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The Musical side of Maldives

Maldives, the nation of islands, has a strong cultural side of it as well. Music and dance are an integral part of the culture of Maldives.

The most popular form of music in the country is boduberu. This form of music is immensely popular specially in the Northern atolls of the country. Boduberu is sais to have found place in Maldives somewhere around the 11th century when Maldives saw some East African origins. This dance music is performed by a group of almost fifteen people, which include a lead singer and three percussionists. A Onugandu, a bell and a small stick made up of Bamboo having horizontal grooves is specially used while playing boduberu.

The best part of boduberu songs is that they begin with slow beats. But as the song grows, the crescendo becomes frenetic and some frenetic dancers accompany to add to the flavor.

There is no restriction to the lyrics of boduberu songs. They can be just about any subject.

Another popular form of music in the country is Thaara. Thaara requires a group of almost 22 people who need to be seated in two rows facing each other. The exclusivity of Thaara is that it is performed only by men and it has got a religious touch to it. Thaara was introduced in Maldives from the Arabs in the 17th century.

Gaa odi lava is yet another special type of song and dance performance. This form of song and dance can be usually seen in the country at the time of completion of any manual labor task. It is believed that this form of song and dance was invented during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Imadudeen. For the first time, this form of music was performed for the workers who constructed defenses for Male.

Bolimalaafath neshun is another form of dance which is performed by the women of the country on some special occasions. Gifting gifts to Sultan is an occasion where women perform bolimalaafath neshun. This dance form is performed by a group of about 24 women, who form smaller groups of about six each. This women march towards the Sultan while singing and dancing. Since the country became a republic nation in 1968, there were no more Sultans left in the country. This dance form was not any more performed in front of any Sultan.

Another women oriented dance form is Maafathi neshun. Women in two rows, ten in each, dance with strings of artificial flowers.

Dance called fathigandu jehun is performed by either one person or a group of people. This dance form requires two short pieces of bamboo sticks. Some dancers and drummers who sing also accompany the main group. These songs mostly epic like.

Bandiyaa jehun is dance form close to that of Indian pot dance. This dance is also performed by women where the women mark the beats with a metal pot filled with water and they wear metal rings too. The nature of dance changed with time. The modern groups don’t do it the traditional way. They perform either sitting or standing with harmonicas and drums.

Apart from these, Indian songs also have a popularity in Maldives.

Maldives Music & Dance