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Ancient Cultural Contact between the Somali Coast and the Arabian Peninsula Seen through a Folktale

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Chapter Summary

This article will focus in this article on a tale which illustrates the cultural contacts between the Arabo-Persian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa and particularly the Persian influence on the Somali coast. This tale is a revisited version of the famous Greek story of Aesop, the Lion’s Share. We will show that this tale, one the most famous folktale among Somalis, is so well integrated into the Somali oral literature that it has never been seen as an exogenous tale. We also show that it is the Persian version of Mohamed Djalal-Od Dīn Rumi which is the source of the Somali version, although the late has lost the mystical dimension given to it by the Persian poet.



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