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Bajuni people

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Title: Bajuni people  
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Bajuni people

Bajuni
Regions with significant populations
 Kenya 69,110[1][2]
 Somalia 10,000 (1970s estimate)[3]
Languages
Kibajuni
Related ethnic groups
Swahili

The Bajuni people are a minority ethnic group mainly residing on the Bajuni Islands and surrounding coastal areas.

Overview

The Bajuni principally inhabit the tiny Bajuni Islands in the Indian Ocean. Many also traditionally reside in Kenya, mainly in Mombasa and other towns in that country's Coast Province.[3][4] Some are also found in the Kismayo region in more northerly Somalia.[3]

The population's members trace their origins to diverse groups; primarily coastal Bantu and Khoisanoid hunter-gather groups, as well as later additions such as Arab, Persian and Cushitic immigrants.[3] Some also have Indonesian ancestry.[5]

The Bajuni follow the laws of Islam to conduct their affairs. Almost all are Shafite Muslims. Their lives revolve around the mosque and daily prayer. In the course of saying five prayers a day, they also wash at least five times. Every Muslim parent insists on giving his child the basic Islamic education. A Muslim judge, or kadhi, handles the criminal and civil disputes of the community.

When a child is born, it is held up by the father, a friend, or a teacher, who recites the traditional call of prayer into its ear. From the moment of birth, the child is instructed in the basic teachings of Islam. Men are the working breadwinners. A woman's place among the Bajuni is usually within the home. She customarily leaves the house only to visit or to go to the market. Her visiting is done late in the afternoon when the housework is finished and the children are playing. The husbands like to gather at a men's meeting place or the mosque.[6]

The Bajuni are traditionally fishermen and sailors. Some also pursue other trades such as metalwork.[4]

Language

The Bajuni people collectively refer to themselves and are known as Wabajuni. They speak Kibajuni, a dialect of the Bantu Swahili language.[4]

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.knbs.or.ke/censusethnic.php
  2. ^ Nurse, p.6.
  3. ^ a b c d Abdullahi, p.11.
  4. ^ a b c Mwakikagile, p.102.
  5. ^ Gregory Norton, Flyktningeråd (Norway). Land, property, and housing in Somalia. Norwegian Refugee Council. p. 52. 
  6. ^ http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=10586

References

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