Fijiri

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A piece of clothing used by Kuwaiti divers searching for pearls

Fidjeri (Arabic: الفجيري; sometimes spelled fijri or fidjeri) is the specific repertoire of vocal music sung by the pearl divers of Eastern Arabia's coastal Gulf states, especially Bahrain and Kuwait. A lead singer is backed up by a chorus of accompanying singers and clapping. The accompanying instruments to a fidjeri ensemble are a small double-sided hand-drum, known as the mirwās (Arabic: المرواس‎) and the jāhlah (Arabic: الجاهلة‎), a clay pot played with both hands.

There are eight genres of fijiri: Sanginni (sung on the beach, not on the boat), Bahri, Adsani, Mkholfi, Haddadi, Hasawi, Zumayya, and Dan, the last two actually being sub-genres of Hasawi and Mkholfi respectively. Bahri and Adsani are the two main genres. Pearl diver singers are referred to in Arabic as nahham (Arabic: نهام‎).

Salem Allan and Ahmad Butabbaniya are two of the most well-known fijiri singers from Bahrain.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Various artists (2000). Fidjeri:Songs of the Bahrain Pearl Divers (CD). UNESCO. ASIN B00000AU93. 
  • Rovsing Olsen, Poul (2002). Music in Bahrain. David Brown Book Company. ISBN 87-88415-19-8. 
  • Various artists (1995). A Musical Anthology of the Arabian Peninsula, Volume 2 - Music of the Pearl Divers (CD). Gallo. ASIN B000004A2D. 

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