Benadiri people

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Regions with significant populations
Somali and Arabic
Related ethnic groups
Arabs, Persians, Somalis

The Benadiri people (Somali: Reer Benaadir, Arabic: بناديري‎‎), also known as Reer Xamar (pronounced "Hamar") or "people of Mogadishu",[1] are an ethnic group in Somalia.


The Benadiri traditionally live in Mogadishu, Merca and Barawa on the Benadir coast, and are principally engaged in business and fishing. They speak Benadiri Somali, a dialect of the Afro-Asiatic Somali language referred to as Coastal Somali.[2]

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[3]), their members actually trace their origins to diverse groups. The latter include Arab, Persian and Somali people.

Reer Xamar were instrumental in helping to consolidate the local Muslim community, especially in the coastal Benadir region.[4][5] During the colonial period, they were also among the founding members of the Somali Youth League, Somalia's first political party.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Abbink, p.18.
  2. ^ Abdullahi, Mohamed Diriye (2001). Culture and Customs of Somalia. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0313313334. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Vérin, Pierre (1986). The History of Civilisation in North Madagascar. A.A. Balkema. p. 30. 
  4. ^ Cassanelli, Lee V. (1973). "The Benaadir past: essays in southern Somali history". University of Wisconsin: 24. 
  5. ^ Muslims in the Diaspora (1999) Rima Berns McGown, page 21
  6. ^ 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.