In a few short weeks traditional Emirati sword dancing has been melded into a modern competition which has been dominating life in Fujairah over the last month.
The sword competition has been the focus for a major heritage display and festival with falcons, horses, camels as well as the showcasing of Emirati traditional practices.
Arabic food and drinks have not only refreshed but created satisfying memories of local culture.
The sword dancing has been done to the accompaniment of rhythmic music and yolla dancing by older men.
Different phases have been established in the competition, commencing with the entry into the arena of two zafin (swordsmen) who vibrate their weapons, the jumping up in the air following by dueling and the clashing of the swords, the skilful throwing and catching of the swords and then the final dance with sword balancing and other improvisation.
A team of judges, versed in the ways of the sword from the mountains of the Emirates, has quickly established criteria by which the many features of the sword activities are to be judged.
The Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition is about dancing, rhythm, flexibility, sword skills, jumping, demeanor, respect and a sense of presence.
Through this competition His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi and his organizers have discovered a fascinating way to keep ancient traditions alive, arouse respect among competitors and spectators for the local culture, instill a sense of national pride and display the heritage for others to appreciate and enjoy.
Take a Look
Thanks to Fujairah photographer, Alan Nambiar, for some wonderful images from last Friday at the Fujairah Fort when world records were established. These can be viewed in this album.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: “The Al Saif Traditional Sword Competition is about dancing, rhythm, flexibility, sword skills, jumping, demeanor, respect and a sense of presence.” (One of the many photos courtesy of Fujairah photographer, Alan Nambiar).
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Posted by Geoff Pound at 9:28 PM