Infobox Settlement
official_name = Barawa
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pushpin_map_caption =Location in Somalia
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|Somalia
subdivision_type1 = Somalia
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Barawa or Brava ( _so. "Baraawe", _ar. المدينة ﺑﺮﺍﻭﻱ) is a port town in the south eastern coast of Somalia. The traditional inhabitants are the Bravanese people, who speak Bravanese, a Swahili dialect. [ [ east_africa_languages [Multicultural Topics in CSD ] ]


In the 16th century Brava was taken by the Portuguese. In 1840, the Bardheere Jama'a took Barawa under siege while attempting to discover a more direct sea route.. The town was destroyed and its inhabitants pleaded with the Sultan of Zanzibar for protection. Eventually, in 1889, Barawa was ceded to the control of the Italians when the Sultan of Zanzibar was forced to agree to the annexation of all the Banadir ports to the Italian colonial administration already established in the Horn of Africa. The city resisted the Italians and was in fact only under lease until 1905 when it was officially annexed by Italy.cite web |url=|title=Port Cities of the Horn: Barawa, Marka, Mogadishu, & Zayla|accessdate=2008-01-07 |format= |work= ]
Sheikh Uways al-Barawi organized an Ikhwaan and led the Banadir revolt, which was duly crushed in 1908. Sheikh Uways migrated to Biyoley to reorganize his Ikhwan but was killed in 1909. One result of the unsuccessful revolt was the establishment of the Uwaysiyya order, named after the martyr Sheikh Uways, which succeeded establishing jama’as in the river fed region of Southern Somalia and neighboring regions which acted as cetres of charity and learning. In addition to the famous Sheikh Uways, Baraawe has produced numerous well respected Ulama including Sheikh Nureini Sabiri, Sheikh Qassim al-Baraawi, Sheikh Ma'llim Nuri and a female poet-saint, Dada Masiti. The city was the stronghold of the Hizbiya Digil-Mirifle (HDM) party, which was founded in 1947 and later became the Hizb al-Dastuur Mustaqil al-Somali (Somali Independent Constitutional Party, HDMS).

After independence, technology and world events left Barawa a greatly reduced importance as a port on the Horn of Africa, and was eventually chosen as a relocation area for refugees by the Somali government, greatly affecting the nature of the town. Thousands of people were settled in the area, with little training or supplies, and eventually most of the native inhabitants left. By the time the city came under siege in 1991 during the civil wars faced by the country, it was in ruins, and a year later most residents were forced to flee.


Barawa was famous for traditional crafts, such as the weaving of the Aliindi or Kikoy cloth, and hats, Kofiya Barawi, worn by dignitaries even today, traditional sandals, shields and belts, furniture, and several types of cooking pots, still locally made including the clay horned stoves seen in the heyban pottery.

Barawa had a distinctive style of woodcarving and furniture making, such as the ‘Atiir “wedding bed,” the wambar (“wooden leather covered stools”) and the mihmil “Qur’an holder.” Gold and silver necklaces, bracelets and jewelry containers were produced, as were metal trunks, tea/coffee pots, iron beds, spears and arrows.

Barawa is also known for its own architectural style. Wider streets and larger windows are common. Barawa has many two story houses with bridges constructed over the streets so that women or the elderly could visit other houses without having to walk down into the street. Shpururu Champayi, a famous alleyway, has this kind of bridge above it. The town was divided into major quarters, each with a main Masjid. Coral was transported by camel carts and burned to make lime for buildings, a wise use of traditional skills that was more economical than using imported cement.


External links

* [ Bravanese]
* [ BravaOnLine]

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