The Influence of Arab and Asian Traders On Harari Music and Cultural Identity

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Addis Ababa University


The objective of this study is investigating how and why the Harari peoples Music and cultural Identity is different from the other parts of the Ethiopian people. This study has mainly focused on the forms and the scale and why this scale or music, forms and cultural identities are different from the other parts of Ethiopia. The study tried to compare music and cultural identity of Harar with other parts of Ethiopia. There are various forms of music practices in Harar especially in „Jogul‟, among these forms such as, ‘Salley‟(ሳላይ),„Miras (ሚራስ), Dersey‟(ዯርሲ).The study employed Ethnographic and descriptive research design. The research approach was qualitative approach. Sources of data were both primary and secondary sources. Simple random and purposive sampling techniques were employed in the research. Data collection instruments were questionnaire, interview and document analysis. The relevant primary data were collected through qualitative strategies such as interview, questionnaire and selected informants and from traditional Musicians who perform music in Harar. The secondary data were including published and unpublished articles, journals, books, videos and CD. Data analysis and interpretation is carried out by descriptive statistics and text narration of the data obtained from various sources. The Finding of the study pointed out that Harari music and culture is different from other parts of Ethiopia with its on styles which were influenced by Arab and Asian which were appeared in the area as a trader, solider and visitors. In addition the study identified on how the music is different and why this kind of scale is not found in other parts of Ethiopia and Harari Song, which is, Feqer (“simply song”) divides it to two, „gay feqer‟ (modern song) and „ada gay feqer‟ (cultural song”). Both Gay feqer and Ada gay feqer which shows the peculiarity of Harari music. Based on this the researcher recommend that further study need to be conducted regarding the importance of music, cultural identity and acculturation.



Cultural Identity, Traditional Music, Arab music, Asian music, Acculturation