Did somalis actually have slaves?

As we know somali cities where transit ports for oromo and bantu slaves going to the middle east, many modern sources also mention Somalis as slave owners especially in the south. Slaves were mostly bantu while a minority was oromo and was quickly assimilated. Is this historically correct? Why would somalis have slaves in the first place? It seems like owning slaves isn't compatible with our nomadic life style.
Who brought bantu slaves in somalia? I really doubt ethnic somalis were behind it since slavery isn't that common among nomad pastoralists, somali-bantus are also mainly agriculturalists so the question is who did they work for in the past?
Disclaimer, this isn't an attempt to bash or attack bantu people in somalia, i consider them as my fellow somalis and our brothers in islam
 

Asli

idiocy gives me energy
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We ourselves never got slaves. The Arabs and colonizers brought them over to us and we just had to deal with it. Some sources say that somalis owned slaves and favored the Oromos but I doubt it was true
 
We Somalis only resold/transported slaves.

We Somalis were not slave owners but we had Bantus as maids. They got paid to do jobs and got treated very well.

What twisted western history "forgets" to mention is that Bantus were happy in Somalia (If they were not sold on) One they got assimilated, they worked; albeit basic work but we never used them as slaves. Have you ever heard of a Somali Bantu uprising in Somalia? NO. Unlike the US where they was constant war, tension and struggle between the slave owners and the enslaved.

We never liked to subjugate humans like the Europeans. We have honour, respect and decency.
 

Apollo

Staff Member
Moderator
@Som

It was uncommon (only the very rich) and mostly only in the South (coastal towns like Kismayo, Merka, Brava, Mogadishu), Zeila, and quite late in Bari.

Slaves were not useful to nomads, but mostly only to urban people or farmers and Somalis were neither really until recently.
 
@Som

It was uncommon (only the very rich) and mostly only in the South (coastal towns like Kismayo, Merka, Brava, Mogadishu), Zeila, and quite late in Bari.

Slaves were not useful to nomads, but mostly only to urban people or farmers and Somalis were neither really until recently.
When did Somalis start moving into cities and becoming more urbanized?
 

Apollo

Staff Member
Moderator
When did Somalis start moving into cities and becoming more urbanized?
I'd say the biggest urbanization drives happened right before and quickly after independence (mainly towards Mogadishu) and then the second wave right after the civil war (early 90s) making regional cities like Garowe grow rapidly.
 

Rooble44

Bishop of the order of Gacanta Furan ✋
As we know somali cities where transit ports for oromo and bantu slaves going to the middle east, many modern sources also mention Somalis as slave owners especially in the south. Slaves were mostly bantu while a minority was oromo and was quickly assimilated. Is this historically correct? Why would somalis have slaves in the first place? It seems like owning slaves isn't compatible with our nomadic life style.
Who brought bantu slaves in somalia? I really doubt ethnic somalis were behind it since slavery isn't that common among nomad pastoralists, somali-bantus are also mainly agriculturalists so the question is who did they work for in the past?
Disclaimer, this isn't an attempt to bash or attack bantu people in somalia, i consider them as my fellow somalis and our brothers in islam
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Halimo Supremist

Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good
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I found out mine had slaves afew generations ago. Its very shameful that it happened but everyone that was involved is long dead. :manny:
 
We ourselves never got slaves. The Arabs and colonizers brought them over to us and we just had to deal with it. Some sources say that somalis owned slaves and favored the Oromos but I doubt it was true
There was once source saying that when italian cames a hige percentage (don't remember the exact number) of people in the south were enslaved in farms. If I'm not mistaken most farm lands were in shabellaha and Jubbooyinka where most bantus still reside, but there was no arab presence in those areas. Most arabs and cadcads were in Mogadishu, Barawe , Merka etc but not many arab lived in the countryside where most bantus lived
 
Somalis got most of their slave through the east african/zanzibar slave trade route.
Southernern somalis since atleast the 16th century enslaved bantus, bari sultanate in the 19th century.
There's also been an expansion of northern somalis who invaded, uprooted and enslaved bantu and oromo tribes in the late 19th and early 20th century.
 

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