May 20 2008


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by Sam Gurnamal 

Exotic culture, dance, and traditions dominate the north, south, east, and west of Sudan. The cultures differ extremely in each region and make Sudan a country of diversity. Sudanese Dances 

Dances are diverse in every region- their styles, music, clothes, and values are what make them notably different.

Beja Sword dance

The sword dance comes from the east Sudan tribe the Beja. The Beja are one of biggest tribe in Sudan with a rich culture. The sword dance has been used for several years and is still used till today. The sword dance dances are indigenous Nile valley dances straight invented and created along the Nile valley. It is strongly influenced by the Arabian culture. This dance is about 70 years old created in the early nineties. The sword dance is used when a man and a woman marry. Today it is used today as a bridal dance in most Beja weddings. Men and Women Dress up in white cloaks and hold large daggers and form a circle. They then start chanting and dancing to drumbeats.

Nubian Kambala

A very large ethnic group that inhabits Sudan is the Nubians. The Nuba people for many years have been known for their unique culture. The Kambala is a spiritual dance which originates in the Sabori village near Kadugli, which was founded in the early eighteenth century .This traditional and ceremonial dance has been passed on from one generation to another up to today. Now the Kambala is a popular dance and it is one of the main national dances in Sudan. It performed on special occasions it has been performed outside the Sudan as well. The word Kambala has no definite meaning but it is associated with boys. The dance today is used to show that a boy has matured and can be second in command in the house after the father. Basically the Kambala is a ceremony to introduce boys into manhood. The dance shows men wearing bull horns attached to their heads and creating bull like sounds this is used to display bravery and courage.  

Whirling Dervishes in the North

There are weekly ceremonies of the whirling dervishes near the capital, Khartoum. And it is considered to be one of Sudan’s main tourist attractions. People gather an hour before sunset around big mosques, form a circle, and begin the rituals. The people chant the Zikr along with the dance- they repeat the word ‘Allah’ many times. Inside the circle, certain people start whirling inside the circle. With the percussive music, the burning fire, the religious chants, and the dizziness it is a way to be one and unite again. Sudanese dervishes are often dressed in green and red.

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