In south Yemen — in Hadramawt — rituals have been preserved for hunting the ibex. The veneration of the mountain goat is shown by the numerous sculptures found by archaeologists in digs of pagan temples; and the pre Islamic nature of the ritual is proved by the ancient rock art depicting the hunt. In the Islamic era, zealots were not able to destroy the old tradition. In ancient times, hunters shot with a bow, until the middle of last century with matchlock muskets, and today with rifles. As in the past, after a successful hunt the hunters come singing songs to the place where a performance is held depicting episodes of the hunt, and poems are read. There is a clear resemblance between the ritual and Ancient Greek Dionysian mysteries, out of which the Greek theatre was born: the procession of the hunters is the choir, their leader is the demiurge, and the place of the performance is the stage. For the very word “tragedy” means “goat song” in Greek. To this day in Hadramawt it is believed that success in hunting an ibex brings prosperity for an entire year — until the next hunt.
Matchlock musket. Hadramawt.
1. Mould for casting bullets. Hadramawt.
2. Mould for casting four bullets. Hadramawt.
3. Three lead bullets. Hadramawt.
4. Powder container. Hadramawt.
Video (2.3 Мb)
About Exhibition | The Expeditions Are not Over | The Soviet‑Yemen complex expedition (SOYCE) | SOYCE: Studies on Hadramawt Antropology and Ethnography | IJMA= CONCORD | www.kunstkamera.ru