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Yibir Community (Somalia)

Last modified: 2015-02-01 by bruce berry
Keywords: yibir | somalia |
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According to Wikipedia, the Yibir (also spelled Yibbir), and sometimes known as the Yahhar, are a small clan in Somalia, subsisting as itinerant soothsayers and magicians. They are said to predate the coming of Islam to the area and to be descendants of Mohammad Hanif of Hargeysa, who had a reputation as a pagan magician.


Recent research has suggested that the Yibir are related to, or have descended from, the Jews of Ethiopia (Falasha).  This view is based on shared cultural traits, between the Ethiopian Jews and the Yibir.   However, spokespersons for the Yibir have generally not tried to make their presence known to Jewish authorities. Despite their putative Jewish origins, the overwhelming majority of the Yibir, like the Somali population in general, adhere to Islam and know practically nothing of Judaism. However, partly on account of their rumored Hebrew origins, the Yibir occupy a subordinate position in Somali society.


Yibir flag

A purported flag for the Yibir community has horizontal light blue, white and red stripes. In the centre of the blue stripe is a white five pointed star and in the centre if the white stripe is a gold menorah bearing in its center a Magen David (Shield of David).  The latter symbols presumably borrowed from the Falasha.
Jaume Ollé, 03 Nov 2014