The Dhaanto is a traditional Somali dance; however, the dance techniques vary greatly depending on the region of Somalia. The dance is commonly performed as part of a group and is a popular social activity. The dancing steps are believed to have been inspired by the movements of a camel. Many believe that the dance is an artistic expression of how the camel moves - how it walks, grasses and socializes with other camels - and that this can be displayed in the steps used. During the dance, participants maintain rhythm through repeatedly tapping their alternative feet while bobbing their head. The female and male participants purposefully do not dance in sync. In addition, the female participants typically wear long striped dresses while the males wear a white sarong and shirt. Please submit your additions. You are here Home. Somali males and females performing the Dhaanto Somali young women and men performing the traditional dhaanto dance-song By aflaanta std - CC License.
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Every people dance traditionally with their ancestral agro-pastoral way of life. The Somalis wear still this traditional costume, loincloth called "Gundhate" of their Egyptian- Puntite Ancestors. According to the historian Richard Pankhurst :"""The Egyptians sometimes called Punt land Ta-Netjeru, meaning "Land of the Gods," and considered it their place of origin. Egyptian ships also reached the shores of the land of Punt on the Somali coast to procure highly valued cargoes of myrrh, ebony and animals, among other goods. Noblecourt , in his book "Hatshepsout ,the Mysterious Queen" said that the Ancient-Egyptians and The Puntites used to speak and communicate with the same language. Hatshepsut got also many products from the Land of Punt ,surnamed also , the Land of gods , ancestors ,"Ta - An- Jirnay "; as the frankincense , myrrh, ebony, gold , and exotic animals ,Cheetahs, giraffes, baboons, etc. Also ,in order to reinforce the mutual relationships, a Puntite delegation was sent to the Ancient Egypt during the reign of Hatshepsut. Today, the frankincense-yielding areas in Somalia are still extensive, but the trees are confined to mountain areas, which makes collection difficult; the stands on the coast have long since been destroyed. The trees introduced into Egypt have like wise vanished, and only the bas-reliefs in Thebes are left to tell the story of the wonderland of Punt. The greek historian Diodorus of Sicily in his book "Universal history "said that in 6th century before-J-Christ , because of a political crisis in Egypt and the euro-asiatics's infiltrations in Egypt , more than thousands of ancient-egyptians migrated in the south of the Nile by crossing Nubia-Ethiopia with their ships ,in the direction of North- Eastern of Africa Now, Somalia ,Djibouti,Ethiopia
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Membership Donate Volunteer. The Somali Museum Dance Troupe studies and perform traditional dances from different regions across Somalia. These youth attend schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and most of them have only been in the US for a few years. Join us! The lyrics still used remain as they were for hundreds of years, which are mostly Islamic-oriented. It has strong connection to Samaroon Gidabursi clan more than anyone. Jaandheer Meaning big leap or step, It originates in Northern Somalia and played in most Somali weddings and festive occasions. This dance is the most popular Somali dance that is played nearly in every Somali festive celebrations. The dhaanto was inspired by the camel and mimics the actions of the camel.
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The refugee from the Ogaden talks Somali music and dance. Soon after Aar Maanta arrived in the UK from Somalia in the mids as a child, his homeland changed dramatically. Civil war broke out and at one point the singer's own official nationality switched overnight from Somali to Ethiopian. This, as Maanta explained after his set at the Womad Festival last month, was representative of a problem that is felt across Africa. I can go back to my homeland now, because that particular region is a lot more stable than it was.

Other people turn to sport or drugs, but I turned to music to deal with the pain - it became like a therapy. I went back last year to a city called Jijiga. There's a style of music and dance there called dhaanto, which is popular throughout the Somali region. Somalis are less conservative and more open to dance than people think. There used to be a travelling dance that went from one town to another, and this highlighted common ground between the different cultures of the region.

Music can be used to stabilise the community. On stage Maanta is instantly likeable, charming the audience with stories about the history and cultural importance of his music - a distinctly Somali sound that, in addition to Arabic influences from North Africa, has an undeniable hint of reggae.

For Maanta though, the influence goes further back. People seem to recognise that the music from the Sahara has a connection with American blues, and I've been inspired by that. By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy.

I even met Jamaicans who visited from the city of Shashamane, which is home to a Rastafarian community in central Ethiopia. They acknowledged the similarities between reggae and dhaanto, and the fact that dhaanto pre-dates reggae by at least 40 years. Musically, reggae and dhaanto have very similar rhythmic patterns, accenting the second and fourth beats in each bar.

Let's hope the other regions can follow suit. The local administration seems to realise that the arts can play a part in the development of the Somali region, which is great. The leaders have invested heavily and are now seeing the results.

And Somalis across the globe are showing their appreciation through the revival of their much loved culture - because until recently dhaanto was a dying art. Aar Maanta's blog can be read here. AllAfrica publishes around reports a day from more than news organizations and over other institutions and individuals , representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.

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