6. When jinn inhabits people, they are believed to remain with the hosts forever, unless an exorcism is performed. referring to a group of spirits which possess individuals during certain vulnerable moments. The funeral dance. The second type of group, called Masri, typically was made up of Sudanese women and sung about all spirits except the Muslim saints. Al Ayyala dance generally known as "yowalah" is a traditional group dance of United Arab Emirates, The dance is also accompanied with traditional music, and a separate group of male and female are represented. The Sed-festival , the Opet Festival , Processions of the Sacred Barques, and other festivals, were all accompanied by dancers. In ancient Egypt, women would dance as a way to woo the gods, and it was like a worship ritual as illustrated on some temples’ walls. [52] Their movements come as if they are drawing halos, drenched in space. Today, gender segregation is not strictly practised in many urban areas, and sometimes both men and women dance socially at family and/or community events. [44], Hagallah (Arabic: هجاله‎) is a folkloric dance of celebration known as the hagallah is performed by the settled Bedouin (bedu) of Mersa Matruh in Western Egypt and is often performed during the date harvest, which is the wedding season in that area. During the series of invasions on the Arab world, Europeans were influenced by its peoples cultures. It subsequently became entertainment for kings and royals. Today, zar is most popular in southern Egypt. The zar performers are predominantly married women, with only a few of the musicians being men. In fact, the association between the lower classes and the zar was once so strong that women of the lower economic classes were referred to as “the zar women”. The ritual most likely spread beyond the Horn of Africa in the 18th or 19th centuries due to the slave trade and became popular in Egypt as a form of exorcism. [14], Dabke (Arabic: دبكة‎), is an Arab folk dance event forming part of the shared sociocultural landscape of Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. [23], Traditional folk and traditional dances of the Arab World, On the Harmony of Religions and Philosophy, "A Wriggle in Time: Historical Artifacts of Belly Dancing", "Traditional dances of the Arab world - Firdaous", "Belly Dancing Information - Belly Dancing", "Gamila and Lucy tell about the Shamadan or Candelabra for the Gilded Serpent", "Overview of Belly Dance: Egyptian Folkloric style belly dancing", "Learn Bellydance Styles: Egyptian Baladi - Bellydance U", "Dance of the Almeh, by Jean-Léon Gerôme", "Event: Dabke Dance Workshop – Vassar BDS", "Learn Belly Dance Styles: Khaleegy - Bellydance U", "7 Khaleeji songs you'll never get enough of", "Khaliji Raqs Na'ashat Dance & Iraqi Kawliya", "Khaliji Dance History | Everything Belly Dance Blog", "The Guedra: Morocco Brings It to Denver | Morocco & the Casbah Dance Experience", "The Egyptian Folklore Dance " Tanoura Dance. It was practiced before the wars to stir up enthusiasm among the members of the tribe, and at the end of the battles in ancient times describe the battle and the tournaments, but now it is practiced on occasions such as weddings, holidays and other celebrations. The ritual most likely spread beyond the Horn of Africa in the 18th or 19th centuries due to the slave trade and became popular in Egypt as a form of exorcism. was the name of a class of female entertainers in Egypt, women educated to sing and recite classical poetry and to discourse wittily. Zar is an important part of Egyptian culture and heritage that should be preserved. However, the zar ritual remains an important piece of Egyptian cultural heritage. [7] Coalescence of oral storytelling, poetry recital, and music has a long-standing tradition in Arab history. Dance and artistic expression was informed by religion, the socio/political environment - trade, conquests and invasions - and reflected the many facets of a rich and extraordinary culture. At the ECCA, the zar ritual is performed by the Mazaher ensemble, who think of themselves as keeping an important tradition alive. Oriental folk dances, also referred to as Oriental dances, and Eastern dances, are the traditional and the different dances of the countries of the Arab world. [1][2], To the outside world, the term "Arabic dance" is often associated with the belly dance;[3][4] however, there are many other styles of Arabic dances[5] and many of them have a long history. “But this was in another world; now my own kids won’t even ever consider learning how to perform. There were historically three main types of musical groups in Cairo that would play at a zar. [14], Tanoura (Arabic: التنورة‎) Is an Egyptian folk dance with obvious Sufi origins,[49] which today became an important ritual of the celebration rituals performed on many occasions. The ceremonies are mainly held to cure mental illnesses, which are also interpreted as "possessions". Indeed, in contemporary Cairo