Puntland (Somali: Puntlaand, Arabic: أرض البنط), officially the Puntland State of Somalia (Somali: Dowladda Puntland ee Soomaaliya, Arabic: بونتلاند دولة الصومال), is a region in northeastern Somalia. Centered on the town of Garoowe in the Nugal province, its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998.
The name "Puntland" is derived from the Land of Punt mentioned in ancient Egyptian sources, although the exact location of the fabled territory is still a mystery. Many studies suggest that the Land of Punt was located in present-day Somalia, whereas others propose that it was situated elsewhere.
The Warsangali Sultanate was an imperial ruling house centred in northeastern and in some parts of southeastern Somalia. It was one of the largest sultanates ever established in the territory, and, at the height of its power, included the Sanaag region and parts of the northeastern Bari region of the country, an area historically known as Maakhir or the Maakhir Coast. The Sultanate was founded in the 13th century in northern Somalia by a group of Somalis from the Warsangali branch of the Darod clan, and was ruled by the descendants of the Gerad Dhidhin. In the late 19th century, the influential Sultan Mohamoud Ali Shire governed the Sultanate, assuming control during some of its most turbulent years.
The Majeerteen Sultanate (Migiurtinia) was founded in the mid-18th century. It rose to prominence the following century, under the reign of the resourceful Boqor (King) Osman Mahamuud. Centred in Aluula, it controlled much of northern and central Somalia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The polity maintained a robust trading network, entered into treaties with foreign powers, and exerted strong centralized authority on the domestic front.