Ashenda, Ashendye, Aynewari, Maria, Shadey, Solel,…Ethiopia
Representative List 2021
EN: Ashenda girls are not a mere group of playing girls. They do have members with their own respective roles and functions. They elect the chair who coordinates the celebration. The others take turn to be a dancer, drummer and singer.
EN: Girls collect the Ashenda leaves days before the festival, weave it into miniskirts themselves, or request their elders to weave for them, and wear it as a skirt below their waist, above their traditional clothes on the festival days.
EN: Shadey girls celebrating the festival plait their hair. Unmarried girls shave in the middle and braided on the skirts of the head. This hair style with shavings in the middle and plaited in peripheries of the head is called 'Game'.
EN: The girls beautify themselves by anointing a traditional powder lead (kuhli) on their eye brows and eye lids. They also heat up their hand and legs a steam named 'gurshet'. These enhance their looks and make them attractive.
EN: Once every Shenda girls is around and the group has warmed up with the initial singing and dancing, they stop by a nearby spring in order to wash themselves and clean physically and spiritually before entering into the church.
EN: The Aynewari girls, prior to any where, go to the nearby church early in the morning of the very first day of the festivity. Then, they rotate the church three times and leave, thanking their God with their songs.
EN: The Shadey girls go house to house in their community expressing their best wishes without any discrimination. They sing and dance in the same manner, no matter how much the households differ in possession, prestige or any other criterion.
EN: At each house, Ashendiye girls dance and sing songs that admire the husband and wife. As the family members get pleased by the songs, they bless or offer them traditional gifts. The girls express their gratitude for the gifts.
EN: Maria girls adorned with their colourful traditional clothes and ornaments, wearing the weaved Ashenda skirts, proceed across fields singing and dancing while moving their body from right to left and back that causes the tied Ashenda leaf to move.
EN: When the festival approaches to an end, girls start making promises to meet again next year. Some of the songs express the freedom they are bestowed during the celebration. They depart wishing 'May we meet again with much happiness and health'.