Farshaxanka Soomaaliyeed - I learned from these women — Ardo iyo Amina - that back home in Somalia, nomadic women traditionally created weavings for several life-sustaining purposes - to cover the aqal Soomaali (nomadic home), to sleep on, to pray on, as blankets to carry things. Additionally, they wove vessels to carry milk and water in, to hold fermented meats; and twined their own ropes to fasten things together.
Many older east African women are weaving today in our community, an age-old craft passed down from their grandmothers. Using no looms or tools other than their own hands and feet, sometimes teeth, the works are twined and hand-woven, and completely hand-stitched and hand-made.
The memory of home in the weave of the kebed (flat weaving) evoked an emotional response from an elder gentleman I met who said, "I was born under one of these", as he held up a colorful kebed. Please come to learn more from the elders about their weaving tradition, and also to learn about a culture which is both far away and right next-door.
Photo: Ardo Weaving, 2014