These stories were collected in Jijiga in October 1998 with the collaboration of Moge Abdi Omar of the Somalia Education Bureau, who facilitated the visit and translated the stories from Somali, assisted by Osman Abdulahi Ahmed. Translations from Amharic into English were done by Mikhail Negussie of the British Council.
Midwives narrate stories in Jijiga
The stories reflect the pastoralist, nomadic rhythms of traditional Somali life. Some (eg The Head), are similar to many tales told in Arab lands on the far side of the Red Sea, while others (eg The Black Crow), refer to beliefs of a pre-Islamic period. Unusually in Jijiga, it was possible to work with women storytellers. (The narrator of Degder was a young girl of around 12.)