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A Study of Husa in Iraq

Issue 48
A Study of Husa in Iraq

Mohammed Al Khaldi – Iraq



The Most Important Highlight of This Paper:

First: The study proved that Husa is a tribal art that originated in the Euphrates countryside, specifically in the Diwaniyah and Samawah outskirts, and then moved to some cities in southern Iraq, such as Nasiriya, Amara, Basra and Kut.


Second: The study showed that Husa is one of the innovations of the mid-nineteenth century AD.


Third: The study confirmed that this art began with one hemistich called Husa, and then turned to a form similar to the “Abuthiyah”, which is a type of Bedouin poetry based on quartets.  Three lines of Husa usually rhyme and within the hemstitches, we find a repetition of identical initial consonant sounds in successive or closely associated syllables within a group of words. The fourth line concludes the Husa. In addition, this art can come in more than four hemstitches.

Fourth: The study proved that there is no relationship between the popular song (Uhzujah) and the art of Husa. They are two different patterns, with each having its own verse and performance.

Fifth: The study showed that the term “Al-Muhwasji”, which was common in previous eras, has been replaced by the term “Al-Mihwal”. We believe that this term is more appropriate than the previous.

Sixth: The study proved that the name Husa has nothing to do with the Arabic word “al hawas” (i.e. madness). This name came from colloquial Egyptian Arabic to mean the high sound of singing, which applies to the Iraqi Husa, which is performed in high tone and an unprecedented zeal.


Seventh: The study confirmed that this type of folk poetry was not composed in the western and northern areas of Iraq, specifically the province of Mosul.


Eighth: The study showed that the tribal ritual that involved dancing and performing Husa has lost some of its folkloric disposition, especially the disappearance of the manifestations of “Al Arada” that were accompanied by gunfire and flags.


Ninth: The study showed that after 2015 some Iraqi singers, especially young people, began to sing Husa in national and tribal songs accompanied by music, which takes Husa out of its traditional context.

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