Bolimalaafath Neshun

The Maldives

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Bolimalaafath Neshun

This is a dance performed by women. The dance shows the old tradition of women offering gifts to the sultan, on special occasions such as Eid festival. The gifts, usually shells, are kept in a small vase or box known as the "Kurandi Malaafath". It is kept closed and is intricately decorated from outside. The vase is covered in a piece of colourful silk cloth. The women who carry the case too wear bright coloured local dresses which are fumigated by burning incense.

In the dance there are about 24 people performers. As they dance and sing to the tune of music, they form into small groups of two, three, four or even six, and walk towards the sultan to offer the "Kurandi". The songs usually express their sentiments or are based on national themes.With the change of government from monarchy to a republic in 1968, the tradition of offering gifts to the sultan ceased. But the dance has survived, and today it can be seen on stage shows. Bolimalaafath Neshun is still regarded as the most important of all the dances performed by Maldivian women.

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