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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Prince Hall Shriners Riding (Doing The Camel Walk)

Edited by Azizi Powell

Latest revision- September 3, 2019

This Zumalayah post showcases a few examples of Prince Hall Affiliated (PHA) Shriners' riding. Selected comments from one of these videos' discussion threads are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all the Prince Hall Affiliated Shriners who are featured in this post. Thanks also to those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the producers of these videos on YouTube.

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DISCLAIMER:
I have no affiliation or direct or indirect contact with any member of the A.E.A.O.N.M.S. (Shriners) or with any other Masonic or Shriner organization.

As indicated above, this information is posted for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

Additions and corrections to this information are very welcome.

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ZUMULAYAH EDITOR'S NOTE
As a result of watching some YouTube videos and reading their comment threads, I've recently learned that there are other predominately Black Shriner organizations besides Prince Hall Affiliated Shriners. I also recently learned that although the performance dance/strolling movement called "riding" is considered a PHA Shriner tradition, some members of those mostly Black non-PHA Shriner organizations may also perform "riding" steps/dances. According to comments that I have read in those videos' discussion threads, those performances are done differently than PHA Shriners and, unlike the PHA Shriner tradition, sometimes those performances include women.

Because my intention was and still is to document the Prince Hall Affiliated Shriners' tradition of riding, I've substantially revised those posts because they showcased videos of riding performances by non-Prince Hall affiliated organizations and published this post which has added content.

I apologize for any confusion that may have occurred as a result of previous versions of this post.

Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/09/videos-of-camel-walk-dance-shriners.html for a earlier pancocojams post entitled "The Camel Walk" Dance & Shriners "Riding" Camel Walk Strut". That post includes descriptions of the camel walk dance, three videos of different styles of the camel walk dance, as well as two videos of Shriners who I believe are Prince Hall Affiliated Shriners.

Also, click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/09/prince-hall-affiliated-shriners-riding.html for a September 3, 2019 post that contains the same content of this post and the above mentioned 2017 pancocojams post along with additional content in its comment section.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRINCE HALL SHRINERS
The formal name for the Prince Hall Shriners is the "Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine". (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.) This Black fraternal organization is called "Prince Hall Shriners" ("PHA") in part to distinguish them from "mainstream" Shriners who are predominately White.

Prince Hall (1735 – 1807) was an African American noted as a tireless abolitionist, for his leadership in the free black community in Boston, and as the founder of Prince Hall Masonry (in 1775). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Hall)

The Prince Hall Shriners were founded in 1893.

"The Camel Walk" has been at least informally adopted as a signature group march of the Prince Hall Shriners. That fraternal organization's adoption of the "Camel Walk" for their processionals is likely because the camel is connected with the Shriners' (both "mainstream and PHA). As part of their Middle Eastern theme, the members of the Prince Hall Shriners are called "Nobles" & they are known for wearing tasseled fezzes. The Prince Hall Shriners' chapters are called "temples" & the terms "oasis" is used for the city and "desert" is used for the state that a specific temple (for instance, Arabia Temple #12, Black Stone Disciples, Oasis of Portsmouth Desert Of Virginia.)

The Prince Hall Shriners’ performance of the Camel Walk dance is called "riding". A version of the 1983 song "White Horse" by Jim Stahl and John Guldberg of the Danish duo Laid Back appears to be the (at least unofficial) anthem of the Prince Hall Shriners' riding. I believe that "White Horse" is used as the go-to record for the PHA Shriners' anthem for the processional strutting/dancing performance that they call "riding" because of the word "ride" in that song's lyrics and because of the song's very danceable beat and not because of the meaning of the term "white horse" (cocaine) in that record.

Click http://www.aeaonms.org/about.htm and http://www.sinai59.org/DomainHistory.htm for information about the PHA Shriners.
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwATF5dnfq4 for a sound file of the 1983 record "White Horse".

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FEATURED VIDEOS
(These videos are presented in chronological order based on the date of their YouTube posting, with the oldest dated videos posted first.) Selected comments from a few of these videos' discussion threads are also included in this post.

Warning: The "Ride The White Horse" record that appears to be routinely used for the Shriners' "riding" custom contains the repeated word "b**tch". Although this blog usually doesn't feature any videos that contains profanity, I'm including these videos in the interest of documenting a few video examples the Prince Hall Shriners (PHA) tradition of "riding".

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Example #1: Noble Ride Out @ Savannah State University



hotsoup1969, Published on Nov 2, 2008

Rabia 8 Nobles of The Mystic Shrine Rides it Out At Savannah State Homecoming 2008

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Example #2: Ahmed Temple #37



Princess314, Published on Oct 10, 2010

Riding Clyde...PLEASE NOTE, if you don't like it, and don't agree, then don't watch it and take your negative comments with you.
********People didn't know how to read and/or follow directions so I removed the comment section. God Bless!************

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Example #3: Golconda Temple No. 24 Nobles camel walking into the formal dinner dance



Uploaded by bks2295 on Mar 7, 2011

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Example #4: NOBLES

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MrMyPushUps, Uploaded on Mar 18, 2011

ARABIA TEMPLE#12
BLACK STONE DISCIPLES
OASIS OF PORTSMOUTH DESERT OF VA
Party At The Shriners
Deep South Shriners-PHA (A.E.A.O.N.M.S)
-snip-
Here are selected comments from this video's discussion thread:
1. rwshelby, 2009
"I see you Nasty Nobles........Ryde Owt Nasty Nobles"

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2. NOBLEGREEN54, 2009
"Now That's how NOBLES ride!!!"

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3. mike08832, 2009
"Ride it out NOBLES!!!! LMBO"

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4. Golconda #24 Newark, NJ
Nawlinsfanforlife, 2011
"Nothing like Nobles making their presence felt!
Oro Temple #9 El Paso, Texas"

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5. Bradley Warren-EL, 2011
"Ryde Clyde!!!! Looking good nobles!!! Who Ya Wit!!!1 MOOOOOOLLLLLLAAAAAHHHHHH Memphis, TN"

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6. Edward Jones, 2011
"Get it Nobles. Greetings from the Dessert of Texas, Oasis of San Antonio"

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7. Renoaldo Spells, 2012
"Wats up bro this is Wildhog #16 your line bro Take me to Mecca!!!!!!!!"

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8. bigrider2806, 2012
"as an English Freemason with no knowledge relating to any of this i would be so grateful if someone would explain a little for me ."

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REPLY
9. T James, 2012
"@bigrider2806 Its just some thing that Prince Hall Shriners do, like part of the culture in the group"

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REPLY
10. FET Engineer
"bigrider2806 it's called "fun" and "fellowship"... enjoying themselves our way and there's nothing wrong with that. "
-snip-
I've read a few other comments that allude to the esoteric meaning of PHA Shriner riding beyond its entertainment and socializing purposes. To summarize one comment that I read on another YouTube discussion thread, PHA Shriners' riding symbolizes the three wise men (who were nobles) visiting and honoring the new born baby Jesus.

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11. Klark Kent, 2013
"Gitty clyde up!"
-snip-
PHA Shriners's "riding" appears to also be referred to as "riding Clyde". "Gitty" is a form of the phrase "Giddy up"- a command for a horse to move forward.

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12. Ronald Hargrove, 2015
"@SSGT Flavor Princehall is King, the noble are just riding. If it want for masonry it want be no franternities"
-snip-
I can't find the comment from SGT Flavor, but I presume from the response that that comment questioned the similarities between riding and fraternity strolling or stepping.

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Example #5: Nobles Camel Walk



LB9139, Published on Oct 2, 2013

Kuwat Temple #7 Oasis of Grambling Desert of Louisiana

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Thanks for visiting zumalayah.

Foot Stomping Dances Around The World

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents videos of footstomping dance movement from various nations around the world.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

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FEATURED VIDEOS
(These videos are presented in no particular order).

Example #1: Gumboot Dancers in Cape Town



simonleherUploaded on Jul 27, 2007

Filmed in Cape Town January 2007, these Gumboot Dancers were brilliant!

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Example #2: 10th Pacific Festival of Arts - Fiji 2



jkb1904Uploaded on Apr 13, 2009

Dancers from Fiji at the 10th Pacific Festival of Arts in American Samoa, 2008.

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Example #3: Mogwana Dance Troupe - Botswana



Rouvanne van den Berg, Uploaded on Feb 18, 2007

The Mogwana Dance Troupe is a group of professional artistes based in Gaborone, Botswana.

They specialise in traditional music, song and dance of indigenous ethnic groups of Botswana and the southern Africa in general.

This dance is commonly known as Phathisi, referring to the pieces of skin and rags tied to the legs which are slapped to sound like a drum. It is generally performed in happy times, such as at harvest, by herd-boys.

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Example #4:
Alpha Kappa Alpha 1st Place Winners for Chicago Sprite Step Off [United States]



Gowhere Hip Hop, Uploaded on Jan 25, 2010

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Example #5:
WSSU CHEERLEADERS GETTIN' CRUNK



ORIGINALCHEERPHI, Uploaded on Feb 22, 2008

WSSU CHEERLEADERS SHOWING U HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE AT THE ULTIMATE CHEER & DANCE EXPERIENCE TRIAD HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADING COMPETITION 2007
-snip-
WSSU = Winston Salem State University (North Carolina, USA)

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RELATED LINKS

Click this link to a zumalayah post: http://zumalayah.blogspot.com/2013/04/indlamu-dance-that-ladysmith-black.html

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos, to the producers of these videos, and to the video's publishers on YouTube.

Thanks for visiting zumalayah.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Venda Python Dance (information & videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides brief information about the Venda people of Southern Africa. This post also provides information and features selected YouTube videos of the traditional python dance which is performed by the Venda people of Southern Africa.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, and aesthetic purposes. A portion of this post was published on my pancocojams to show the similarities between the python line formation and the probate entrance marches that are common to historically Black (African American) Greek lettered sororities. Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/01/similarities-between-venda-python-dance_7.html for that post.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

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EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT ADDING COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG
With considerable regret, I have disabled the comment feature on this blog (and on my other blogs except for https://pancocojams.blogspot.com, because of the large number of spam comments that I received on those blogs.

Comments for those blogs can be sent to my email address azizip17 dot com at yahoo dot com for possible inclusion in a specific post on those blogs.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE VENDA
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venda_people [hereafter given as Wikipedia- Venda]
"The Venda (Vhavhenda or Vhavgona) are a Southern African people living mostly near the South African-Zimbabwean border. When the bantustan of Venda received nominal independence in 1973, their population stood at 200 000.[citation needed] In 1996, there were 600 000 Venda speakers.[citation needed] The 2001 census revealed that there were 800 000 Venda speakers in South Africa, while the 2011 census indicated 3.5 million speakers of the language in South Africa..."

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INFORMATION ABOUT DOMBA (INITIATION RITUAL) AND THE PYTHON DANCE
From Wikipedia - Venda:
"The Domba is a pre-marital initiation, the last one in the life of a Venda girl or boy. The chief or sovereign will 'call' a domba and preparations are made by the families for their girls to be ready and to prepare what’s necessary to attend the ceremony (entry fees for the ruler, clothes and bangles).

Historically girls used to stay with the chief for the whole duration (3 months to 3 years) of the initiation; nowadays because of schooling, girls only spend weekends at the ruler’s kraal.

This rite of passage was attended by both girls and boys after each individual had previously attended other separated initiations dedicated to one’s gender; Vhusha and Tshikanda for girls and Murundu for boys (the circumcision done during this rite has been introduced by Vhalemba). Since the missionaries decided that mixing males and females in the same ceremony was immoral...

Various rituals are particular to the Venda and certain aspects are kept secret and not discussed with westerners, however, it is known that the python dance, conducted at the female coming of age ceremony (iconic to the Limpopo region) is usually where the chief chooses a wife...

Girls and boys dance fluidly, like a snake, to the beat of a drum, while forming a chain by holding the forearm of the person in front. Once a wife has been chosen a set of courtship and grooming rituals take place over a number of days.-snip-
-snip-
To clarify, female and males perform the python dance separately.

Additional comments about the python dance that is performed at the Domba are found below the video that is given as "Video #1" in this post.

Two of the YouTube videos of that dance (given here as Videos #1 & #2) show the female in the front of the line with one or both of her hands held out to suggest a snake's head. The faces of the females in the line are expressionless and their eyes are closed. Each woman behind the woman at the head of the line lays her head on the back of the woman in front of them. The impression I got from the dance that the woman were very tired and were slowly walking forward in their sleep. Occassionaly, the right arms and then the left arms of the entire group rhythmically undulate in a synchronized manner as the group slowly proceeds across the floor.

Judging from current YouTube videos of historically Black Greek lettered sororities the line formation described above but without the undulating arms appears to be used rather often as the entrance procession for most Black Greek lettered sorority probates. Although I'm not certain of this, the sorority that least often appears to use this locked arms, very close contact formation for its probates is Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The names of the other three historically Black Greek lettered sororities are given in the video section below.

I've not reviewed many videos of the five historically Black Greek lettered fraternities to determine if each of those organizations have a similar close contact formation for their probates or their other members. However, I came across this video of a similar formation by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdgwjN11AyY". In this video the men stand very close together with locked arms and without moving away from their spot. The first man in line doesn't fold his hands in a triangle position, and the men after the first person in line don't lay their head on the person in front of them.

VIDEOS OF THE VENDA PYTHON DANCE (AT VENDA DOMBAS)
Video #1: Domba



bigbluemeanie, Uploaded on Nov 9, 2006

The famous Domba initiation dance of the Venda tribe of Southern Africa
-snip-
Here are two comments from this video's viewer comment thread:
filato22, 2010
you can say that again its more zululized than venda. proudly venda
-snip-
bigbluemeanie, 2012
..."Domba was the third and final phase in Venda girls' initiation, which should have been attended after a girl had been to vhusha and tshikanda. It took place every three to five years at the head-quarters of chiefs and certain senior headman, and lasted for about one year. Its importance to the Venda was marked by the use of the bass drum (ngoma), which was also used in tshikona, the Venda national dance. There were a number of special rites and shows associated with domba…

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Video #2: UMOJA - The Spirit of Togetherness Part 2



Mrbobodigital, Uploaded on Mar 23, 2011
-snip-
The Domba dance is from 2:17 to 3:50 of this video.

The description of this dance given as a subtitle in this video is "initiation dance for young women when they reach womenhood".

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Video #3: Domba La Africa



dombalaafrica, Uploaded on Feb 26, 2010

Traditional Dance Group based in Soweto. Founded by the Late Co-founder of the Soweto Gospel Choir and Musical Director David Mulovhedzi
-snip-
The Domba dance is performed in this video from .53 to 1:01 and the video ends with a still photograph of that dance.

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Video #4: venda dance



nkosiafrika, Uploaded on May 13, 2010

great va venda mothers proudly dance @a wddng in soweto south africa

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RELATED VIDEOS
Here are links to two other traditional Venda dances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e-hSuDsDc0

Venda women perform Malende traditional dance

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVkQFhdp3Y
Tshikona traditional Venda dance

Note: These links aren't meant to imply that these are the only other traditional Venda dances.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND THANKS
Thanks to all those featured in these videos. My thanks also to the producers of these videos and their publishers on YouTube.

Thanks for visiting zumalayah.

Zumalayah showcases videos of dances & singing games done in circles or in lines, and other movement performance arts from African American culture, from African cultures, and from other cultures of the African Diaspora.

Visitor commentsa are welcome.