This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.
A Source Publication of Chimiini Texts and English Translations
Edited by Alessandra Vianello, Lidwien Kapteijns and Mohamed Kassim
Two Unexplored Sources from the Last Decade in the Reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II
The book consists of transcriptions and summary translations of two texts in, mostly, Ottoman Turkish, the first of which is the recently discovered second volume of the diary of the German orientalist Karl Süssheim, covering the years 1903-08 which he mostly spent in Istanbul. The second text is a printed memoir of a Young Turk officer called İsma’il Hakkı, in which the latter discusses his life, political engagement and the resulting problems. Süssheim met İsma’il Hakkı in Cairo in 1908 and kept in contact with him later. The texts offer a lively picture of Istanbul and Cairo in the early years of the 20th century, the repressive regime of Sultan Abdulhamid II and the heady days of the Young Turk revolution of July 1908.
Epic and the Writing of Northern Kirghiz History
Edited by Daniel Prior
In The Šabdan Baatır Codex, Daniel Prior presents the first complete edition, translation, and interpretation of a unique manuscript of early twentieth-century Kirghiz poetry, which includes detailed accounts of nineteenth-century warfare. Dedicated to the chief Šabdan Baatır, the Codex occupies an illuminating position in a network of oral and written genres that encompassed epic poetry and genealogy, panegyric and steppe oral historiography; that echoed oral performance and aspired to print publishing. The Codex’s fresh articulation of concepts of Kirghiz self-identification was incipiently national, yet remained couched in traditional forms. The Codex thus bridges the interval, often glossed over in cultural histories, between a supposedly archaic state of oral epic tradition and the “afterlife” of epics in modern ethno-nationalist projects.