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Welcome to our site! This site was created by anthropology students at
Colby College in Waterville, Maine under the direction of Catherine Besteman, who completed fieldwork in Somalia in the late 1980s and has published several works on the people who have settled in the US as Somali Bantu refugees. We collaborated closely with the Somali Bantu community of Lewiston, Maine to create this site. We worked together to record their stories, take photographs of their life in the US, and choose historic photographs taken in Somalia by Jorge Acero of their family members and villages before the war.

The primary focus of our site is the transition the Somali Bantus have experienced in the past two decades as they have lived through a horrific civil war and through several relocations as refugees. We hope that this site educates visitors on the history, the culture, and the current lives of Somali Bantus in the US.

While world crises are well publicized in the news, the aftermath of these crises often receive less attention. Somali Bantus in the United States  and abroad are survivors of a crisis. We believe that it is important to recognize their achievements in addition to their struggles.

Once you have perused our site, we hope that you are inspired to learn more. We have included a resources page with links for researchers, service providers, and those interested in refugee activism. Use our site as merely a starting point for your education and interest in Somali Bantus and other refugees worldwide.

A physical exhibit of The Somali Bantu Experience was installed at the Colby Museum of Art from October 2 – November 16, 2008. Photos and a video tour of the exhibit are viewable from the "Museum Exhibit" link under the "Images and Audio" menu.

Site compiled by:
Madina Adan, Erin Beasley, Catherine Besteman, Sonia Booth, Mohamed Deekow, Bilow Farah, Mohamed Farah, Katherine Herer, Asha Iman, Tatiana Kowalewski, Jennifer MacDowell, Elizabeth Millikin, Kate Minton, Nicole Mitchell, Sheikh Mohamed, Abdullahi Muuse, Iman Osman, Osman Bashir, Evan Phelps, Elizabeth Powell, Shobow Saban, Jimoy Salat, Mary Soule, Diana Sternberg, Darcy Taylor, Caroline Turnbull, Isabel Whitcomb, Catherine Woodiwiss.

We would all like to give special thanks to Jason Parkhill for his invaluable technical assistance. 

Additional thanks to:
The B Street Clinic, Tracy Carrick, Ruth Jacobs, Marty Kelly, Lauren Lessing, Sue Martin, Kate Siriani, Mark Tappan, THRIVE, Dr. Gina Wilson.

Send comments on this site to clbestem@colby.edu.

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