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Personal Heritage Dance: Eskista

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by

Khalid Suliman

on 26 February 2015

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Transcript of Personal Heritage Dance: Eskista

Dance in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is very diverse and home to over 80 ethnic groups many with their own distinct style of dance and music
Dance is an integrated and beloved part of life for Ethiopians
One of the most popular dances is the “Eskista”

Function & Significance
Ethiopian folk dances date back 3000 years ago and draw on many cultural values such as gender, work life, and religion
The Eskista dance itself is said to have been inspired by the movements of snakes
The dance is seen as a way of expression and storytelling
Clothing/Dress
Dancers often wear traditional garbs called a “gabbi” or “netella” which are made from woven cotton
They are primarily white and often have intricate designs and colors at the ends
The clothes are free and loose in a way that accentuates the dancers movements
Music in Ethiopia
The Eskista dance is typically performed with traditional music
The music is produced with the traditional Ethiopian instruments including the krar, flute, drums and mesenko.
The rhythm and beat of the music guide the Eskista dance and often times the dancers will sing as well
Personal Connection
Although I am very familiar with the Eskista dance having seen and performed it many time, I never really knew the historical and culture meaning behind it. I always felt dance was a huge part of Ethiopian culture knowing how my family loved to dance. At any Ethiopian wedding you can feel the vibrations on the floor from everyone dancing. Rarely do you see anyone sitting down while their is music and people dancing. Often times family members would wrap the garbs around me or grab me and I'd reluctantly join the dance. As a kid, I remember the family would encourage us to dance by plastering dollar bills on our foreheads as we began to sweat from the dancing. I've always been proud of my Ethiopian heritage and our dance is just another reason why.
Eskista Dance
The Eskista is a traditional dance native to the Amhara regions
It involves the highly technical and unique movement of neck, shoulder and chest
It is performed individually by both men and women, but usually in a group
Personal Heritage Dance: Eskista
Dance Events
Ethiopians will dance almost anywhere or at any gathering
Traditional dances such as the Eskista are more likely to be seen at weddings, religious and traditional ceremonies, and holiday celebrations.
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