Main article: Somali people
Regions with significant populations
Standard Somali, Maay
Islam (Sunni)
Related ethnic groups
Hawiye, Dir clan, Isaaq, Darod, Carab Saalax (Meheri) other Somali people

The Rahanweyn (Somali Maay: Reewing; traditional Somali: Raxanweyn, Arabic: رحنوين) is a Somali clan, composed of two major sub-clans, the Digil and the Mirifle.[1] and is one of the five major Somali clans residing in the Horn of Africa.


The Digil sub-clan mainly consists of farmers and coastal people, while the Mirifle are predominantly nomadic pastoralists.

According to the Rahanweyn, Somalis are linguistically grouped into Mai Terreh and Maxaa Tiri. The speakers of Mai Terreh (also known as Mai-Mai or Af-Maay) are the Rahanweyn, while the speakers of Maxaa Tiri (i.e. Standard Somali) belong to other clans (Darod, Dir, Hawiye and Isaaq).

The Digil and Mirifle are mainly concentrated in southern Somalia, including Mogadishu, Upper Juba (Gedo, Bay, Bakool, most parts of Middle Juba) and Lower Shebelle. They are also found in the Somali Region of Ethiopia and the North Eastern Province of Kenya.

Clan tree

There is no clear agreement on the clan and sub-clan structures and many lineages are omitted. The following listing is taken from the World Bank's Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics from 2005 and the United Kingdom's Home Office publication, Somalia Assessment 2001.[2][3]

In the south central part of Somalia the World Bank shows the following clan tree:[4]

Christian Bader lists the principal Digil and Rahanweyn subclans as follows:[5]

One should note that the Garre do not actually claim descent from Rahanweyn or Digil and Mirifle. Only in the Southern Somalia do they come under the Rahanweyn confederation due to their isolation from other Garre's and assimilation into the Digil umbrella. Garre are divided into the Tuff and Quranyow sub-clans. While the Tuffs are further divided into the Ali and Adola groups, the Quranyow are divided into the Asare and Furkesha. Kuranyo(Quranyow who was married to Tuuf's daughter make and agnatically descend from Dir son of Irrir son of Samaale. [6][7] Same goes for the Dabarre and Irole of the Digil confederacy, both the Dabare and Irole claim descent from Maqare Samaale.[8][9]

Notable Rahanweyn people

See also


  1. HAAN Associates, p.260
  2. Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.55 Figure A-1
  3. Country Information and Policy Unit, Home Office, Great Britain, Somalia Assessment 2001, Annex B: Somali Clan Structure, p. 43
  4. Worldbank, Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics, January 2005, Appendix 2, Lineage Charts, p.56 Figure A-2
  5. Bader, Christian (1999). "Genealogies Somali". Le sang et le lait: brève histoire des clans somali [Blood and milk: A brief history of the Somali clans] (in French). Paris: 9782706813733. p. 246. ISBN 2706813733. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  6. Hayward, R. J.; Lewis, I. M. (2005-08-17). Voice and Power. Routledge. p. 242. ISBN 9781135751753.
  7. The Quranyo section of the Garre claim descent from Dirr, who are born of the Irrir Samal. UNDP Paper in Keyna http://www.undp.org/content/dam/kenya/docs/Amani%20Papers/AP_Volume1_n2_May2010.pdf
  8. Ahmed, Ali Jimale (1995-01-01). The Invention of Somalia. The Red Sea Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780932415998.
  9. Dabarre and Iroole Digil (Rahanweyn) groups in southern Somalia. http://dice.missouri.edu/docs/afro-asiatic/Dabarre.pdf


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