Saman World Festival 2017: 10001 Dancers


Saman (or the "Dance of Thousand Hands") is an ancient seated percussive dance of the Gayo ethnic group from Gayo Lues, Aceh province, Sumatra. The dance is inspired by the movements of nature and is usually performed to celebrate important occasions, such as weddings. Saman is known for its fast and synchronised rhythmic movements between dancers and its spiritual character. No instruments are used, and music is produced by solely by voice and body percussion.

On November 24,  2011, UNESCO officially recognised Saman as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in urgent need of safeguarding. In celebration of this recognition, the Government of Gayo Lues declared 24 November as World Saman Day and continues to preserve and promote Saman worldwide.

Read more of Saman in "In search of Saman".

We are dedicated to cultivating and upholding values of humanity, dignity, peace and sustainability in Aceh and Southeast Asia.