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New System of Writing for Socotra Language Created by Russian Linguists
New System of Writing for Socotra Language Created by Russian Linguists

A group of Russian linguists under the direction of a correspondent of RAS, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies Vitaly Naumkin developed a writing system for the archaic language of the Yemeni island of Socotra. The indigenous population of Socotra speaks a dialect of the local Socotra unwritten language, related to the modern Semitic Modern South Arabian languages, as well as in Arabic.

Socotri Culture Development
Sounds of Socotra from ShortWaveMusic
Sounds of Socotra from ShortWaveMusic

A wonderful project! Now we can hear voices from the island of Socotra. Listen how people talk and sing in different parts of the island.

Socotri
Tale of Two Brothers  - Soqotri folk tale
Tale of Two Brothers - Soqotri folk tale

This Soqotran tale was recorded from Fatima Salim Sho'o (ca. 19) near her family small cave at Mauna Mountain in the north-western Muri area of Soqotra island just near the airfield and the camp in 1980. Her father Salim ‘Abdella Sho'o, her mother Maryam Keshen, and both of her brothers Sa’id and Sa’ad were also there. Fatima, a young clever Bedouin woman, never went to school. Here is a beginning of the tale which is very close to the famous Egyptian tale of Two Brothers from the d'Orbiney papirus.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
 Ali The Clever One treats the Sultan  - Soqotri folk tale from Muri
Ali The Clever One treats the Sultan - Soqotri folk tale from Muri

One day Ali the Clever One was wondering. And he was wondering if he is not as good as other people? Other people who came to the Sultan, gave him good presents. But he, Ali, surely he was also good so he decided to treat the Sultan.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Ali The Clever One and his kitchen garden  - the most popular Soqotri folk tale around the island
Ali The Clever One and his kitchen garden - the most popular Soqotri folk tale around the island

One day Ali the Clever One decided to try his hand at agriculture. He found a piece of land, cleared it of stones and brush-wood, dug the earth and made a kitchen garden. After a little time his kitchen garden began to grow, now he had only to water it and to wait for a harvest. But that didn’t happen.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
The Dream  - Soqotri folk tale from Hadibo
The Dream - Soqotri folk tale from Hadibo

One night a young fellow slept and had a dream that he married a Sultan's daughter. In the morning he told his friends about the dream, they told their friends about the dream and finally the Sultan knew about the dream. The Sultan became very angry. "Take him to jail!" he ordered his servants and they carried out his order immediately...

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Сhronology and fairy-tales of Socotra
Сhronology and fairy-tales of Socotra

New materials from Vladimir Agafonov - chronology of Socotra island and two Socotran fairy-tales, one of them you can listen to Socotri.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Bismilla - Soqotri folk tale from Qalansiya
Bismilla - Soqotri folk tale from Qalansiya

There were two friends. One day one of them said: “Hey, brother! Do you want (us) to go for a walk?! To that place on this plain?!” “Yes, I do”, this friend said. They went. When they went the strong wind came and the whole place disappeared...

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Mehazelo - Cinderella of Soqotra. Soqotri folk tale from Qarya
Mehazelo - Cinderella of Soqotra. Soqotri folk tale from Qarya

Once upon a time there was a girl. Her parents died when she was very small so she went to stay with an old man and his wife who would look after her. The old man was a fisherman, but his catch of fish was small - just enough for them not to die from hunger. His wife was very angry, aggressive and very noisy. The girl lived with them but was worried because the old man and his wife didn't love her and that is why she was named Mehazelo, the unloved, by the neighbours.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Temethel as the most bright element of soqotran folklore poetry
Temethel as the most bright element of soqotran folklore poetry

Every field researcher of the Soqotri Modern South Arabian language from the first steps in his work on the island will meet these, beloved among the islanders, very useful, sharp-witted short poetry jewels of folklore, which are named "temethel" by the Soqotrans themselves.

Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Soqotri: a Key to Unique Oral Semitic Archive Connecting Space and Times
Soqotri: a Key to Unique Oral Semitic Archive Connecting Space and Times

A Letter to The International Conference «Yemen: Bridging the Gap between the Past and Present»

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
Socotran knives
Socotran knives

The Socotrans prefer using self-made knives from Hadiboh.

Socotri
Old men in Shuab
Old men in Shuab

In Shuab you will meet very friendly and nice people living in in the beginning territories of the beach area.

Shuab Socotri
Name of Socotra
Name of Socotra

There are many spelling variants of the name of the Island.

History Socotri
Socotra Fairy-tales
Socotra Fairy-tales

Two men loved each other - because the men were brothers. One day one of them said to the other: - Brother, do you know what will separate us? - What? - the other said. - Woman's work,- the first said. - Woman's work? It's impossible!- his brother said." Fatima Salim, who is telling me this oldest tale, doesn't stop sewing and the voice of her sewing machine accompanies the story. Fatima, who never went to school in her life, is sitting on the entrance of her family's cave. She doesn't know that a story like this one - about the two brothers and the dishonest wife of one of them - was once recorded in ancient Egypt over 3000 years ago for the Crown Prince Seti and is kept now as a great value in the Papiry collection of the British Museum.

Culture Fairy-tales Socotri Vladimir Agafonov
    Dragon tree's resin, you can buy on the Island, has strong antiseptic and immunostimulating properties.
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