Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Arts: Performers and Performing Groups: Gulf and Saudi Arabia
(1,473 words)

The primary female entertainers in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf region are those in women's wedding ensembles, groups with usually 8–12 members (but sometimes over 20) who sing and play the frame drums (ṭārāt, sing. ṭār). In central Arabia (Najd), these performers are known as ṭaqqāqāt (sing. ṭaqqāqa) or in Gulf dialect, ḍaggāgāt. The term comes from the verb “to beat” which is fitting since ṭaqqāqāt traditionally play only drums. Consequently, in Bahrain the word al-ʿaddḥa (counter) is often used as a title preceding the name of the band leader. In the Hijaz regio…

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Urkevich, Lisa, “Arts: Performers and Performing Groups: Gulf and Saudi Arabia”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0292d>
First published online: 2009

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