Dr. Sada Mire has done much to publicize the archaeology and heritage of the Horn of Africa, particularly Somaliland, and is an inspiration to a new generation of scholars, both inside Africa and elsewhere.” Stated Professor Timothy Insoll, African Archaeology Review
Divine Fertility book, written by Dr. Sada Mire has been recognized & won the 2021 SAFA (Society Africanist Archeologists) Book Prize. Apparently I became the first scholar of non-European descent to win best monograph.
The book uniquely explores the impact of indigenous ideology and thought on everyday life in Northeast Africa. Furthermore, in highlighting the diversity in pre-Christian, pre-Islamic regional beliefs and practices that extend beyond the simplistic political arguments of the current dominant narratives, the study shows that for millennia complex indigenous institutions have bound people together beyond the labels of Christianity and Islam; they have sustained peace through cultural exchange and tolerance (if not always complete acceptance).
This archaeological study of sacred landscapes, stelae traditions, ancient Christian and medieval Muslim centres of Northeast Africa is the first to put forward a theoretical and analytical framework for the interpretation of the shared regional heritage and the indigenous archaeology of the region. It will be invaluable to archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and policymakers interested in Africa and beyond”
Different scholars who has made reviews, include;
“An exceptional contribution” – Society of Africanist Archaeologists
“”This is a confident, masterly piece of work by somebody uniquely qualified to carry out the relevant research… a remarkable and vivid book, which probably only Sada Mire (with her combination of theoretical proficiency in several academic disciplines and local intimacy) could have achieved. This is scholarly work, with a much wider general appeal”.
“Sada Mire grew up in the Horn of Africa and senses a continuity in sacred landscapes that cuts across space and time and the boundaries of states and religions. Her book provides a brave and bold conception of the regional system based on an almost forensic analysis of the evidence. Mire shows how the inclusion of material culture as evidence is central to understanding how continuities are created over time, but also how history can be masked at the same time as it is revealed. The argument is engrossing; chapter by chapter she builds up a convincing and absorbing argument for a discursive regional trajectory centered on the beauty and power of place curated over time by different faiths. The book illustrates the importance of location for symbolic action, knowledge and cultural memory, and the centrality of place as an entry point to understanding the deep past through an ongoing present. Underlying the history of the region is a syncretic trajectory, a multi-temporality that is often challenged by fundamentalist positions but with an underlying structure that is centered on kinship deeply connected to a sacred landscape. As she concludes: ‘From out of the womb of ancient indigenous and regional religions there has arisen a set of ideas reflected in practices, features and objects, all of which seem to connect the north and the west of the Horn of Africa with the south and the east.’ The book is an exceptional study of cultural memory in place; a rich encounter with the deep history of symbolic action, emotion and aesthetic affect.”
-Professor Howard Morphy, Australia National University
“Dr. Sada Mire has done much to publicize the archaeology and heritage of the Horn of Africa, particularly Somaliland, and is an inspiration to a new generation of scholars, both inside Africa and elsewhere.” – Professor Timothy Insoll, African Archaeology Review.
“This fieldwork and commitment to the past of an archaeologically neglected region already makes Sada a pioneer” –
Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones, Trowelblazers and University of York