This thesis traces global, trans-national and local aspects of the advent of modern Somali nationalism. It explores the role (or roles) of the Somali ‘uluma (religious scholars), clan chiefs, poets, secular colonial civil servants, colonial-recruited soldiers and other pre-World War II nationalists in the creation of collective national Somali consciousness. To unravel new ‘hidden histories’ out of archival and oral sources, the thesis casts the emergence of modern Somali nationalism in a new light, not as a singular post-war phenomenon, but a plural pre-war process. Rather than seeing Somali nationalism as singular (as the previous generation of scholars had done), the thesis shows how as a plural process nationalism was inherently linked with multi-faceted, multi-layered, multi-dimensional and multi-national regional and global forces. The Somalist scholars have missed considering nationalism beyond the narrow Somali zone or the Somali-speaking borders. This led nationalist historiographies to frame the nation in a singular vision: pastoral, homogeneous, one single Somalia for Somalis. The title of Saadia Touval’s, ‘Somali Nationalism’, the only published monograph on the topic, is enough to suggest how Somali nationalism was seen as singular. However, the term ‘Somali nationalism’ itself is a misnomer because seemingly singular process supposedly possessing a seemingly singular name was not seemingly singular. One of the novel tasks in the thesis is pluralising nationalist discourses in order to move away from singular nationalism to plural nationalism that encompasses various cooperating and competing groups on the basis of both religious and secular lines. Pluralising Somali nationalism aims not to displace previous works on Somali nationalism but, but rather to broaden the scope of the historical analysis. The thesis concludes that the enduring legacies derived from early nationalist activities cannot without deeper historical exploration be understood. The thesis reveals how early modern Somali nationalism was not just a reaction to European colonialism but also to Abyssinian colonialism. The findings of the thesis contribute to the global debates over the effects and impacts of colonialism and imperialism as well as the recurring local issues of Islamism, secularism and clannism.