el oud along the silk road
While walking through a suk in Cairo, I turned in to Mohammed Ali Street, once known as the main artery of Oud craftsmanship in Cairo. Today the Oud-makers of Mohammed Ali street are on the verge of disappearing. Working in modest but highly organized spaces, the six men I documented had created a unique space of creativity, allowing them to continue selling Ouds made from raw materials.
Construction of the Oud used to be a thriving enterprise on Mohammed Ali St. in Cairo, a bustling strip once famous for its Oud shops. Today, the extensive labor and craftsmanship required in the manual production of the Oud is considered so costly that the art and trade of the Oud craftsmen are on the verge of disappearing.
The Egyptian Oud is an important sign of cultural exchange throughout the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East, and its variations were existent in almost every ancient culture. Historically, the Oud travelled for centuries along the original Silk Road Route, taking on different shapes, sizes, and sounds as it made contact with divergent local musical traditions.
Variations of the Oud can also be found today in Armenia, Greece, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. From this perspective, the Oud in its current form in Egypt is evidence of the historical sharing between nations in their pursuit of musical expression.
Owner: Dominik Huber
Size: 22 items