The Morvarid-e Lian band from the southern Iranian city of Bushehr will perform the Zar rite at Algeria’s International Cultural Festival of Folk Dance, which will be held from July 12 to 18 in Sidi Bel Abbes.
The Zar rite, commonplace in southern Iran, is a legacy from slavery as it was performed by African slaves who were brought to southern Iran. They performed it on weekends in order to gain energy to enable them to bear the burden of bondage for the rest of the week.
Over time, ordinary people also joined in their musical rite comprising ecstatic dance with dammam (tom-tom) playing. Today, Zar is mostly performed by workers in a group named ahl-e hava, which is conducted by a leader called a babazari.
“The festival invited us due to communalities existing between Bushehr and African music,” the leader of Lian band Mohsen Sharifian explained in a press release.
Thirty bands from different countries will participate at the festival to introduce their country and their culture through their performances and rhythmical movements, he added.
From / Tehran Times