society, zar is predominantly a female-only form of entertainment. The first, called Abu Ghayt, would play only music associated with the Muslim saints. The dramatic dance. Men are also as involved as women. A rhythmic dance was imprinted into the hearts of the Egyptians, with people often working along to the sounds of songs and percussion instruments. It was odd that having seen the elegant ritual of the Turkish Sufi whirling, I would find the colourful, theatrical version of its Egyptian form to be so enigmatic, but the brightly patterned skirts added a hypnotic element to the tanoura dance. The hair, apart from the "Thawb" is the main element used to dance Khaleegy: women let their long hair “dance” moving it from side to side, back and forth, in circle and making other figures. However, the practice has evolved, and now most zar practitioners in Egypt do not use animal sacrifice. 1400BC year old Egyptian painting showed the group of scantily dressed girls who danced for the wealthy male crowd, supported by the several musicians. Belly dance also referred to as Arabic dance (Arabic: رقص شرقي‎, romanized: Raqs sharqi is an Oriental expressive dance,[15][16][17][18] which emphasizes complex movements of the torso. Percussion is one of the most important elements of the zar. In summary Ancient Egyptian entertainment was stimulating, skilful, diverse and visually rich, with music, song and dance playing a crucial role in both ritual and daily life. The aim of the dance was not merely to cheer up the soul of the deceased, but also to chase away evil spirits who might harm the dead person, and for that reason the Egyptian, when still alive, often ex­pressed the wish that dances should not fail to be included in burial ceremonies. [14], These dances date from the antiquity and have not ceased to evolve in history and in time.[14]. Scandinavians divined the future in runes, while the Romans sacrificed animals during ceremonies dedicated to the gods, and predicted the future according to the state of the organs of these animals. Sometimes men from the audience will enquire with a view to marriage. The name of the dance literally means “gulf” in Arabic and it is danced by local women in weddings and other social events. It’s not like going to dance at the club; here they sit and listen.”, http://thebestofhabibi.com/vol-14-no-4-fall-1995/zar/, http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/zar.htm, https://egyptianstreets.com/2018/10/13/tapping-into-spirits-and-celebrating-women-egyptian-zar/, https://folklife.si.edu/talkstory/the-zar-staging-an-egyptian-exorcism, https://scenenoise.com/Features/mazaher-zar-egypt, Zar, a dance ritual popular in Egypt, is attributed to have its origins in Ethiopia. There were historically three main types of musical groups in Cairo that would play at a zar. Dancing in ancient Egypt was an acceptable part of life and even an important part of religious rituals. Songs and Spirits The “Zar” Ritual in Cairo. [50] The dance is a rhythmic dance performed collectively by circular movements, which stems from the mystical Islamic sense of philosophical basis. [10], Historically, dance has always been an important part of the Arabic culture. The exhibition was attended by dancers from Egypt and several other Arab countries from the Middle East and North Africa, including Syria and Algeria. [24] The wedding procession traditionally occurs at night, winding its way through the streets of the neighborhood from the home of the bride's parents to her new home at the groom's house. Some examples of the oldest social dances enjoyed in the Arab world are Debke (Arabic: دبكة, also spelled Dabkeh‎) and Raqs Baladi (Arabic: بلدي‎, romanized: baladī; relative-adjective "of town", "local", "rural", comparable to English "folk", with a lower-class connotation). The word zār possibly has its roots in the Ethiopian word “sar”, referring to a group of spirits which possess … The term 'Ardah' is thought to derive from the Arabic verb ard meaning 'to show' or 'to parade'. Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian culture. The ancient Egyptian religion expressed the complexity of the relationships between humanity, the world, and the divine, with an inventiveness and subtlety that is without parallel. Each ritual is led by a priestess and aims to appease evil spirits through sacrificial gifts, incantation songs and dances. It was also believed to be available for use by both Gods … The zar performers are predominantly married women, with only a few of the musicians being men. The Ghawazee perform solo or in small groups, unveiled for heterogenic audience, in the public streets, in festivals, in cafe houses and in the Upper Egypt mawalid (local Islamic ceremony), the term itself sometimes accompanied sexual-acts in the local culture and was sometimes used as an insult. by Laurie Eisler. A variety of The Jordanian Dabke performed by Al Yarmouk University Folk Troupe. “My mother taught me everything I know about Zar, and she learned it from her mother,” explains Madeeha, lead singer of Mazaher. Arabic dance was performed in the United States in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition, which included an exhibition entitled "The streets of Cairo". 