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Artas Folklore Troupe

Contributed by Artas Folklore Center on 08.04.2012:

Note: Abu Lutfi, head of the Artas Folklore Troupe, passed away November 18, 2014. With his passing, much has been lost. However, the youth continue to train and perform.


The Artas Folklore Center has its own prize-winning Folklore Troupe,”Ihya al Turath” presided over by Abu Lutfi, an Artas Farmer, who trains village youth and other debka troupes in the area. The troupe has a wide repetoire, which it was able to demonstrate in the Medi-Terra Festival in Crete in 2005, thanks to Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation. The troupe was given a questionnaire about their music. The huge popularity of the Artas Folklore Troupe at the Medit-Terra Festival, their responses to the questionnaire and other aspects of their work are mentioned in a 2011 book entitled Contested Mediterranean Spaces: Ethnographic Essays in Honour of Charles Tilly

By Maria Kousis, Tom Selwyn, David Clark.

The troupe is best known for its white robes and adherence to the tradition, but youthful demands has caused it to broaden its offerings as well. The troupe performs at the Artas Lettuce Festival and other village events, as well as other events in the area and beyond, including weddings. The Troupe also provides training to youth of other organizations, as it did for example in the Arab Educational Institute’s 2005 Summer School of Communication. Arrangements to see the trip during a visit to Artas can be made with the Artas Folklore Center, while private events can be arranged directly with Abu Lutfi. See Contact Artas Folklore Center page for current contact information.

See below image for more about the Artas Folklore Troupe and some video clips.[[picture:”.” ID:434]]

Abu Sanad, a member of the Artas Folklore Troupe Ihya al Turath, taught himself to play the rababa when his father had brought one back from Lebanon as decoration.

Questionnaire for the Artas Folklore Center by Eleni Kallimopoulou for the Medi Terra Project

Medi-Terra:Music across Lands – 2005 – Artas Folklore Troupe

Contested Mediterranean Spaces: Ethnographic Essays in Honour of Charles Tilly

By Maria Kousis, Tom Selwyn, David Clark.

Video Clips of the Artas Folklore Troupe

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After a 2006 Ramadan Iftar held at the Artas Folklore Center Abu Sanad plays the flute, while Abu Lutfi praises guests in the traditional manner in the little courtyard outside the Artas Folklore Center. The guests then all climb the few steps to the Arab-style seating area where Abu Sanad plays on the rababa, a one-stringed traditional instrument, and improvises verbal accompaniment to fit the guests present. Abu Lutfi and young members of the Artas Folklore Troupe dance two at a time in the tiny space, spurred on by the enthusiastic rhythmic clapping of the crowd.

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