Egyptian women's tongue movement?

Watching all the news in Egypt, I was intrigued by the rapid tongue movements displayed by the womenfolk celebrating the disposal of Mubarak.

Not having come across it before, I was hoping some of my more learned Dopers could enlighten me with the name of this fascinating trick.


You mean the “Xena battle cry”?

OK, I don’t know what it’s really called in English, but it’s a very popular female cheer in the Middle East. You hear it a lot at weddings.


If you’d been to enough hippie festivals (that actually went the distance;)) you might have heard it before - they used to use it as a “lets all do some belly dancing” call at ConFest when I used to go (some time in the last century…)

That’s it! Thanks :slight_smile:

Darn, I was mislead by the thread’s title.

Can’t tell about the Middle East but it’s very popular in North Africa (not a religious thing, families of Jewish North African origins do it too).

While I am usually the best at making vocal sound effects, and tend to be able to make all the sounds in any language, this is one sound I’ve never been able to do.

And the description in the Wikipedia article doesn’t help. I just come out with something that sounds like glaglagla.

I was a big Xena fan back in the day, and her battle cry was indeed inspired by Middle Eastern ululation. I do remember reading an interview with actress Lucy Lawless where she said her version was not really “authentic”, as it involved an up-and-down tongue movement (which she found easier) instead of side-to-side.

Tinariwen often include this in their music, there is some here at 1’15" on this YouTube video.
Not as prevalent or clear as they usually do - I have seen them live a couple of times and they are stupendous and the ululations very pronounced.

A better example here
This was the first introduction I had to them, on a late night TV program.
I found them astounding and hadn’t a clue what they were.

You’ll find it across a swath of the world going from West Africa to India.

A little anecdote…one day I am wandering the streets of Timbuktu when I see a crowd of brightly dressed women gathered on the edge of a street in the sun, waiting for something. They see me and quickly wave me over, to be a part of the crowd. I join, and within minutes they start ululating and cheering. They motion for me to join the celebrations, so I start cheering, too.

When it died down, I asked what I was cheering about. “Oh,” said one of my friends, “Today that little girl over there got circumcized!”

:eek: Oops!