Origins of the Lebanese Dabké

Photo and text: Gass Kodsi on Facebook.
Sir Gardener Wilkinson about the Phoenician dance

THE DANCE-Historic Illustrations of Dancing from 3300 B.C. to 1911 A.D.
Phoenician ,Egyptian, Assyrian, Hebrew Dancing.

Description of Dancing from Sir Gardener Wilkinson; of the Egyptian Pipes and Hieroglyphics of Dancing, &c. Phoenician Round Dances, from a Limestone Group found at Cyprus, and Bronze Patera from Idalium, Cyprus.

Of the Phoenicians, we have some illustrations of their dance, which was apparently of a serious nature , judging by the examples which we possess, such as that from Cyprus representing three figures in hooded cowls dancing around a piper. It is a dance around a centre, as is also that from Idalium in Cyprus. The latter is engraved around a bronze bowl and is evidently a planet and sun dance before a goddess, in a temple; the sun being the central object around which they dance, accompanied by the double pipes, the harp, and tabour. The ASSYRIANS ( presently known as syrians of whom Syria Got its name ) , their neighbours , probably danced as much as the other nations, but amongst the many monuments that have been discovered there is little dancing shown, and they were evidently more proud of their campaigns and their hunting than of their dancing. A stern and strong people, although they undoubtedly had this amusement, we know little about it.

From the Phoenicians we have illustrated examples, but no record, whereas from their neighbours the Hebrews we have ample records in the Scriptures, but no illustrations. It is, however, most probable that the dance with them had the traditional character of the nations around them or who had held them captive…


في بحثه عن طقوس الحضارات القديمة من خلال الرقص , مستنداً على مخطوطات، رسومات وآثار، يكشف السير جاردينر. ويلكنسون Sir Gardener Wilkinson
عن قطع أثرية تعود للفينيقيين ومنها نصب بطول 6.5 انش
وايضاً Cyprus وجدت في Bronze Patera ،صفهم يرقصون بحلقات دائرية حول الالهة والشمس يرقصون حولها ويتوسّطهم عازف على ألة موسيقية، غالباً المزمار المزدوج او آلة ايقاعية او الاثنين معاً.

بمقارنة بين رقص الفينقيين والدبكة اللبنانية، الراقصين يرتدون زيّا مشتركاً كذلك الراقصات، يتناوبون في الوقوف (رجل ثم امرأة) وترافقهم مجموعة من العازفين في الصورتين (عازف للمزمار وعازف على الة الدّفّ) كما يعتلي لوحة الرقص الفينيقي جرة من المرجّح انها تحتوي على نبيذ (اذ ان الفينيقيين اشتهروا بصناعة النبيذ) ملاحظة : القبغات التي يعتمرها الراقصين الرجال هي نفسها التي كان يعتمرها الفينيقيون والمشهورة بشكلها الهرمي من الفينيقيين نملك آثار ورسومات ولكن لا سجلاّت مكتوبة (فالكثير من سجّلات الفينقيين تحلّلت بسبب رطوبة المناخ) بينما من العبرانيين جيرانهم نملك كتابات كثيرة ولكن لا رسومات. ولكن على الارجح ان رقصهم كان يحمل الطابع التقليدي للشعوب التي كانت تحيط بهم او التي كانوا اسرى لديها وبعض المؤرخين يخبرون انهم يملكون طقوس رقص للفصول. رقصهم يبدو مقرون بالفرح كما هو مذكور في كتبهم.

اما عن الاشوريين (اي السوريين وبعض العراقيين اليوم الذين استمدّت سوريا اسمها منهم) جيران الفينيقيين، كما يذكر جاردنر ولكنسون، يصفهم بالشعب الصارم والمتشدد وهم بدون شك كانوا اكثر فخراً بغزواتهم الحربية والصيد.


3 thoughts on “Origins of the Lebanese Dabké

  1. Marhaba Dani, I don’t think the texts in the article are produced by Gass himself. He just translated an original article. This matter of Assyrians and Assyria; Canaanites and Amorites, Arameans and Pheonicians; are somehow confusing, specially when you read history. We on Kadmous would appreciate any article, written by you maybe, which could explain to our visitors in simple English the differences and the common in the history of these wonderful civilizations.


  2. Just to mention that Assyria as a state was located in the eastern Side of the Euphrates river.
    I don’t know who is this suspicious Gass Kodsi but he is certainly not a Historian.
    The Canaanites lived in the inland with the Amorites back to 2000 BC and we all know very well that the Arameans have spread heavily in the Mountains of Lebanon.


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