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Die Schoho’s und die Beduan bei Massua [The Saho and the Beduins of Massawa] (1859)

by Werner Munzinger

018-Werner-Munzinger-portraitDownload the documentFrom Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Erdkunde, 1859, 6 (2): 89-110.

The swiss Werner Munzinger (1832-1875) studied natural science, Oriental languages, and history. He became governor of Massawa in 1871.


Studien ueber Ost-Afrika. I. Das Saho-Volk [Studies on East-Africa. I. The Saho people] (1877)

by Leo Reinisch

Cover_Saho VolkDownload the documentFrom Österreichische Monatsschrift für den Orient, 1877, 5: 65-73.

This articles of Leo Reinisch, is the most important article on the Saho history and culture written in the XIX century.



Al Rágali (1903)

by Carlo Conti Rossini

Download the documentAl Ragali_coverConti Rossini, C. (1903) “Al Rágali”, Estratti dal Bollettino della Società Italiana di Esplorazioni Geografiche e Commerciali, anni 1903-1904. Milano: Stabilimento Tipografico Bellini.

The record of a travel made in 1902 by Carlo Conti Rossini in the area around the river Cindeeli/Raagali, between Eritrea and Ethiopia. It contains many information about the land, the history (also genealogies), the customs and the language of the Saho.

Studi su popolazioni dell’Etiopia (1910)

by Carlo Conti Rossini


Download the documentFrom Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 1910, vol. 3, 4: 849-900.

The article (first of three parts) presents some traditions about the origin of the Irob, the Hazo and the Tharuuca Saho divisions. The   description is in Italian with some text in Amharic, Tigrinya and Arabic.




Peoples of the Horn of Africa. The Saho (1955)

by I. M. Lewis

41uipRXLLdL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Download the documentFrom Lewis, I. M. (1955) Peoples of the Horn of Africa: Somali, Afar and Saho. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 174-76.

Reprinted in 1998 by Red Sea Press.


La généalogie des trios tribes Irob chrétiennes d’après des documents de Gunda Gundié [The genealogy of three Irob Christian tribes from the documents of Gunda Gundie] (1985)

by Gigar Tesfaye

renderCoverDownload the documentFrom Annales d’Ethiopie. Volume 13, 1985. Pp. 57-66.


Grand muftí, érudit et nationaliste érythréen. Note sur la vie et l’oeuvre de cheikh Ibrâhîm al-Mukhtâr (1909-1969) [The Grand Mufti, Eritrean erudite and nationalist: notes on the life and works of the Sheikh Ibrâhîm al-Mukhtâr (1909-1969)] (2002)

by Jonathan Miran

IbrahimDownload the documentFrom: Chroniques yéménites. 10, 2002 (online version)

Abstract: Appointed the Grand Mufti of Eritrea by the Italians in 1939, the Sheikh Ibrâhîm al-Mukhtâr occupied an important place in the heart of the Eritrean Muslim community, until his death. A scholar and writer, he was convinced of the singularity of his country’s history, favored the development and modernization of its Muslim institutions and took an active role in the nationalist struggle, especially against Ethiopian presence in Eritrea. His biography adds a different perspective on a crucial period of Eritrea’s modern history.


An Ethno-Historical Survey of the Irob Agro-Pastoralists of Northeastern Tigray (Ethiopia) (2003)

by Tsegay Berhe Gebrelibanos

Download the documentICES_15This is an online available version of the article published in Siegbert Uhlig (ed.) Proceedings of the 15th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, Hamburg 2003, pp. 372-381. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz.

Abstract (from the published article): The article presents a brief ethno-historical survey of the Irob people of eastern Tǝgray, ʿAgamä. Irobland, being a very small area with a population of about 20,000, is a striking micro-model of intensive ethno-historical interactions, which characterize the area of ʿAgamä as a whole. The Irob have become a bi-lingual community with Sāho and Tǝgrǝñña being spoken by most of them. Irob socio-political organization, still less studied, appears to have been based on an egalitarian system where power largely rested in the public assembly which in turn delegated it to the council of elders. The Irob retained their local political autonomy until the 18th cent., but since then they increasingly began to participate in the political affairs of Tǝgray. Their representative, Däǧǧazmač Subagadis (r. 1822–31), grew so ambitious that he challenged the power of the Yäǧǧu Oromo warlords at Däbrä Abbay (1831). Though his bid to assume the power brokerage of Gondärine Imperial politics failed, his descendants ruled ʿAgamä until the 1974 Revolution.


The Customary Law of the Akele Guzai Muslim [the Saho]

by Abdulkader Saleh Mohammed

The Saho customary lawLit Verlag, Münster, 2009, pp. 74 + 34 Arabic Text

This book presents the first English translation of the Saho customary law in Eritrea, with an introduction discussing the historical and socio-cultural background of the Saho community and the role of traditional conflict mediation in contemporary Eritrea. The law has a strong communal character and rules both economic activities and social life. It was orally transmitted from generation to generation and printed in 1943, of which only one copy is known. It is based on local traditional and Islamic law and its principles are respected up to the present day. The volume is a significant contribution to the study of Eritrean customary law, which presents an important cultural heritage.

The book is not available for the download, but its contents can be partially viewed at:

The Saho of Eritrea: Ethnic Identity and National Consciousness (2013)

by Abdulkader Saleh Mohammed

The Saho of EritreaLit Verlag, Münster, 2013, pp. 382.

This book presents an analysis of the identity of the agro-pastoral Saho community in Eritrea, which was cemented during centuries of confrontation with Abyssinian rulers and by their rebellion against external domination. It examines the emergence of the Saho’s national consciousness and the process of political identity formation during the British Military Administration in competition with the pro-Ethiopian Unionist Party. The book describes the active participation of the Saho in the national liberation struggle of Eritrea, and it evaluates the impact of post-independence policies of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front/People’s Front for Democracy and Justice on the Saho community. (Series: African Politics / Politiques Africaines – Vol. 5).

The book is not available for the download, but its contents can be partially viewed at: 


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