Puntite Historical Images

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Historical Images and information about Puntland aka Dal Udug aka the Cape of Spices aka the "land of Punt".

Puntland is home to an ancient people, known for resilience and merchant traits.
Revered by the ancient pharoahs as the land of Punt and to Greek merchants as the 'Cape of Spices' aka the fragrant land or in Af-Somalia (Dal Udug).

Enjoy the images!

Suldaan Keenadiid of Hobyo

King of Majeerteenia

Suldaan of Maakhir

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Puntite historical fact

Cape of Spices: Qandala

Qandala is an ancient port city located on the Gulf of Aden. A diary dated to 50 CE indicates that Qandala was a trade centre for cinnamon and spices. This trade seems to be evidence that the people were seafarers who traveled to the Far East, as far as present-day India and China.

Apart from gums, ivory, animal skins and incense, the rise of the coastal trading post was due to the commercial opportunities the port generated. Ancient migration routes joined Gulf countries to Qandala. Archaeological evidence suggests that Qandala may have been an important trading center in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, participating in East Africa’s trade with the Middle East and Asia. Qandala City’s early name was “Gacanka Hodonka”, which means Gulf Of Prosperity referring to the Qandala community and to the successful traders of East Africa.

One of the largest exports of Qandala is a traditional gum, which is exported to several countries in the Arabian Peninsula, Asia and Australia.
Ancient migration routes joined Gulf countries to Qandala. Archaeological evidence suggests that Qandala may have been an important trading centre in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, participating in East Africa's trade with the Middle East and Asia.

"Did you know that the Beden, an ancient Somali maritime vessel, remains the longest surviving sewn ship in East Africa and Arabia?
Sailors used the beden to transport their cargo. Most of its shipyards mainly lie in the Bari region of Puntland. Here is an image of Bedens in Bari"

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Pillars of an ancient mosque, Hafun.

Ras Hafun is home to numerous ancient structures and ruins. The peninsula is believed to be the location of the old trade emporium of Opone. The latter is mentioned in the anonymous Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written in the first century CE. Opone is described therein as a busy port city, strategically located on the trade route that spanned the length of the Indian Ocean's rim. Merchants from as far afield as Indonesia and Malaysia passed through the settlement. As early as 50 CE, the area was well known as a center for the cinnamon trade, along with the barter of cloves and other spices, ivory, exotic animal skins and incense.

In the 1970s, a Somali-British archaeological expedition in Hafun and other parts of northern Somalia recovered numerous examples of historical artefacts and structures, including ancient coins, Roman pottery, drystone buildings, cairns, mosques, walled enclosures, standing stones and platform monuments. Many of the finds were of pre-Islamic origin and associated with city-states and trading centers described in ancient documents. The Damo site, in particular, was said to correspond with the Periplus' "Market and Cape of Spices". Some of the smaller artefacts that the company found were subsequently deposited for preservation at the British National Museum.[1]

A later expedition in Hafun led by an archaeological team with the University of Michigan excavated Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Persian Gulf pottery. In the 1980s, the British Institute in East Africa also recovered pre-Islamic Partho-Sassanid ceramics from the peninsula, which were dated to the first century BCE and the second through fifth centuries CE.[2]

Additionally, Hafun is home to an ancient necropolis. Similar historical structured areas exist in various other parts of the country.

The northeast region of Somalia has, since August 1st, 1998, been referred to as Puntland State of Somalia. The territory is characterized by vast semi-arid range lands on which nomadic pastoralists raise herds of camels, goats and sheep. There are also a number of small towns and small coastal settlements where people practice rudimentary fishing.

The economy is primarily dependent on pastoralism, the livestock trade, and the import and export of goods at the port of Bosaaso on the northeast coast. Stretching from the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean to the north and east, to south Mudug region in central Somalia and bordering Ethiopia and Somaliland in the west, the area encompasses the traditional territory of the Harti clan group of the Darood clan-family and a number of other Darood clans and is considered one of the most homogeneous Somali regions.

Although pre-colonial Somali society did not have a national government with modern structures and clearly defined international borders, the northeast region had traditional structures of government dating from the 18th century. These traditional structures of government included:

The Sultanate of Migiurtinia (mid 18th century - 1927)

The Sultanate of Obbio (1878–1925)

The Warsangeli Sultanate of Sanaag (1896–1925)

The Dervish State (1899 -1920)

These Sultanates had administrative and military structures, which safeguarded security, social welfare and political stability until they were disrupted by colonial powers (the Italians in the first two Sultanates and the British in the last two).
As Prof. Said Samatar of Rutgers University put it:

"In precolonial times the only states worthy of the name in the Somali peninsula had been the Migiurtin Sultanate of Boqor, or king, 'Ismaan Mohamuud in the Baargaal-Boosaaso region on the extreme eastern coast and the kingdom of Obbia (Hobyo) belonging to 'Ismaan's nephew, the dour Yuusuf Ali Keenadiid. These were both highly centralized states with all the organs and accoutrements of an integrated modern state--a hereditary nobility, titled aristocrats, a functioning bureaucracy, a flag, an army and a not insignificant network of foreign relations with embassies abroad.
Nowhere else in Somalia did anything even remotely comparable ever arise, except perhaps the Ujuuraan on the Shabeelle valley and Adal on the northwestern coast, both states having reached the apogee of power in the sixteenth century. In modern times theMigiurtin stand alone, absolutely alone, in having created a centralized state. This means that the Migiurtin clan in general, and the Migiurtin elite in particular, have a seasoned, unique experience in the nature and processes of statecraft that no other Somali group possesses. "

The Warsangeli Sultanate was noted for its robust tax-based centralized administration and trade and commercial relations existed between the Sultanates, the Indian sub-continent and Arabian Gulf states. For instance, ad valorem taxation systems, export of livestock, animal and agro-forestry products and import of consumer goods thrived in the Sultanate of Migiurtinia during the second half of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th century.

In Puntland, “Isim” (singular) or “Isimo” (plural), the traditional titled leaders or paramount chiefs, are usually crowned in a traditional ceremony known as “’Aano-Shub” (meaning crowning with milk, pouring milk on the head) or “’Aleemo-Saar” (meaning showering with green leaves). The highest traditional position for the Darood clan is the Boqor (king), with other positions denoted as Ugaas, Garaad, Islan, Beeldaaje, Sultan, Qud, Caaqil (chief), Nabaddon, Samadoon and Oday.
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