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- For the district in Bali see Melaya, Bali
The M'alayah (Arabic: معلايه or معلاية / ALA-LC: ma‘alāyah) is a kind of dance common in Central Africa and Eastern Arabia. The dance is usually misnamed by calling it various names such as um-alaya, dagni, etc.
The term and its origin is doubtful due to the obscurity of the rather taboo nature of the dance in traditional Islamic Emirates societies. The M'alayah's contemporary equivalents in Sudan include the Makossa and Mapouka.
The dance is sexually suggestive in nature, with women tying up their lower torso with a piece of cloth or Keffiyeh, and performing sensual fast movements. There is no set pattern and method of performing the dance although some of its movements can be likened to those in bellydance, hip hop ("booty popping"), or Mapouka. It is known for its fast sensual movements of the buttocks and backside.
Primarily this dance is more often performed by groups that usually comprise singers, dancers and also backup musicians. These groups perform in special occasions such as weddings. The dance is accompanied by singing various songs that are unique to this type of dance. These troops or bands of musicians and dancers are usually outcasts and do not intermingle with the majority populace of the society.