Gabra – Dikhir

21-Sep-21
Aneesa Kassam
GABRA — Dikhir

Here’s a program from our archives.

ambience: Dikhir
We’re listening to a spiritual song of the Gabra, a nomadic people who live in a rocky desert along the border of Kenya and Ethiopia. Their religion is deeply rooted in the desert environment and in the Gabra’s dependence upon the animals which make nomadic life possible. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Aneesa Kassam is a professor of anthropology at the university of Durham in England. She tells us that this song, called a Dikhir, is an important expression of the Gabra’s way of life.

“The Dikhir and other ritual chants are spiritual practices through which peace and harmony is kept in the Gabra universe and in the universe as a whole. There is a dikhir for each day of the week. Each day is linked to particular animals or people. For instance, Saturday is the day of cattle. Sunday, the day of camels and so forth. These songs are said to be linked to the origin of things. So, for instance, camels are said to have originated on Sunday. The songs are also praise songs. They are sung in remembrance and praise of these animals which are so vital to the way of life of the Gabra. The songs are sung on all ritual occasions, but are chanted in particular on Fridays. They are meditative chants. They are sung to maintain the harmonic order of the world and of all creation.”

Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Gabra - Dikhir

Dikhirs are spiritual chants intended to maintain harmony in world of the Gabra people.
Air Date:09/21/2021
Scientist:Aneesa Kassam
Transcript:

21-Sep-21 Aneesa Kassam GABRA -- Dikhir Here's a program from our archives. ambience: Dikhir We're listening to a spiritual song of the Gabra, a nomadic people who live in a rocky desert along the border of Kenya and Ethiopia. Their religion is deeply rooted in the desert environment and in the Gabra's dependence upon the animals which make nomadic life possible. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Aneesa Kassam is a professor of anthropology at the university of Durham in England. She tells us that this song, called a Dikhir, is an important expression of the Gabra's way of life. "The Dikhir and other ritual chants are spiritual practices through which peace and harmony is kept in the Gabra universe and in the universe as a whole. There is a dikhir for each day of the week. Each day is linked to particular animals or people. For instance, Saturday is the day of cattle. Sunday, the day of camels and so forth. These songs are said to be linked to the origin of things. So, for instance, camels are said to have originated on Sunday. The songs are also praise songs. They are sung in remembrance and praise of these animals which are so vital to the way of life of the Gabra. The songs are sung on all ritual occasions, but are chanted in particular on Fridays. They are meditative chants. They are sung to maintain the harmonic order of the world and of all creation." Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.