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EXPRESSING THE ASHENDA FEAST THROUGH MUSIC AND DANCE: OBSERVATION OF THE ASHENDA FEAST IN TIGRAY [Abstract ID: 0204-06]
My paper will give a comprehensive overview of the ašända, a religious feast celebrated throughout Təgray. Ašända a gender-specific holiday; i.e. women in general and young girls in particular are the main actors of the entire ceremony. Special attention will be given to selected ašända songs, their melodic-rhythmic arrangements as well as their lyrical messages primarily praising The Holy Virgin Mary, the beauty of ašända girls, family members and others. The investigation is based on materials collected during fieldwork carried out in August 2016 in Mäqälle and adjacent localities. Consequently, about 10 hours of audio-visual recordings were made including more than 1000 photos. Other relevant materials refer to interviews made with young and old community members including priests and ašända partakers. The interviews and personal communications (both recorded and unrecorded), among others, focus on the socio-cultural, religious, gender-related issues of ašända as well as internal and external influences that triggered changes ever since ašända started being practiced centuries ago.