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Mazaher is an ensemble in which women play a leading role. The musicians of Mazaher, Umm Sameh, Umm Hassan, Nour el Sabah are among the last remaining Zār (زار) practitioners in Egypt.[1]

Zār is a community healing ritual of drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried on mainly by women (men have the secondary roles) and whose main participants are women.

A featured instrument in the Zār ritual is the tanbūra, a six-string lyre, which, like the Zār practice itself, exists in various forms in an area stretching across East Africa to the Arabian Peninsula.[2] Although this sacred instrument is pictured on the walls of tombs and temples of Pharaonic Egypt, the practice of Zār in ancient Egypt is still a matter of conjecture. Other instruments are the mangour, a leather belt sewn with many goat hooves, and various percussion instruments.[2]


  1. ^ "Egyptian ensemble channels mystic energy". Dawn. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  2. ^ a b Poché, Christian (2001). Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. xxv (2 ed.). London: Macmillan. pp. 62–63. 

External links[edit]

  • Mazaher at Egyptian Center for Culture and Art