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Main article: Somali people
Total population
9,000(1960's estimate)
Regions with significant populations

The Madhiban (Somali: Madhibaan), also known as the Midgaan (an appellation which is sometimes used pejoratively[1]), is a Somali clan.


The Madhiban are principally concentrated in northern Somalia. They are few, numbering only around 9,000 individuals (1960's estimate).[2]

The Madhiban trace descent from a patriarch named Musa Deriyeh. They were historically hunters, but now engage in occupations like leather work (shoemaking). Since such activities were traditionally considered menial by the larger Somali Bedouin culture, the Madhiban are said to belong to the sab or lower castes as opposed to the aji or mainstream castes.[3]

Under Somalia's military administration, some Madhiban were appointed to positions within the government. As Gabboye, the Madhiban along with the Yibir and Tumaal (collectively referred to as sab) have since obtained wider political representation. Their general social status has also improved with the expansion of urban centers.[4]

Notable Madhiban[edit]


  1. ^ The Middle East, Issue 4, (Northumberland Press: 2007), p.196
  2. ^ Lewis, I.M. (1999). A Pastoral Democracy: A Study of Pastoralism and Politics Among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 14. ISBN 3825830845. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Jama, Hassan Ali (2005). Who Cares about Somalia: Hassan's Ordeal ; Reflections on a Nation's Future. Verlag Hans Schiler. pp. 97–98. ISBN 3899300750. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Lewis, I.M. (2008). Understanding Somalia and Somaliland: Culture, History, Society. Columbia University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0231700849. 


  • Hassan Ali Jama, Who cares about Somalia, (Verlag Hans Schiler: 2005)
  • I.M. Lewis, A pastoral democracy, (James Currey Publishers: 1999)