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Title: WIRSHATO: THE GOURD-SMASHING CEREMONY
Authors: ABDULMUHEIMEN, Abdulnassir
Keywords: Wirshato ceremony
Islamic rituals
Harar
Ethiopia
Issue Date: Mar-2010
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 41
Start page: 149
End page: 151
Abstract: On Ashura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram, Hararis celebrate Wirshato, a gourd-smashing ceremony that commemorates the prohibition of alcohol indicated by the Prophet Muhammad. During the ceremony, young boys run around the city holding sticks and singing the Wirshato song; when they enter the house compounds, they are given traditional gourds, habitually employed to contain liquids. The boys hence smash the gourd with their sticks and make toys out of the broken pieces, to symbolize the benefits that derive by breaking bad habits. Other members of the community take part in the festivities by donating gourds and by feasting on porridge to usher in abundance for the coming year. This brief paper will show how the activities surrounding the Wirshato ceremony in Harar are concerned with the concept of renewal and are derived from Islamic and customary sources.
DOI: 10.14989/108276
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/108276
Appears in Collections:41 (Preserving Local Knowledge in the Horn of Africa)

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