The Gadabuursi, also known as Samaroon, is a northern Somali clan, a sub-division of the Dir clan family.
The Gadabuursi are geographically spread out across three countries: Ethiopia, Somaliland and Djibouti. Among all of the Gadabuursi inhabited regions of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the country where the majority of the clan reside. In Ethiopia, the Gadabuursi are mainly found in the Somali Region, but they also inhabit the Harar, Dire Dawa and Oromia regions.
In Somaliland, the Gadabuursi are the predominant clan of the Awdal Region. They are mainly found in cities and towns such as Borama, Baki, Lughaya, Zeila, Dilla, Jarahorato, Amud, Abasa, Fiqi Aadan, Quljeed, Boon and Harirad. In Ethiopia, the Gadabuursi are the predominant clan of the Awbare district in the Fafan Zone, the Dembel district in the Sitti Zone and the Harrawa Valley. They are mainly found in cities and towns such as Awbare, Awbube, Sheder, Lefe Isa, Derwernache, Gogti, Jaare, Heregel, Arabi and Dembel.
The etymology of the name Gadabuursi, as described by writer Ferrand in Ethnographic Survey of Africa refers to Gada meaning people and Bur meaning mountain, hence the etymology of the name Gadabuursi means people of the mountains.
As a Dir sub-clan, the Gadabuursi have immediate lineal ties with the Issa, the Surre (Abdalle and Qubeys), the Biimaal (who the Gaadsen also belong to), the Bajimal, the Bursuk, the Madigan Dir, the Gurgura, the Garre (the Quranyow sub-clan to be precise as they claim descent from Dir), Gurre, Gariire, other Dir sub-clans and they have lineal ties with the Hawiye (Irir), Hawadle, Ajuran, Degoodi, Gaalje'el clan groups, who share the same ancestor Samaale.
Most Gadabuursi members are descendants of Sheikh Samaroon. However, Samaroon does not necessarily mean Gadabuursi, but rather represents only a sub-clan of the Gadabuursi clan family.
The Gadabuursi in particular, is one of the clans with a longstanding institution of Sultan. The Gadabuursi use the title Ugaas which means sultan and/or king. Ughaz or Ugas.
Based on research done by the Eritrean author 'Abdulkader Saleh Mohammad' in his book 'The Saho of Eritrea, the Saho people (Gadafur) is said to have Somali origins from the Gadabuursi.