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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 subgenres 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.

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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.
  • Kerbage, Toufic (1982). The Rhythms of the Pearl Diver Music in Qatar. Culture & Art Directorate Ministry of Information Doha Qatar.

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