digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

Kabuli Attan by Afghan girls in the USA

Attan (Pashto: اتڼ) is a form of dance that originated in the Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, notably in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Balochistan. Attan began as a folk dance conducted by Afghans in times of war or during weddings or other celebrations (engagements, new year, and informal gatherings). It is now considered the national dance of Afghanistan.[1]

The performance of attan dance in the open air has long been customary in the Afghan culture.[2] Attan is a special type of dance performed by a troupe of 50 to 100 dancers who wave red scarves in the air while musicians beat drums. This dance is common among the Pashtuns and the ruling elite promoted it as the national dance of Afghanistan.[3]

Origin[edit]

Attan is a traditional Afghan dance. It is said to be one of the oldest forms of Afghan Pagan dance. Some identify attan as a religious ceremony of early Zoroastrians placing its origins as early as 2000 BCE, while others have placed even older going back to King Yama's celebration of Nowroz and warriors dancing and circling around the fire. This was later modified into an Islamic dance to allow the dancers to get "closer to God." This virtual attan practiced by many Afghan poets and mystics had even reached to corners of Turkey, known in Europe as the Rumi Dance. It is usually performed with a Dhol, which is a double-headed barrel drum. The dance can be anywhere from 5 minute to 30 minutes long. There are many different regional variations of attan, the most famous being Kabuli, Paktiyaya, Mazari, Shenwari, Kandahari, Sistani, Herati, Pashayi, and Nuristani. During King Yama's time, attan was performed before going to a war because it used to give the army the confidence that they could win the battle. Attan is the national dance of Afghanistan and has spread and become a part of festivals, weddings, and other forms of celebrations, and has its origins from Pashtun areas.

Movement of the Dance[edit]

To the accompaniment of drums and pipes the dancers form a circle, taking each other by the hand or preparing to revolve in circles of their own. The dance starts with slow steps that gradually get faster and faster until it seems the performers must drop from exhaustion. However, the dance continues, sometimes for two or three hours at a stretch, with no breaks except a lowering of tempo or changes in the tunes and songs.[4]

What the Attan Dance consists of: The dancers gather in a circle, and then is followed by music which starts slow at first, and then gradually speeds up. There is a consistent beat and rhythm, and during that specific beat is when they clap inside the circle, so the movement of the hands is outside prior to the beat. It is then followed by the dancers bringing their hands out and then clapping inside the circle, and it is the same routine and pattern of movement, which then get faster. As the movements and routine get faster, the one clap turns into two claps, and the dancers who are more advanced, at times will add turns into the movements. All in all, they must keep the circular path with the clap on the beat, every other move added is up to the individuals who originate and add their own personal style to the dance. Common dance moves involve the extending of arms into air and the stretch and extension of legs. When extending arms into air, there are times when the hands are free or there is the waving of the regalia and extension of the attire to show the detail and color.

Instruments[edit]

The most essential instrument of course is the Dhol (Drum). But dhols vary by sizes, for some types the size is relatively small. The reason for that could be geographic but the distinction between dhols is apparent among the various types of Attans. The tablah (also known as darbukkah or dumbak) is a single-headed hand-drum found in most Arab music ensembles. The goblet-shaped body (cylindrical with a slightly narrowed waist) was traditionally made out of fired clay, and the sounding head out of goat, calf, or fish skin, stretched and glued permanently on the body. The second most important instrument is the zurna surnay, although very common, the surna is not essential with every type. Another instrument that is specific to some styles, is the Harmonium (Baja), given the size and shape of the harmonium it is usually played while sitting on the ground, but for Attans, the harmonium is bound in a shawl that is wrapped around the players back. A very rare one is the Sarangi just like Baja this one too is supposed to be played while sitting down but for Attan, the musicians strap it in front to walk along the group of dancers.

Attire[edit]

Attan regalia for a woman, with mirrors on the front, sleeves, and the bottom of the dress.

Performers often wear traditional regalia when participating in the lively dance. For men, the pakol (a thick wool hat) is usually worn, as well as a waskata (thick wool vest)[5] Usually during the celebratory occasions, men can also be seen wearing suits and ties for a more formal look.[6] The women can be found wearing bright, colorful dresses. These dresses can be accompanied with tiny mirrors on them which are said to symbolize light. The tiny mirrors add great detail and shine under the lights as the women move and dance.

Styles and Types[edit]

A Pashtun man performing Khattak dance

The Attan is performed differently in many of the different Pashtun tribes. Some styles of Attan portray themes of war while others portray celebration, especially for events such as marriage, engagements, family gatherings and also as a prelude to the arrival of spring.

All different kinds of Attan are danced with the beats of the drums. However they all differ in style. The beater of the drum known as "Dum", who instantaneously change the rhythm, is circled by the performers. Below is a list of common attan styles.

