Boduberu is the most popular traditional dance and music of the Maldives. The drum which is also called boduberu is made of hollowed coconut wood, slightly narrower at one end. The drumheads, traditionally made from manta ray skin or goatskin are stretched to produce the required sounds.
Traditionally performed by men, a boduberu troupe consists of 20 people. The group includes three drummers and a lead singer. The rest of the members of the group act as the chorus. The drumming and singing is accompanied by other smaller instruments such as a small cymbal and an onugan’du – a piece of bamboo with horizontal grooves, which is scraped with a stick to produce sounds.
Boduberu songs often start slow, and the tempo builds up as the song progresses leading to a crescendo towards the end. Two or three dancers from among the chorus take the floor. Their rhythmic movements intensify as the tempo builds up, leading them to a trancelike state. The dancers are often joined by members of the audience as the rhythm of the drums and the movement of the dancers seemingly draw them to join in.