Traditional Maldivian music and dance
You can see live performances of traditional songs and dances in your resort, or in the capital of Male. These are good fun to watch and you’re sure to end up swaying to the beat.
Songs are often accompanied by a traditional bulbul which is a stringed instrument with its origins in India. It looks a little like an accordion, the likes of which was originally used mostly for sacred music.
Another frequently used instrument is the bodu beru – meaning big drum – which is thought to have African roots. Bodu beru also describes a type of Maldivian folk music and dance that features an earthy rhythm of feet, hands and instruments. It starts with a slow beat then gradually builds up to a powerful crescendo of speed and sound.
Maldivians love to dance and you can experience some beautiful and highly expressive folk dances while you’re there. One must-see is the Bolimalaafath Neshu dance. This is performed by women and celebrates an ancient tradition where they offered presents to the Sultan on special festival days.
Another dance is the Dhandi Jehun, which is performed by a group of 30 men. In this routine there’s a lead solo singer with the other members singing the chorus. Each dancer holds three sticks which he hits against the sticks of the performer facing him. In a way, it’s a bit like traditional morris dancing at home.