Tribal Roots Part 2- Afghani Nomads


Another of my favorite dance forms of late is Afghani Lohari dance. I did have the opportunity to study this dance style a bit with Helene Eriksen when I was doing her Seattle training project in 2009/2010, and it was one one my favorite dances in the repertoire that we performed. Here is a brief description taken from Helen's website-

Afghani Dance Logari

While the Taliban were in power no one in Afghanistan was allowed to dance, neither men nor women, neither in public nor in private. This had not always been the case. Women didn't dance in public but in private they enjoyed singing and dancing. Dancing boys performed for the eyes of men, in the Chaikhana (tea house) as well as at festivals and weddings. Very famous were the dancers from the Logar Valley south of Kabul. These Pashtun dancers managed to be both shy and coquettish and could freeze with bravado at the dramatic stops in the 7/8 music.

      From my limited knowledge and experience of Afghani, Persian and Rajashtani dances I am fascinated by the connections that I find there. This only makes sense since Afghanistan is geographically close to both Iran and India and there is a lot of shared history in that area. 
The flowing, patchwork,  3/4 length dresses worn by the tribal women in this part of Afghanistan with wide sleeves and high waistline was a popular style in the West in the 60's and 70's, the classic 'hippy' dress, although the Western version of these Afghani dresses are not nearly as elaborately decorated. The Afghani dresses are heavily embellished and embroidered with metallic thread and worn over salvar (pants) with a veil. The jewelry that's become so popular  with 'American Tribal Style' and 'Tribal Fusion' belly dancers  is from the Kuchi tribes of Afghanistan. Below info from Wikipedia-

Kuchis (from the Persian word Koch meaning "migration"), are Afghan Pashtun nomads, primarily from the GhilzaiKakarLodiAhmadzai as well as some Durrani tribes, but occasionally there may also be some Baloch people among them that live a nomadic life travelling between pastoral lands in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. In the local native Pashto language the term is Kochian.





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