My Ayeeyo (Grandmother) has a tattoo on her face

I think this is insane and fascinating. Is Mire claiming that our ancient Christian history (if true) influenced us to such an extent that some Muslim Somalis were tattooing crosses on their foreheads?

Its shame that we were just an oral society and not one that wrote. Once archeological findings become more advanced, we will find out very interesting and strange things about our history. We are very much in the dark. Also, sometimes I feel that our parents and grandparents generation are not that much interested in the past. Sometimes my mother would confirm certain things I've read about the past which I would think is crazy. She would even tell me of an old relative who did such and such and I would look at her and think, how come you never bothered to tell us?
Yes basically Sada Mire found christian like burials,stones with crosses etc. Even 19 th century european explorers found cairns with cross like shapes. When they asked to the local somalis they said those crosses were made by "Gaalo". It seems somalis in somaliland were either christian or influenced by abyssinian christianity, when they adopted islam they forgot their pre-islamic heritage but some things still remain. Sada Mire suggests that those who still practice this tattoo thing aren't really aware of the origin of the practice and they are infact devout muslims
 
So my grandmother has a tattoo on her face , she’s in her 80s I asked my mum why does she have a tattoo on her cheekbone area , apparently it was fashion or the thing to do back in the day , obviously I don’t believe this .

View attachment 165198

Similar to what this women has underneath her eye
I have female family members with the dark green tattoo on their forehead / between the eyebrows from the 80s
 

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I think this is insane and fascinating. Is Mire claiming that our ancient Christian history (if true) influenced us to such an extent that some Muslim Somalis were tattooing crosses on their foreheads?

Its shame that we were just an oral society and not one that wrote. Once archeological findings become more advanced, we will find out very interesting and strange things about our history. We are very much in the dark. Also, sometimes I feel that our parents and grandparents generation are not that much interested in the past. Sometimes my mother would confirm certain things I've read about the past which I would think is crazy. She would even tell me of an old relative who did such and such and I would look at her and think, how come you never bothered to tell us?
What?
 
You're getting your source from Burton. Somalis that lived in the miiy and the ones that lived in the city are different. Also, some of the people that Burton interacted with where Somalis who were used to foreigners. I know in the first chapter, the young man he is around was a man that ran away to Yemen and worked as a sailor, so obviously he along with a few others would be very clued up on current issues ect. But i'm talking about the majority and not the minorities.
But Burton also interacted with many nomads and even lived among them. He describes visiting many camps and chieftains and whatnot throughout his book and that quote is specifically about how nomadic ("wild") Somalis are well-informed as a people and that people like Samaroon nomads were literally discussing a war in Russia:

The Somali Bedouins have a passion for knowing how the world wags. In some of the more desert regions the whole population of a village will follow the wanderer. No traveller ever passes a kraal without planting spear in the ground, and demanding answers to a lengthened string of queries: rather than miss intelligence he will inquire of a woman. Thus it is that news flies through the country. Among the wild Gudabirsi the Russian war was a topic of interest, and at Harar I heard of a violent storm, which had damaged the shipping in Bombay Harbour, but a few weeks after the event.
Also fits with stuff relatives would tell me growing up. That rural Somalis were generally a curious people and loved hearing news about the outside world and would push anyone who visited them to keep them informed on outside developments. This is one of the reasons why people also eagerly welcomed a wandering Wadaad aside from the obvious religious reasons. They had a thing for keeping informed.

Also, what other plausible reason is there for Somalis to commit blatant shirk? Do you really think that if our ancestors knew some of things they did was not only a major sin, but could take them out of the fold of Islam, they would still do it? Its an interesting theory.
I hear you. The problem with the Horn of Africa as a whole is that writing remained an almost entirely "elite" practice until very, very recently. For the most part in Horn society, both Muslim and Christian, the likelihood that you would be literate if you were not a ruler, well-off merchant or priest was extremely low. And these classes of people usually had more of an interest in using writing to write about religious, political and trade matters and not recording the history of their people or preserving folktales and local poems or anything like that. This is also partly why Muslim Horners mostly used Arabic as their written language until well into the early modern era and Christian Horners mostly used Ge'ez until the early modern era. There are some inscriptions of languages like Amharic and Tiginrinya here and there in the earlier Middle-Ages and we do have Far Wadaad among the Somali but, for the most part, you have basically what was happening in much earlier medieval Europe where in some cases the local language was not written down at all, most of the populace was illiterate and only a small elite used something like Latin, which the majority of the populace couldn't even speak, to read and write.
 

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