  • Kochai/ Kochyano - Pashtun nomadic style done in both Afghanistan and Pakistan Kochyano Attan or literally Attan of the Kuchi. Women usually perform this attan during their own occasions, such as childbirth or new years (nou rooz) and coming of spring. The men usually perform with long hair, almost to shoulder length and cut straight across the back, and some may sport a very wild mustache or beard. It is usually performed with Handkerchiefs, and involves lots of spotting movements, with multiple twists and squatting. This dance can be up to 10 steps, and also involve men walking with their knees or standing erect and snapping their head in random directions to the beat of the Dhol. The depth and complexity of their Attan may be because of the wide range of valleys they trek, and many other forms may have influenced it. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
  • Logarai - From the Afghan province of Logar Logari dancers have always been known for their shyness and also for their rhythmic interruptions and spins during their local dance. Their Attan also has the trademark spins of the Logari style, using the clapping and the full twists in place, as arms are usually in the air and come together medially during the circular dance with one or two claps in the center. It is not uncommon to see one ore two circles in one. This dance typically performed by men and/or women or even young boys and/or girls. The men occasionally wear Turbans and they are taken off usually during the end of the dance when the beats get faster. The sweat on their heads from wearing the Turban, puts added weight to their hair. This dance is performed either with the beat of the musician or the musician tuning the beat the technique of the performers.
  • Paktiawal / Khostai - Notable Attan style originating from the provinces of Paktia and Khost, Afghanistan Paktia/Khosti is typically a 5-7 step and can be longer. It is also interesting because of the head movements the head is snapped left & right as their long jet black hair fling through the air, and eventually ends with the dancers turned medially and squatting with arms to their sides towards the center. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
  • Shenwari - From the Afghan province of Nangarhar.
  • Wardag/Wardaki - Da Wardag Attan, another famous style of Attan. Wardaki consists of body movements no clapping and lots of turns and twists, and Spotting, as well as handkerchiefs in their hands to accentuate their spins. The men usually boast wild mustaches, including hair that is greased as to accentuate the spotting and give more weight to the hair during turns. This dance is performed either with the beat of the musician or the musician tuning the beat the technique of the performers.
  • Warziro - Attan from the Waziristan region of Pakistan, famous for its use of guns
  • Khattak - Attan performed by the Khattak tribe in Pakistan, Khattak style is deeply routed during the Moghul period where men performed this dance with their weapons in their hands. A Khattak dancer performs with the zeal of a hero, displaying his physical fitness through body movements, while holding one, two or even three swords at a time. Each sword weighs about one-and-a-half kilograms. The dance is a 5 step routine involving spins, with the swords crossed over their backs and elbows outward, or it can be performed with the swords out to the sides and typical Attan half spin in place leading to a full spin. Depending on the rhythm of the beat, this spin can be completely reversed in full synchronicity. This dance is performed with the musician tuning the beat to the technique of the performers.
  • Kumbhar - A slight variant of the Quetta style Attan is the "kumbhar". Performed by tribes in Hazara, Potohar and Haripur in Pakistan. The word "kumbhar" is the Hindko word for Attan.
  • Kabuli/Peshawari Attan is a modified Attan with modern music. In this dance, the dancers perform to the beat of the musician. This dance typically performed by men & women. It involves 2-5 steps, ending with a clap given while facing the center, after which the process is repeated again. The hip and arms are put in a sequential movement including left and right tilts, with the wrists twisting in sequence, with ultimately a hand is projected outward and brought in a 'scoop-like' fashion towards the center where the other hand meets it for a clap. This dance is typically performed with the musician dictating the duration and speed.[7]

Gender Roles in Dancing[edit]

Most conspicuous are the younger men, with a coloured scarf in one hand, sometimes a sword in the other (such as the Khattak style Attan). The women, colourfully clad in traditional Afghan dress, join in the dance.[8] The men and women are separated in more conservative areas such as Afghanistan and neither can see the other sex dancing. However, in modern areas like the west, both genders dance side by side. Often, women change into an Attan dress while the men remain in their original clothes at a wedding or gathering. This can be due to how the women's clothing is very intricate and quite a sight to see. In the past, musicians and singers were men because social norms at the time prohibited women from playing musical instruments, singing songs, or dancing in front of male counterparts. Dancing by men and women together increasingly gained momentum among the educated and upper- and middle-class urban families in the 1970s and afterward. The Daoud Khan, Zahir Shah and the Communist regimes encouraged young men and women to defy traditional values and participate in these public activities.[9]

Taliban and the Attan[edit]

