Udabela: If married women or graduates (midabe) of another domba were present during the performance of a domba dance, they may have wished to dance with the novices. They expressed their different social status by moving independently of the domba chain (deu), and outside it. Their movement was called -dabela. Following the beat of the tenor drum, they stepped four paces to every repeat of the total drum pattern. They stepped forward casually, left-right-left-right, completing the movement with a forward swing of the left leg. Swinging back the left leg, and placing it on the ground, they moved back, left-right-left-right, and completed the movement with a backward swing of the left leg. They followed this forward/backward sequence in such a way that each move forward began a little in front of the starting point of the previous movement.

Dance steps

When they performed udabela, women usually danced in pairs or in groups of four, and both clockwise and anti-clockwise, so that if there were many of them, they continuously passed 'though' each other.

Elderly women performing udabela during a domba dance.

Video Clip

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