Dhandi Jehun

The Maldives

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Dhandi Jehun

This dance is attributed to the atolls and the performing style vary from atoll to atoll. The participants are all men and they dance in a single group of about 30 people. The dance which lasts about one hour can be held at day or night, in a street or in a ground, on nay day of celebrations.

In Dhandi Jehun, the songs are "Thaara" songs or "Unbaa" songs and they sung by a lead singer. However, the group too participates in the song, and as they sing, they dance and walk to the beat of the song. Sometimes drums or tambourines are held by two additional people who would walk behind the group.

In the dance which lasts about an hour, each dancer holds a "Dhandi" (stick) of about three feet long. As he dances, he claps hi "Dhandi", to one belonging to a partner facing him and continue dancing and singing to the beat of the music as well as to the sound generated by the clapping of sticks. The dancers do not have any special dress. However, in any given performance, they will wear a uniformed dress usually it is a sarong, a T-shirt, a white head cloth, a sash around waist and a white under-garment.

Dhandi Jehun is believed to have come form Malik (Minicoy Islands). Is is said there is a similar dance there known as "Malik Dhandi".

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