Dhiil la Culayo – The woman in this picture is inserting smouldering branches into the Dhiil. Once inserted, they are left inside for a while and then shaken vigorously. This process is called Culid. The burning sticks of wood are known as Culay. When shaken for a while, a black residue is left inside the Dhiil. This process is effective in killing germs and all sorts of bacteria inside the Dhiil. The first milk that is poured into this vessel is said to taste very sweet.
Maybe Cawrala knew the taste of such milk and hence sought to entice her lover, Calimaax, with it by saying:
Casarkii haddaan weel la culay, caano kugu siiyo
Cishihii haddaan sarar cusba leh, kugu cashaysiiyo,
Oo waa caafimaad rage haddaan, cagaha kuu duu go
if by evening if provide you with milk from a shaken vessel (dhiil)
and by night feed you with salted morsels of steak
it is in the health of men, if I rub your feet
Do not confuse this with the process of Lullid – which is where milk is put into a vessel (Haan is always for this process, never a Dhiil) and then placed horizontally on the floor. It is then shaken vigorously by rolling it to and fro on a pillow or a cloth placed on the floor to separate the fat (Subag) from the milk. The Subag comes out thick. It is constantly checked by tasting or feeling for the thickness of the fat that forms on the surface and finally when all separates and the Subag is taken out, what is left is pure sweet milk.
The Haan, however, also undergoes a similar process to disinfect it. The process is called Aslid (haanta waa la aslaa lama Culo). This is done by collecting the bark from the roots (and sometimes stem) of trees such as the Qaroor and Muxur and Muqlo and then cooking them in water. The bark obtained is often reddish/reddish-brown in colour and a reddish mixture is the result of the cooking. This is called Asal. This Asal is then poured into the Haan and shaken to ensure that it reaches everywhere.
Update: While the Haan is being disinfected, women usually sing songs to accompany the routine. One of them is:
Garangara lagaa goosey
Geed dheer lagaa soo lul
Laba qaylo kaa yeedhay
laba qaalin kula buubtay
Laba qaar laguu kala jar
Geeljire ku qooraansey
May a Garangar be made out of you
May you be hanged from a tall tree
May two scream be heard from you
May adolescent camels fly with you
May you be cut into two pieces
May a camel herder ogle you
The Haan is never used without Asal being applied to it first. The Asal is left in the Haan for several days to disinfect it and mend any tiny holes it may have had. The Asal is also used as a coating for the Dhigo, Udbo, and lool branches used for building the Somali hut (explained here).
The Qarbad/Xab (the hide used to store water) also undergoes the process of Aslid. After this process is applied to the Qarbad, the water that is stored afterwards tastes very sweet and is reddish/brown in colour. The Galool tree is used in this process.
Masaf/Xaarin – This is the same Masaf I’ve explained earlier in Somali Culture. It is used to separate impure particles from maize and is used particularly in the Southern regions of Somalia, since farming is almost non-existent in the drier North. After harvesting the maize, first the corn seeds are put in a Mooye mixed with a few drops of water and ground slightly – leaving the maize (Galley) seeds on their own, then the seeds are spread out in a Masaf/Xaarin above and left to dry in the sun. The Galley is now refered to as Galley buusha baxsan – meaning that the actual Galley seeds are left with all impurities and coverings removed. The Galley is then either ground to be cooked as soor or cooked in its state.
Babis – a Somali hand-held fan made from Caw.
Above are different types of Dhiilo (sing. Dhiil). All the above Dhiilo are carved out of wood and are used in the Southern regions of Somalia. Nothern Dhiilo are not carved out of wood, but made from Caw and special tree fibres. The Dhiil on the top left is decorated with Aleel or tiny sea shells.
Gambar – This is the classic Somali stool called made from cow’s hide.
Various forms of Somali arts and crafts. In front of the wooden camels are two carved wooden bells called Koor. These are tied to the camel’s neck.
Salli/Derin – this is another design of the same Salli/Derin I’ve explained earlier here.
Xaaqin – made from the leftovers of Caw. This is a brush used for sweeping the house/hut.
Saqaf – This is a Somali comb. The original name of this comb is Wafti.
Birjiko – A Somali stove. Food cooked using one of these is only matched in taste by the food cooked using this Dhardhaar. ;)