Southern Iraqi Wedding

Culture Dec 21, 2020 1 min read

Above a scene from the 1962 movie ‘Anima’ (أنعيّمة) in which a wedding held in the southern Iraqi marshes is shown: an occasion for great festivity. In the movie the bride belongs to another village, so the bridegroom's friends have set out in the morning in their canoes (mashoof) to fetch her. The bridegroom never accompanies them but remains behind in his house. The greater part of the day is spent at the bride's village in feasting and dancing. Towards the evening everyone collects at the bride's home where they dance (hausa). The bride is then placed in the mashoof (canoe) and is taken to her new village, accompanied by a great crowd on the river, singing and firing off shots. The party, known as zaffa, stops at any village through which it passes, and lands at one or more of the houses to dance. The rejoicing reaches its climax as they approach the bridegroom.

The pleasure of watching old Iraqi films, despite their technical weakness, is to see what rituals are presented in occasions, customs and traditions.

The movie was written by Jawad Al Ghafil and directed by Abdel Jabbar Tawfiq with music of Dakhel Hassan.

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