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Buraanbur is a traditional Somali dance that accompanies poetry and drumming performances in celebratory events. Participants are often middle-aged or older women. Buraanbur is performed as a celebration in weddings and other events, such as Somali Independence Day. The dance is performed during spontaneous poems, which are recited by men and include praise and prayers for members of the audience. Following a verse, the poet will call out members of the crowd to dance in the centre to the beat of the drums.

Is this activity known by any other names?

Somalian traditional dance

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Buraanbur has been practiced in Somalia for many centuries. While tts exact origins in Canada are unclear, it likely came to Canada with Somali immigrants and refugees beginning in the 1980s.

Who takes part?

Buraanbur is typically performed by older Somali women, particularly those who grew up in Somalia and learned the steps of the dance.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

In the Greater Toronto Area, this activity occurs at celebratory events such as weddings and ethnocultural festivals.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Most buraanbur activities in the Greater Toronto Area are not formally organized by outside organizations, though Somali organizations may teach it as a way to preserve Somali traditions.

Cultural Significance

This activity has particular cultural significance to the Somali-Canadian community.



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