7. Its ability to simulate or describe events or myths, enchant the audience and dancers with ecstasy, belief, happiness, and trance was quickly implemented into many religious ceremonies, rituals and celebrations of ancient civilizations. “But this was in another world; now my own kids won’t even ever consider learning how to perform. Zar gatherings include food and musical performances and often last between three and seven hours. [19] Many boys and girls in countries where belly dancing is popular will learn how to do it when they are young. Their dancing has little of elegance; its chief peculiarity being a very rapid vibrating motion of the hips, from side to side. Dancing was an accepted part of life, a part of religious ritual even before it became secular. The ancient Egyptian art of poetry recitation and a mystic Sufi dance. It is clear there was already a belief in some kind of afterlife prior to c. 3500 BCE when mummification began to be practiced but no written record of what form this belief took. [34], Those dances are performed during the civil celebrations or events as birth, death, wedding or a social ascent and sometimes during religious festivals. [14], Khaleegy (Arabic: خليجي‎) is a dance performed in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. [32][33], Ghawazi, Ghawazy (Arabic: غوازي‎) (also ghawazee) dancers of Egypt were a group of female traveling dancers. [44] In the Emirates, the local version is called Al Ayala. When it first spread to Egypt, the zar ritual involved moving the spirit of the jinn or demon into the body of an animal. The word. These were apparently recreations for resting mercenary troops of Libyans, Sherdans, Pedtiu and other groups. The ritual most likely spread beyond the Horn of Africa in the 18th or 19th centuries due to the slave trade and became popular in Egypt as a form of exorcism. According to Barnaby Rogerson, it is likely these rituals were a part of a fertility cult, ensuring continuation of the life-cycle. The Dancer of the Muu was enacted at funerals by male dancers wearing tall head-dresses made of reeds. Anonymous Originally published 1935 Among primitive people, magical dances were the first methods for dealing with the unknown, and as such, were the earlier manifestations of both science, religion, and forms which were more immediately impressive, of poetry, drama, and their combined use. The specific music played at the zar ritual is believed to appease and call forth the jinn. In the second type, there were the expressions of grief. Post-Wedding Tradition: They are particularly linked to Sufism which is the heart of the Islamic tradition inaugurated by the Prophet Muhammad. There is not one khaliji rhythm but hundreds, as this dance represents many countries of the Gulf area.[43]. Ancient Egyptian Rituals. Zar, a dance ritual popular in Egypt, is attributed to have its origins in Ethiopia. As the spirits are believed to come out when their song or rhythm is played. The earliest burials in ancient Egypt were simple graves in which the deceased was placed, on the left side, accompanied by some grave goods. Zar, a dance ritual popular in Egypt, is attributed to have its origins in Ethiopia. [26], Baladi (Arabic: بلدي‎) means “of the country” and is a style of Egyptian folk dance from the early 20th century which is still very popular. Beauty and Politics Brought on Her Misery- Fawzia Fuad of Egypt and Iran, 4.4 Dialogues On The Art Of Arab Fashion: Egyptian Dress and Symbols. Tanoura (Arabic: التنورة ‎) Is an Egyptian folk dance with obvious Sufi origins, which today became an important ritual of the celebration rituals performed on many occasions. Traditionally, the ritual would begin with a person seeking relief for a physical or psychological disorder that had been diagnosed by a sheikh. When jinn inhabits people, they are believed to remain with the hosts forever, unless an exorcism is performed. [23], Schikhatt (Arabic: شيخات‎): in Classical Arabic, the word sheikha (Arabic: شيخة‎)  is the feminine of sheikh: a person with knowledge, experience, wisdom. [31] unlike the ghawazy, the awalim performed only for women and for the high class in their homes. They feel our sincerity and they like the experience. The music plays perhaps the most important role in the zar ritual. Ritual myth and drama. The Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts helps to keep this cultural practice alive by hosting zar performances every Wednesday. , and she learned it from her mother,” explains Madeeha, lead singer of Mazaher. The first, called Abu Ghayt, would play only music associated with the Muslim saints. The dance involves movement of many different parts of the body; usually in a circular way. Orientalism