Awris is a type of dance originating from Abi Adi and the surrounding Tembien region. It has been described as imitating the movements of a hen and rooster but we also heard a story that it originates from people having to jump from rock to rock in the stony surroundings of this part of the world. Whatever the case it is an intriguing dance.
There are two people in the centre of a circle; one person (usually a woman) crosses their arms and makes small movements while often turning their back on the other person, meanwhile the other dancer (usually a man) is making outlandish and huge movements with their arms and legs – basically showing off. After a while either dancer can be replaced by a new participant, who pushes the old dancer away and takes their turn to try to impress their new dance partner.
Here are two videos. One was taken at the graduation ceremony, while the other one shows elementary school children practicing the dance during a visit we made to Abi Adi elementary school.
You can see more videos on the videos page of this website.