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State five economic activities of the Somali during the precolonial period

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Kept animals
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  • The Somali were hunters and gathers. They hunted wild game for food and gathered fruits and roots and vegetables.
  • They basically practiced nomadic Pastoralism. They kept cattle, goats, camel and sheep.Their diet was mainly milk, meat and blood.
  • They traded with their neighbours to get what they could not produce e.g. the Pokomo and the Mijikenda from whom they acquired grains.
  • A section of the Somali practiced iron smelting and made iron tools e.g. swords, knives, bangles and arrow heads.
  • They also engaged in craft industry e.g. production of leather items such as handbags, belts etc. Such craft activities were despised among the Somali and were associated with a group whom they referred to as Sab (outcasts).
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