A wedding from Mukalla

A wedding

from Mukalla

Hadrami wedding from the Alsalam neighborhood of the artist Moftah Sbait Kandara.

Hadrami wedding

Eighties weddings.

A wedding evening in 1982 .. Tuned to the rhythm of Sebit Kandara...

Wednesday evening 7/10/1982, the henna evening of Uncle Saeed Al-Hijri at AlSalam neighborhood in Mukalla. The evening came to life by Moftah Sebit Kandara, with his voice he sang some of the most famous songs of popular singers such as Jumah Khan, Salim Dahi, and the artist Saeed Abdel Naeem. He elegantly sang different genres and exceed in different tunes like; Al-Awadi, Dan Al-Hadrami, Al-Sharhhi, and he also mastered the Indian style.

The ceremony begins..

Marriage ceremony..
Day 1 "Alrabat"


Before the evening starts, there are always traditions and customs in which Hadhramaut is distinguished. The customs of marriage on the coast, specifically in Mukalla differ in some aspects from the ones in the valley yet similar in few. For example in Mukalla, the marriage is divided into several days, (alrabat), which is the first day of the wedding ceremony in which the girl is told  “You are a bride of so-and-so”


Alshirae and Alzaffin..

The custom involves a dance concert performed on a wood-framed theater that is set up near the groom’s house.

The second day (Alshirae) is when an extended piece of material shaped like a tent similar to sailcloth _ hence the Arabic word Alshirae_ is installed in the morning under the bride’s house or on the rooftop where all invited women can celebrate the wedding. Prior to Maghrib prayer, the bride enters the tent in front of the invitees who will initiate for her what’s called (Al-Sharh and Al-Zafin) while she dances a dance called Alriyd (Al-Zafin) so that all the women see her in full glam before giving the bride away to the groom.

Henna Night..

The rhythm commences the night gathering in Mukalla.


One of the common customs in Hadrami traditions is the “henna night” at the end of the gathering all relatives and friends start putting henna on the groom’s body, while they dance and turn around him, expressing their happiness and love for him. The attendees sing, “wa’ah eilm hanna .. wa’ah eilm hanna … ya eilm hanna .. ya eilm hanaa…” 




“From the old Hadrami customs”

Then comes Almakhdara, as it is an ancient social custom linked to marriages in a number of regions in southern Yemen, such as Hadramawt, Lahj, and Aden. It is a musical concert performed on a wooden stage, next to the groom’s house. The groom usually sits on the stage next to the band while family and friends express their congratulations. In Hadhramaut, for example, family and neighbors gather in the square to dance to the tunes of Hadrami rhythm. Almakhdara begins at midnight and continues until 4 am!

And this is how wedding ceremonies end in Mukalla… 

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