- Dhamaal is a mix of Sufi and African (mostly East African) musical and dance traditions.
- It refers particularly to the spiritual practices of the Siddis of Gujarat.
- Usually, Dhamaal songs and dances are performed to celebrate the anniversary of the birth and death of spiritual leaders.
- They are performed in two ways
- Dance Dhamaal: It is performed in both sitting and dance positions and the focus is more on the sounds of the instruments.
- Baithaaki Dhamaal: is performed in the sitting position and the focus is more on the lyrics and less on the musical instruments.
- The spiritual songs that are sung during the Dhamaals are known as zikrs.
Key facts about Siddis
- The term Siddi refers to Afro-Indians — Africans who mixed with Indians through marriage and relationships.
- They crossed the Indian Ocean and arrived in India during the 12th, 13th and 14th century
- They were transported by Islamic invaders and Portuguese colonisers as enslaved people, palace guards, army chiefs, harem keepers, spiritual leaders, Sufi singers, dancers and treasurers.
- In the present day, the majority of them are found in the west and southwest of India, in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana states.
Q1) What is Sufism?
Sufism is a mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through the direct personal experience of God.