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For centuries, the Jewish women of Cochin have been singing Jewish songs in the Malayalam language of Kerala, their ancient homeland on the tropical southwest coast of India. The 42 songs on this CD represent just a fraction of their traditional repertoire as preserved in more than 300 written texts, though the melodies of most of the songs have been forgotten. Until recently, the performance of these songs was in danger of being lost altogether with the immigration of almost all the Cochin Jews to Israel, where younger generations no longer understand Malayalam. Fortunately, a collaborative project is now under way, with a team of international scholars, studying and translating the songs, and a group of Cochin women dedicated to reviving their performance. This CD is one result of this collaboration.
Performers: Simcha Yosef, Hannah Yitzhak, Rahel Kala, Venus Lane, Sarah Cohen, Ruby S. Hallegua, Rahel Nehemia, Toba Sofer, Miriam Daniel, Leah E. Eliavoo, Rivka Yehoshua, Galia Hacco.