Maldives Islands is an archipelago comprising 1,190 low-lying coral islands scattered across the equator. The Maldives Islands has been described as ‘(the) flower of the Indies’ by Marco Polo and ‘one of the wonders of the world’ by Ibn Batuta. Hailing from this beautiful tropical paradise is a ‘progressive’ traditional musical band known as Harubee.

Harubee, combines a wide variety of styles, all deeply influenced by their mutual love of Boduberu music in all its' forms. Formed in 2005 and playing everywhere from the hippest cafés to festivals, cultural events, and even on the street. They are one of the most popular bands in Maldives and have toured extensively in Maldives, Srilanka, India, Malaysia, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, Dubai, China and Germany. They bring their unique high energy and virtuosic show to places all around the world.

Boduberu (Dhivehi : ބޮޑު ބެރު ) is similar to some of the songs and dances found in east and south west Africa. It is likely that the music was introduced to The Maldives by sailors from the Indian Ocean region. It may be said that Boduberu first made an appearance in The Maldives in the 11th Century AD, or possibly before that. Boduberu is performed by about 20 people, including three drummers and a lead singer. They are accompanied by a small bell, a set of drums also known as a bodu beru, and an onugandu - a small piece of bamboo with horizontal grooves, from which raspy sounds are produced by scraping. The songs may be of heroism, romance or satire. The prelude to the song is a slow beat with emphasis on drumming, and dancing. As the song reaches a crescendo, one or two dancers maintain the wild beat with their frantic movements ending in some cases in a trance. The costume of the performers is a sarong and a white short sleeved shirt. Boduberu evolved among the common citizens as an alternative to court music. In the early days, the people gathered together to perform Boduberu, and it became widely accepted as the music of the common people. The performing of the music is often referred as “vibrating the island”. A notable point about Boduberu is its noise and sometimes meaningless lyrics sung. The lyrics do not have a meaning, because it consists of a mixture of local, neighbouring and some African words. Today, meaningful songs written in the local language Dhivehi are sung to the rhythm of Boduberu. Boduberu is usually sung after a hard day’s work. The location is up to the performers. Today, Boduberu is an important item of entertainment at stage shows, celebrations and festivals.

Harubee cannot be talked about without mentioning the cultural relevance of the group. The art of bodu beru is one of the most representative facets of Dhivehi culture. Many of the songs circulating around the bodu beru scene are so old that their origins are lost entirely. Harubee represents a revitalising, and more importantly, a rebranding of everything bodu beru stands for. As a bodu berugroup of young people who charge their performances with a new energy that somehow runs parallel to the timelessness of the tradition, Harubee brings a progressiveness to the art that has not only been absent but hadn’t even been conceived of before. Bodu beru is cool again precisely because it’s not the way you remember it. Though they’ve earned the right to it, Harubee shuns their status as a super-band, instead choosing to celebrate their roots and the fans that make them who they are. This warmth translates into the performance as well as the energy that comes from their passion.

Harubee performs in a style of cross pollinated boduberu music and is one of the most thrilling young acts in the Maldives.

2010 MNBC Boduberu Challenge Champions

2011 MNBC Boduberu Challenge Champions

Youth Awards 2015 - Ibrahim Mamdhooh

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  • 17 July 2024 17:25 local time

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