Traditional arts add colour to Salalah Festival

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Muscat: As the monsoon arrives towards the mountains bringing down the temperature to the twenties, the Salalah Tourism Festival has gained further momentum.

A prominent feature of the festival is the wilayat competition which promotes and, in many ways, preserves the traditional art forms of the Sultanate. The very first wilayat to participate at the Salalah Tourism Festival 2019 is Dima W’attayeen, North Saharqiya.

Hamoud Suleiman al Rahbi who has come with the team to participate in the competition happily noted, “We are here to participate and celebrate Khareef Salalah Tourism Festival.  Of course we are also competing in the wilayat competition at the festival.”

The team members who have come all the way from the Sharqiya consist of musicians, crafts persons, elders, youngsters and children.  The nature of the competition is to depict traditional art forms, crafts and lifestyle.

“We are going to perform Razha a cultural legacy of Oman,” said Hamoud. Razha is the most popular dance form in the Sultanate and is considered ones of the oldest Omani war dances that use the drums to motivate the dancers and is performed only by men. But it all starts with a wind instrument.

Hamoud explained, “Bargoum is the instrument that has a big sound.  So when there is an occasion to celebrate the musician plays the instrument and the participants will come from wherever they are to join the Razha.” The musician with Bargoum for the Razha at the festival was Khamis al Sabki.

While there were many more musicians a group of three shared with Oman Observer their music, which can be viewed @omanobserver are Ibrahim al Sabki and Maizen al Siyabi who are young musicians who have mastered the traditional Omani drums and are proud to carry on the traditions.

Poetry is an integral part of the performance and singer Faris al Dhekri was another youngster who was proud to have come all the way from Sharqiya to perform and chant at Salalah Tourism Festival.While children dressed in the bright traditional attire played, elder members in the group gave an insight into the traditional lifestyle.

Men and women quickly converted the open air auditorium’s stage to and exhibition hall with traditional industries, handmade products made out of different parts of date palm tree.  A major part of the display was the wedding celebration and procession with the mandoos (Omani wooden box) and handmade mannequin dressed in celebratory clothes.

Until the end of the Salalah Tourism Festival there would be many wilayats that would participate in the competition with renowned judges evaluating the performances and exhibits. The winner will be declared towards the end of the festival.

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