African Culture: Eskista, The Popular Snake Dance Of The Amhara People Of Ethiopia

As a source of stress reduction, a hobby, or an exercise program for others, dancing might be a viable option. Dance can take on many different meanings depending on where you are in Africa. It is also possible to see dance in Africa as a kind of communal recreation and prayer, as well as a sort of amusement and pleasure.

An iconic dance in Ethiopia, the Eskista conveys stories and teaches lessons all at the same time. It is not just popular entertainment. Various Eskista movements resemble animal motions, such as the crawling bobs of a snake, according to an article in All Around The World.

Eskista is also known as the snake dance because of his ability to mimic the movement of a snake. The Amhara area of Ethiopia is home to the ancient Ethiopian dance known as eskista, which translates to “dancing shoulders.” It is frequently performed in a group by men, women, and children. People in Eskista are known for their energetic dance routines, which include shoulder shakes and shimmies.

Eskista’s name comes from the dance’s powerful shoulder movements. There is a distinct difference between this dance and others in Africa that emphasizes the feet and legs. The Tigrinya people of Eritrea also perform a shim-shim dance with the same shoulder gestures. “amabegha khu mabekha,” which translates to “shoulders to shoulders,” is a dance performed by the Luhya people of western Kenya.

The Eskista dance may look like Ethiopia’s other popular dance, Tigrigna, but Music in Africa notes that Tigrigna is not as stationary when it comes to the usage of the hands and feet.

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When attempting to perform the Ethiopian snake dance, one must roll the shoulder blades, bouncing the shoulders, and tilt the chest. The gabi cloth, which is composed of cotton and painted with varied colors depending on the gender of the performer, allows dancers to move gracefully and fluidly.

In most cases, eskista is accompanied by traditional Ethiopian music and instruments such as the krar, a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre, as well as the flute, drums, and casino. Participants in Eskista must move their necks, shoulders, and torsos in sync with the music to perform this highly skilled dance. At social events such as weddings, holiday parties, and other gatherings, Eskista dancers are often the center of attention, and money is frequently placed on their heads.

Varieties of Eskista exist, each with a distinct background. For example, dance may be based on a variety of topics, such as love or work or even war or hunting.

As a result, modern musicians have begun incorporating dubs into Eskista to attract younger audiences while still keeping it true to its roots.

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