somali Bajunis. Vocabulary comes also from Sacleux’ epic (1939) dictionary, based on work done in the 1880’s: Grottanelli, based on work done in the early 1950s in southern Somalia: and Nurse mainly on work done thirty years later in northern Kenya but also to a lesser extent on listening in the early 2000s to young refugees from Somalia, many of whom might well be labeled as semi-speakers. This geographical and temporal range of over a century means that some readers will find lexical material that strikes them as unfamiliar.