Haaji Jimcacale Jama, Historic Traditional Leader for Waamo area.

Tuesday November 02, 2010 - 20:21:19
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Haji Jimcaale Jamac
Haji Jimcaale Jamac
Haaji Jimcale was one of the greatest traditional leaders in Waamo area know as Lower middle Juba. He was born in Kismayo the capital of lower Juba province in 1890. This is before the birth of Somali state and government. He was first child of his father Jama Mohamed and mother Batula Abdiraxman (Rino). He had two brothers and five sisters and they all went to Islamic schools known as (Dugsi) where he learned the Quaan, Arabic language and other Islamic studies as most of people do at their childhood in Somali

As he was growing up in Waamo area in early 1900th, he became merchant were he traveled all over Waamo area to grow his business and also learned much of Waamo area clans and became familiar with the area landscape and grew interest learning. The vast area clans were his dealings as business with all clans in the area earned him the knowledge of the traditional laws that held these communities together. He was noticed by clan elders in the area as his knowledge grew and was showing what can only be described as phenomenal young men who at young age mastered traditional rule of the area and trusted by the people of the area.

At first, he was invited to be part elders meetings to resolve conflicts between clans were he basically as the youngest man in those gathering learned more, showed, exercised leadership and earned the role as traditional leader at a younger age. Given the absence of a government and the modern rule of law, the traditional leadership of Haaji Jimcale as many traditional leader before him was a dispute mediator and enforcers of thexeer -the customary laws that regulate most aspects of social life within and between the Somali clans that inhabited the Wammo area also know Lower and Midle Juba provinces.

Haaji Jimcaale role was to mediate during conflicts such as access to pastures water, grassing area disputes and conflicts between clans like blood compensation known as (Mag). Because of him and other Waamo elders before him this area became home to all Somali clans from different area of Somalia and their adopted new clan name was (Reer Waamo) which ment people of Waamo which identifies them with the people of the region not their clan affiliate.

Waamo area clan delegates would travel from all over to seek his leadership in resolving conflicts between them that couldn’t be solved by local elders. He earned their trust because he was known of being fair mediator,unbiased and the most knowledgeable man of Waamo area tradition rule also known as XEER and Sharia Law. Most cases there were traditional rule (XEER) in place that he would use to solve problems between clans but in some instance unique issues arise know as (UGUB) because of his in-depth knowledge of both traditional and Sheria Law he would also be the one trusted to create new (Xeer) and add in tradition rule.

He was wealthy man who shared his wealth with the needy during difficult times like droughts and other man made disasters that happened to his people. Hospitality was also what the clans of Waamo area can count on from him regards of their clan affiliate. His home was open to every one and it was normal to see people stay at his home with out any one asking where they from, going or how long they were going to stay. He was always accompanied by people at his home during meals and described as being lonely if he could find some one to joint him.

During the struggle for independent he became a backbone for the movement. Because of his position he was able to mobilize Waamo area clans in support of the movement. He was known not favor clans over the others and he refused to disclose his clan affiliations To discourage tribalism lack of beter word he is quoted of describing it as some one who is traveling third night of the new moon, (Bil sedex ah) according to the loner calendar were the light of the new moon will take from where you are positioned and soon it will go away and turn dark before you reach your destinations. He was able to unite the people of Waamo to help the struggle and secured economic and manpower for the movement.

As Mr. Jimaale aged and he passed his role to his son Artan Haji Jimcaale, were he continued the legacy of his father after Haji Jimcales’ death in 1968. In 1968 Arten Haji was officially appointed to fill his fathers role, but the son did non inhered only the customary law passed through generations and the test of the times from his father he also had a formal educational, he spoke Arabic and Italian and became more ceremonial but very influential traditional leader like his father even though under pressure from the secular rule.

Arten Xaaji Jimcaale

The traditional leadership role was altered by the introduction of an alien, modern governance system of the colonial powers and after independence and the birth of Somali statehood in 1960. But after the failure of the Somali state with no governing institutions in place his role came back to life and he is fully proving his people constant tradition mediation and counseling.

Haaji Arten married in 1950, he is lived to see his grand kids, and have a forty children and grand children. He now resides in the US.

Malyun Artan Haji.

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