has undoubtedly contributed to the misconception of the popular dance as a dance of temptation, conducted for the pleasure of men. [21], Guedra (Arabic: كدرة‎) is a dance from the desert region of Morocco's south west, performed to induce an altered state of consciousness, with a solo performer beginning the dance with hand movements, then swinging the head and torso until a trance state is reached. Sometimes a professional dancer and musicians were invited to the women's Caucus. The ancient Egyptians had an elaborate set of funerary practices that they believed were necessary to ensure their immortality after death. [53], Zār (Arabic: زار‎) is a dance performed to drive away evil spirits. [51] It sees that the movement in the universe starts from a point and ends at the same point and therefore reflects this concept in their dance. In Egypt, the. Today, zar is most popular in southern Egypt. The second type of group, called Masri, typically was made up of Sudanese women and sung about all spirits except the Muslim saints. By: Dani Meyer/Arab America Contributing Writer. Public zars were open to all women and were traditionally attended by only the lower-income classes. The war dance. Ouled Nail (Arabic: أولاد نايل‎) originated a style of music, sometimes known as Bou Saâda music after the town near their homeland. “My mother taught me everything I know about. One time, my youngest was walking home from school singing one of the, songs he often overhears, and this drove his older brother insane and he made me promise not to let him get into. There have been a number of clashes between zar and Islamic leaders, as traditional Islam forbids people from making contact with the jinn, or spirits. Some people believe that it originated as a fertility or Goddess worshipping dance, and in North Africa it can still be used to help during childbirth. In fact, because of the traditional gender segregation, women in the Middle East usually dance only in the women's company between parents and friends. [6] These may be folk dances, or dances that were once performed as rituals or as entertainment spectacle, and some may have been performed in the imperial court. Heka is personified in a god of the same name, who is thought to have predated all dual creation, since of course the force he personified is what was used to create the world. Egyptian folk music, including the traditional Sufi dhikr rituals, are the closest contemporary music genre to ancient Egyptian music, having preserved many of its features, rhythms and instruments, and instruments that looked like recorders and clarinets. During the French campaign in Egypt and Syria in 1798, Europeans were interested in the Arab world, folk dances and music of each country. Yowalah it is the distinctive in both its music and dancing. In Egyptian history, zar music has historically been the only musical tradition in which women hold the most important roles in the performance. Which involves small, rapid foot movements paired with vigorous torso and hip movements. [38] There is a step with it, but the main feature is the hair tossing as the head swings from side to side. Coffee Coffee production was commercialized in Yemen by the year 1400. The word zār possibly has its roots in the Ethiopian word “sar”, referring to a group of spirits which possess individuals during certain vulnerable moments. Performers typically use three particular instruments during the zar: the tar, the tambourine, and the tabla. It was so named because its purpose was to publicly display the fighting strength of a tribe and boost morale before an armed engagement. [47], Yowla (Arabic: اليولة‎) is traditional dance in the United Arab Emirates. The religious dance. [25], Raqs Sharqi (Arabic: رقص شرقي‎) is the classical Egyptian style of belly dance that developed during the first half of the 20th century. [35] Twice, Dabke was made into a fixed canon of movement patterns and steps which, through repeated execution, served to consolidate behavioral norms and cultural meanings.[36]. Mazaher band member Ahmed Shankahlawy explains the importance of zar. Oriental dance has deep roots in the Egyptian culture. [12] The term "belly dancing" is often credited to Sol Bloom, its entertainment director, but referred to the dance as danse du ventre, the name used by the French in Algeria. [42], The Khaleegy dance is most commonly performed to a hypnotic 2/4 rhythm with two heavy beats and a pause, called the Saudi, khaliji, or adany rhythm (from Yemen). [21][22][23] This dance prop is historically used in the Egyptian wedding procession, or zeffah. Khaleegy is a joyful, lively, expressive, gestural and delicate dance performed in events involving happiness and celebration (like weddings). However, folk etymology links the word zār with an Arabic meaning: “to visit” or “visitation”. In Egyptian history, zar music has historically been the only musical tradition in which women hold the most important roles in the performance.