Benadiri people

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Related ethnic groups
Somalis, Arabians (Yemenis and Omanis in particular), the Bravanese, South Asians, Persians, and the Swahili

The Benadiri people (Somali: Reer Benaadir, Arabic: البنادر‎), also known as Reer Xamar (pronounced "Hamar") or "people of Xamar",[1] are a multiracial confederation of clans. Members largely inhabit Somalia's southern coastline.


The term Benadiri derives from the Persian term Bandar meaning coastal.[2] It has since been applied to refer to Somalia's multiracial coastal communities.[3][2] There is a Somali administrative region (gobol) with a similar etymology, although Benadiri peoples can be found outside of this region along Somalia's southern coast and should not be confused with the Benaadir administrative district.[2][3]


Former Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu Mohammed Nur Iman Kar, a member of the Benadiri Somali clan.

Although the Benadiri are sometimes described as the founders of Mogadishu (hence, their colloquial name Reer Xamar or "People of Mogadishu",[1] though the city itself is postulated to be a successor of ancient Sarapion[4]), their members actually trace their origins to diverse groups. The latter primarily comprise various other Somali clans, with some additional influences from the ancient Emozeidi Arabs, Persians, and South Asians.[5][6]

Reer Xamar were instrumental in helping to consolidate the local Muslim community, especially in the coastal Benadir region.[7][8] During the colonial period, they were also among the founding members of the Somali Youth League, Somalia's first political party.[9]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Abbink, p.18.
  2. ^ a b c Anita, Adam. (2011). Benadiri people of Somalia : with particular reference to the Reer Hamar of Mogadishu. School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). OCLC 768068638.
  3. ^ a b Gundel, Joakim (2009). Clans in Somalia (PDF). Austrian Centre for Country of Origin & Asylum Research and Documentation (Report).
  4. ^ Vérin, Pierre (1986). The History of Civilisation in North Madagascar. A.A. Balkema. p. 30.
  5. ^ Africa, Volumes 8-9. Kraus Reprint. 1975. p. 199. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Cassanelli, Lee V. (1973). "The Benaadir past: essays in southern Somali history". University of Wisconsin: 24. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Muslims in the Diaspora (1999) Rima Berns-McGown, page 21
  9. ^ I. M. Lewis, A pastoral democracy: a study of pastoralism and politics among the Northern Somali of the Horn of Africa, (LIT Verlag Münster: 1999), p.304.