Music in Hadiya

The Hadiya (also spelled Hadiyya) people live in south Ethiopia, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR). The Hadiya Cultural Center is in Hosaena, one of the main towns in Hadiya zone, and the Hadiya cultural troupe rehearses and performs here. Although based in Hosaena, they also tour around Ethiopia and have performed in places such as Tigray, Awassa, and Gambella. The Hadiya, like the other ethnic groups in Ethiopia, have their own songs and distinctive styles of music and dance.

I unfortunately was only in Hosana for two days, but the Hadiya Cultural Troupe was extraordinarily giving of their time and rallied to the cultural center to demonstrate and share about their music during my short stay. The following videos and recordings are courtesy of the troupe.

Bekelech Biruk, one of the troupe members, demonstrated one of their styles of drumming:

Here is the drumming in the context of a Hadiya dance:

The above song is Uwaye (also spelled Uweye), which is traditionally a song that the Hadiya women sing to one another when they are going home from the market, complimenting and appreciating one another.

Another well-known traditional Hadiya song is Seleme, a public song belonging to the Hadiya people that was made famous by singer Abulo. Abulo was one of the first members of the Hadiya Cultural Troupe when it first started in 1974. He no longer performs with them but was kind enough to sing this song for me to record.

Each Hadiya song also has its own dance. The dance that goes along with Seleme one is like a train, and anyone falling outside of it gets hit by the leader. According to Abulo, the primary purpose of this dance is to show the unity of the Hadiya people.

Abulo also has an ETV-broadcasted music video which combines Seleme with modern instrumentation.

* All these recordings (with the exception of Abulo’s music video) were made on June 19 2015 at the Hadiya Cultural Center in Hosana. Special thanks to the musicians and dancers, Abulo Tumoro, Tesfaye Mamo, Ersido Antese, Bekelech Biruk, Bilal Hali, Tesfaye Zeleka, Seblewerk Esehtu, Tesfaye Abebe, Emanuel Mitiku, Abaynish Handiso, Teodros Derese, Mangesha Lira, Ayele Ersino, Temesgen Getachew, and others for their graciousness and willingness to demonstrate this music and educate me about their culture. Also thanks to the bandleader, Assefa Adila.


One Response to Music in Hadiya

  1. abinet says:

    u did it


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