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Southern Red Sea region: the land of Danakils Part VI

At the residence of the Sultan there are two drums, big and small ones. The bigger one represents the Derder while the smaller one represents the Banoyta.

Every year new drums are prepared and both the Sultan and the Banoyta put their hand prints on the drums as a sign of their allegiance to the society. The drum of the Sultan sounds every day at 3:30 PM to announce the time for Salat (Prayer). If it sounds at a different time it is a call for emergency and every one rushes to the residence of the Sultan to hear and learn on what is going on and take the necessary assignment that the Sultan might give them. The ancient bed of the Sultans is another item of interest for visitors. The respect for the Sultan the people have is very strong that every order or assignment he gives is well observed and executed. Conflicts among the society are settled within themselves. The final conflict resolution is sent to the Derder for signature that would make the settlement final and binding.

A person who commits the highest crime, killing a person, and runs for safety to the residence of the Derder is assured for his safety from the revenge the immediate family members of the victim might take on him. He gets a fair trial and the problem is settled by a jury assigned by the Derder. And every concerned individual or group has to respect the ruling of the jury immediately after it issigned by the Derder.  Nearby the village of Rahaita stands the strategic location of Ras Dumera. Ras Dumera is on the top of the strategic shipping line of Bab-el-Mendab. The Italians noticing its strategic location used the place for controlling ships passing through the strait. The remains of a big telescope like instrument for observing every passing ship is still standing atop the hill facing the vast sea that takes to Bab-el-Mendab. The group upon arrival to the village of Rahaita was warmly welcomed by Derder Abdul Kadir Dawud, Banoyta (Successor) Abdu Abubeker and the villagers. The hospitality awarded to the group by the Derder and the people of Rahaita was the first impression for the group on how loving and generous the people of Afar are. They provide every thing they have to visitors and this is one major asset of hospitality of the Eritrean people.


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