Maldives Music and Dance


The island nation of Maldives is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditions, which has a strong Indian, Sri Lankan, Arab, East African and South East Asian influence. The Maldives Music and dance are the biggest examples of the country's rich, colorful and vibrant culture.

Bodu Beru is the most popular form of music and dance, which was introduced in the 19th century. Almost all the islands of the country have their own Bodu Beru troupe who performs during special occasions and festivals.
In this dance form, the dancers move to the rhythm of the drum beat. Three to four drums and other percussion instruments are used in Bodu Beru. There is a lead singer who sings the main lyrics and is assisted by a choir of 10 to 15 people. The dance involves leaps and jerks accompanied by claps. Both the young and the old take part in this music and dance form and enjoy themselves.
Thaara is a Maldivian music, performed by 22 people sitting in two rows opposite each other. Only the men participate in this and it is more of a religious nature. Thaara was introduced by the Arabs in the seventeenth century and is nowadays performed only during national events.

Dhandijehun is a form of dance. It is a group dance performed by men only. The dancers hold a stick called 'Dhandi' and dance to the rhythm of the music. In this dance, one dancer has to clap his stick with that of the other. Special dresses are worn in this form of dance.
Bandiyaa Jehun is another extremely popular form of Maldivian dance. It is performed by the women folk only. In this dance, the women carry metal water pots and dance to the tune and the rhythm of the music. Both traditional and western or modern music is used in this dance performance.

Other examples of Maldives music and dance include Gaa Odi Lava, Bolimalaafath neshun, Maafathi neshun, Fathigandu Jehun and Kulhudhuffushi.

The music and dance of Maldives are extremely colorful and are a source of entertainment and enjoyment for the people of the country.