Friday, August 14, 2009

Please remember that this is NOT an exorcism

Last week through the recomendation of a friend in Zanzibar, I found myself at Makan in Cairo, for a performance of a strange and endangered style of music know in east africa and the mid east as Zar. Zar is ritual trance music performed mainly by women(unusual for musical activity in this part of the world), mainly for the purpose of warding off evil spirts, known broadly in this part of the world by the arabic word "jin"(genie in english). "Ward off" is perhaps the wrong way to put it, since it seems the goal of these ceremonies is to open up a dialogue with these spirits, and to diagnose the issues they reflect.