However puritanical the Taliban were, they refrained from prohibiting the Attan dance due to it being engrained into Pashtun culture, which many Taliban are a part of. There are even examples of the Taliban performing the Attan dance before engaging Western occupation forces in battle; this shows the prominence of the Attan in Paktunwali (the Pashtun code of honour). Even though women could not perform the Attan publicly, it was still common in weddings, celebrations and engagements behind closed doors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://books.google.ca/books?id=maGU4ziPQJQC&pg=PA38&dq=attan+afghan&lr=&ei=zcjUSv3tFITWNI7N4fAN#v=onepage&q=attan%20afghan&f=false
  2. ^ "attan." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 13 Oct. 2009 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/42102/attan>.
  3. ^ Emadi, Hafizullah(2005) Cultures and Customs of Afghanistan. Greenwood Press: Westport. ISBN 0-313-33089-1.
  4. ^ Wilber, Donald N.,(1962) Afghanistan, Its People, Its Society Its Culture. New Haven: Hraf Press. ISBN 3121000493
  5. ^ http://www.villagehatshop.com/media/images/viewer/155300AfghanPakolHat/medium_155300AfghanPakolHat1.jpg
  6. ^ http://www.k5.dion.ne.jp/~museum/costume/costume_picture/waskat01.JPG
  7. ^ http://iopyne.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/for-the-love-of-attan/
  8. ^ Wilber, Donald N.,(1962) Afghanistan, Its People, Its Society Its Culture. New Haven: Hraf Press. ISBN 3121000493
  9. ^ Emadi, Hafizullah.(2005) Cultures and Customs of Afghanistan. Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33089-1.

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attan — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
203461 videos foundNext > 

The best Attan ever, Very long & Very Mast

The best Attan ever, Very long & Very Mast.

The best Attan ever in HD quality GMU - AFG

Girls perform on the beautiful and sizzling Persian and Pasthu songs, and by the end perform a superb Attan. Just dont miss dancing to these awesome beats.

attan

Best pashto attan song ( Lare ka ghamona)

Singer : Naseem Hashmi.

Attan - Khatme Zanzeri

Attan began as a folk dance conducted by Afghans in the time of war or during wedding or other celebrations. During King Yama's time Attan was performed befo...

PASHTO GIRLS ATTAN

ATTAN MANGAL PASHTOON PAKHTOON PAKTIA GERMANY

Breaking it down.

Attan - Afghani Dull Attan

Attan - Afghani Dull Attan.

Pashto Attan in Germany

Pashto Attan in Germany.

waziristan dhol attan

AZIZ BURKI.

203461 videos foundNext > 

8954 news items

Zambia Daily Mail

Zambia Reports
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 23:05:00 -0800

Susan Kawandami, Attan Mwamba, Hon. Mwanasa Kapeya and Fabian Chiposo. The Meeting also resolved that a committee amongst themselves should approach Acting President, Dr. Guy Scott to inform him of the decisions and resolutions of Central ...
 
New Straits Times Online
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 00:44:06 -0800

"As a state with few natural resources, Malacca very much needs an international port to spur its economy," he said in reply to a question from Zaidi Attan (BN-Serkam). Lim said the port of Gothenburg in Sweden is the best model for Malacca, albeit ...

Bugün

Bugün
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 04:00:00 -0800

İlk geldiğimizde korkarak ata bindi fakat şimdi sürekli binicilik kursuna gelmek istiyor ve attan inmek istemiyor. Eskiden koyun sevmekten korkuyordu, şimdi her derse atları beslemek için bir torba havuçla gelerek onları elleriyle besliyor." diye ...

T24

T24
Sun, 23 Nov 2014 13:56:15 -0800

Attan ya da eşekten düşmeyeyim diye yanıma verilen birilerinin eşliğinde, her gün su getirmeye ben de köyün kızları ile giderdim. Nenemle o zamanlar ilişkimiz, sürekli girdiğimiz Dicle'nin suyundan, bağdan, bahçeden, hayvanlardan arta kalan ...
 
The Express Tribune
Wed, 08 May 2013 21:07:05 -0700

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: No matter who waltzes into the prime minister's house at the end of this election, South Waziristan is already swinging away – to the rhythms of the Attan. This traditional dance of the Pashtuns, of which the famous Khattak dance is a ...

KOMPAS.com

KOMPAS.com
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:15:00 -0800

Attan (34), salah satu warga yang tinggal di lahan milik PT KAI Divre 3.2 wilayah Lampung mengatakan, puluhan tahun dia menepati lahan tersebut dan tak pernah dimintai uang sewa. "Seminggu terakhir saya diberi surat peringatan untuk membayar sewa ...

Brabants Dagblad

Brabants Dagblad
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 08:36:05 -0700

WAALWIJK - Aan de Grotestraat 269 in Waalwijk opent woensdag 1 oktober het Afghaanse restaurant Attan haar deuren. Attan is inmiddels de derde loot aan de horecastam van de Afghaanse familie Alizadah. De vestiging in Waalwijk krijgt 35 zitplaatsen.
 
Harian Metro
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0800

Selaku penerbit teater ini, Siti Rohayah Attan atau lebih mesra disapa Kak Roy berkata, objektif pementasan ini ialah untuk berkongsi pengalaman hidup wanita yang berdepan ujian hidup terutamanya golongan ibu tunggal. "Diari Wanita sebuah ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight