The Omani Art Of A’zwa
It’s taking place on the heights of Fanja during Eid Al Adha. Starting with a parade of men, armed to the teeth with riffles and swords, singing while making their way up to the Fort through the narrow streets of the Village. According to the elder from the village, the tradition is 500 years old.
From the fort, the view is stunning, the Palm grove down the hill sparsed with rocky hills, houses and mosques seems have been defying the severe sun for years. By the time I am taking couple of pictures, the parade is arriving to the main square and people gather around the old canon which will be soon fired.
The excitement is palpable while the canon is being prepared. Filled with powder, the inition is down with coconut skins held with date dough.
Then, the shockwave. Hard to explain how the blast pierces you before you would ever be ready. The entire crowd jumps when the canon thunder. It’s an experience. An authentic testimony of what would be life years back when these canon where meant to protect.
Then the celebration resume, groups of men gather in compact circle and intone song to glory the Sultan and their history, followed by the A’zwa. The traditional sword dance performed by the elders of the village.
A unique experience, filled with smiles, authenticity, sympathy & brotherhood. Even with each man carrying weapon, I would never feel endanger. Firing riffles or guns is forbbiden by the Royal Omani Police, the weapons are just brought as a mark of a remarkable heritage tradition.
You should definatly not miss it f you have the opportunity to see an A’zwa celebration.