Haebaru Town revives traditional performance of Haberu moui for the first time in 64 years

Haebaru Town revives traditional performance of <em>Haberu moui</em> for the first time in 64 years

On January 11 at the Motobu Children's Hall in Haebaru, junior high school and high school students danced "Haberu moui."


January 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On January 11 at the Motobu District of Haebaru Town, a traditional performance of “Haberu moui” was performed at a New Year’s party held at the Children’s Hall for the first time in 64 years since 1950. Many people visited the hall to see the revival of the traditional performance. Residents applauded and cheered the junior high school and high school students who performed the dance.

Haberu moui is a courtship dance in which two women perform as flowers and two men play the part of butterflies. After finding pictures of the 1950 dance contest two years ago, residents of the district have prepared to revive the dance.

Senior residents who performed in 1950 taught the students the dance. Two male students performed the butterfly dance last September.

Eighty-two-year-old Seiji Nohara who coached them, said, “Their dance is not perfect yet, but it is much better than at the beginning. If there are more chances to perform, they will do better.”

Nana Yakabi who played a flower said, “I have practiced Ryukyuan dance, but it was difficult because I need to position my hand at a different height. I was nervous in the beginning because I had to perform the traditional dance of the district.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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