The Arghoul, Kawala, Mizmar, and Magrona are traditional wind instruments that are slowly disappearing from Egyptian popular and folk music. Observation of the making and playing of these “dying” instruments means understanding the effects of modernity in the Middle East. In select villages in the Delta region on the outskirts of Cairo, craftsmen work in natural surroundings and use raw material found in nature to produce these wind instruments — organic processes that go back three thousand years.
Many of the men we approached in the Delta villages of the district of Menouf, who make and play instruments, continue a line of craftsmanship practiced by their forefathers. Of the few musicians left that know how to play these instruments, only a handful have been able to make this a professional career. In modern Egyptian music, such as Shabi, the few compositions that incorporate these wind instruments must use the help of these few surviving musicians. The musicians and makers photographed and interviewed for this publication are unique in that they have built themselves into a type of cooperative where the part and the whole are near indistinguishable.
Special thanks for their help and guidance in fieldwork & research:
Prof. Ahmed Maghraby and the Egyptian Center for Culture and Art (ECCA)/ Makan.
Text by Atreyee Phukan.
Owner: Dominik Huber
Size: 4 items
(81 items total)