Attan, the Afghan National Dance
Attan which is referred to as the Afghan National Dance is the very famous Afghan group Dance in Afghanistan. Attan is a very old traditional dance. It is said to have been one of the religious traditions of the pagans living in the area that is called Afghanistan today. This dance later became part of the Pashton Muslim tribes’ tradition.
The dance is preformed to Dohul, which is a big barrel two-sided drum, and usually accompanied by other musical instruments like flute, however today the electronic musical instruments are also used to produce the music for Attan. The dance usually starts with a small group of men, dancing to a slow beat of the drums, and more people join the group as the dance progresses. The person with the best dance skills leads the team dancing in a circle. The dance gets faster little by little reaching to a point where the number of people in the group decreases and those with the most skills usually remain the last people in the groups. The Attan gets most exciting when it gets to the fastest point where the remaining Attan dancers show their skills and moves. The lead of the team controls the drummer signaling him the number of beats and the types of beats he wants.
Afghans Perform this Dance to celebrate various occasions like weddings, national holidays, victories and other happy occasions. It is also a good party-dance with friends. Both men and women perform Attan, the only major difference is that men perform the Attan in both public and private but women perform it in private such as weddings and parties where the audience is only women.
The following are some of the related vocabulary
Dool ډول drum
Toola توله flute
Atann اتڼ Attan dance
Natsaa نڅا dance
Mili ملي National
Mili atann ملي اتڼ National dance/National Attan dance