Few who have visited the Maldives have left the country unimpressed with the country’s unique musical sounds. Boduberu, with its distinctive timbre and unmistakable thump, looms at the forefront of the country’s traditional music scene.
Boduberu, which literally means big drum, is performed on two-sided drums made out of goat's skin (traditionally eagle or manta ray skins were used). The middle section is made from wood from coconut palm trees, and often features traditional engravings and designs. The drum is beaten using the bare-hands.
Boduberu music is often performed in large groups of 20 drummers, who also sing. Boduberu groups also perform traditional dances to the music. Songs usually start out slow, but increase in tempo before concluding in a frantic climax. Boduberu lyrics are inspired by sea shanties, local myths and folklore.
After suffering a major decline, Boduberu is firmly back in the collective consciousness of Maldivians after a competitive show in 2010 titled the Boduberu Challenge, popularized the art-form amongst younger generations. The biggest Boduberu bands in the Maldives currently feature youth in their 20s. The revival also led to the formation of several all-female Boduberu groups.
[Bodu Beru song] - Caption “One of the most popular recent Boduberu songs, Baarah Dhuhvaa,is about a perilous sea journey to deliver an urgent message”
It is difficult to listen to Boduberu without feeling the urge to dance. Most Boduberu performances end up with the audience joining the group’s dancers. That is why Boduberu songs are often a staple in events such as weddings, Eid celebrations, and yes, even resort dinners. We hope to see you on the dance floor at the next Boduberu performance at Summer Island!