Iraqw Slufay

What is Slufay?

Slufay means ‘to praise.’ The slufay is ideally performed in the early morning at sunrise at the end of the party celebrating the first beer of the new harvest of millet. The ceremony is called i'yanto. Men and women sit around the beer inside a house.

The performer stands next to the open door so that light can fall on him. The sunlight is associated with God, since the word for God and the word for sun is the same, looa. The performer has grass (barsi) in his hand, as a symbol for peace. The slufay consists of an introduction in normal speech and a recited part. Strong wishes are spoken by the speaker, and the audience joins in saying ‘let it cool’ after each one.

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