Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Young flower man of Tihama


Young flower man of Tihama, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I found this description of the traditions of the flower men of Tihama on this site: www.toursaudiarabia.com/tihama.html

"The Tihami people who inhabit the Tihama area are extremely unique because they shun modern ways and prefer to live following their own rich heritage which is clearly demonstrated in their dress, housing, daily lives and celebrations. Unlike the majority of men in Saudi Arabia who wear the traditional white thobe the men of Tihamah wear colorful sarong-like izars. Men in the Tihama area are often referred to as 'Flower Men' because they will sometimes wear a ring of sweet-smelling herbs and flowers in their hair. The homes in Tihamah are built with stones and the roof is made of wood which is all that is needed in the mild weather of the area. Marriage usually occurs at an early age and families are often large due to their great love of children. Each family owns a herd of goats that is used for their meat and milk but more importantly to feed their guests following their local customs. On special occasions the men of Tihama will gather and dance to the music of their own voices. The dance will often begin with the men in a line and later they will move around themselves in circular motions. The tempo of the music will then change and the dancers will bend down and move up in quick successive motions. The Tihami folklore dances are just one demonstration of the people's great care to maintain and preserve their ancestral traditions."

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