When Melodies Gather: Oral Art of the Mahra

Snakebite Chant (Mhr. rābūt/raʿbūt)

A few lines of a longer rābōt (alternative pronunciations: rābūt and raʿbūt), a specific type of improvised chant used to treat dangerous snakebites. This particular rābōt is performed by Ḳrāṭās Maʿwīḏ from the province of Dhofār in Oman. Ḳrāṭās’s voice in the recording isn’t very clear, so it was difficult to translate or transcribe more than the first three lines. The recording was made in Dhofār and circulated via cellphone. I transferred this digital file to my digital audio recorder in al-Ghaydha, 2008.

PoemTranslation
Refrain: be-ḥmōtIn the case of poison:
1) śerḫī bhīsThe knowledge I have inherited is for it [the snakebite]
(refrain)(refrain)
2) šī śnēǧI have the lineage [to treat it]
(refrain)(refrain)
3) ḥāṭṭī bhīsMy power/fortune is for it
 

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  1. Rabūt