Sayḥūt and Wadi Masīla
As a result, I met no Mahri speakers from Sayḥūt or Wadi Masīla during my fieldwork in al-Ghaydha, even during trips to the westerly district of Qishn. I have no specimens of poetry from the far western districts with the possible exception of “Tea With Milk” (see below) which was composed by Muḥammad Sālim al-Jidḥī when he passed through Sayḥūt on his way back home to Qishn.
My consultants from Qishn and al-Ghaydha claimed that the Mahri-speaking population of Sayḥūt and Wadi Masīla is composed largely of the descendants of African slaves who do not speak “proper” Mahri but rather a mixed Ḥaḍrami Arabic-Mahri creole they referred to (in Arabic) as ẓanniyya. This term was generally used to describe any mixed Arabic-Mahri dialect spoken by non-indigenous residents of al-Mahra and was often associated with low social status. Due to the prevalence of agriculture in Sayḥūt and Wadi Masīla, it is possible that Afro-Mahra do comprise a significant percentage of the local population, although linguistic performance judgements by native speakers tend to be clouded by racial and socioeconomic factors. However, it is possible that traditional Mahri poetics is simply not as prevalent in the far western districts as it is elsewhere in al-Mahra, and that its inhabitants prefer composing poetry in Ḥaḍrami-dialectal Arabic.
The chief tribes of Sayḥūt and Wadi Masīla are the Zwēdī (who share a linked history with the Āl ʿAfrār), Āl ʿAḳīd, Āl Mḥāmed, Bayt ʿAršī, and Bayt Ḳamṣeyt. The chief mšōyekh lineages of Sayḥūt and Wadi Masīla are Āl Bākrīt and Āl Bā ʿAbūd.