Social Stratification

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The Samaal believe that their clan-family is superior to the Saab. The Saab clan-family developed a caste system that awards status to different groups based on their heritage or occupation. Lower-class groups among the Digil and Rahanwayn were identified by occupation. The largest group was themidgaan(a derogatory name), who served as barbers, circumcisers, and hunters. The Tumaal were blacksmiths and metalworkers. The Yibir served as fortune-tellers and makers of protective amulets and charms. In the late twentieth century, many from these groups found work in towns and cities and raised their status, and the old arrangements whereby they served certain clans had largely disappeared by the 1990s.

 

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