Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Music of the Mountain Jews

This is another new one on me. Gorskiye Yevreyi. Mountain Jews. Juhuro. The Jews of the Caucus Mountains. According to Wikipedia, "their distant forefathers once lived in southwest Persia, the south-western part of present-day Iran. It was there that they adopted the Middle Persian language. The predecessors of the Mountain Jews settled in Caucasian Albania in the 5th–6th century and from that time on their history has been related to the mountains and the people of Azerbaijan and Dagestan." Wikipedia also notes that the Juhro suffered their own diaspora in the 1970's, with the majority of the population migrating to Israel, the US (Brooklyn), and Russia (Moscow).

Here are two videos highlighting their music. First, the requisite traditional piece. They have long musical tradition and I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. Then a contemporary piece. A bit bubblegum pop for my taste, but the singer Ayan is very popular and it's good to remember this is small but vibrant culture. No museum pieces here. In both it's interesting to hear the very evident Arabic influences.

Kavkazi Jewish Music.....Juhuro Kavkaz Gorskie Evrei Musika

Azerbaijan song / Ayan - Yag ey Yagish

Hat tip to YouTube users Kavkazipand and Kenanelekberov for the videos.

1 comment:

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