Once banned from the airwaves, the Tunisian bagpipe has made a comeback.
Known locally as a “mizwad“, this traditional Tunisian instrument is made from two cow horns connected to pieces of river reed and a goatskin bag for producing the unique sound.
“The “mizwad” must be made from natural elements. The reed, the one of good quality, comes from the seaside. The reservoir should be natural [from goatskin, Ed.] while the wooden components are made by a carpenter. Otherwise, the rest is all natural. There are manufacturers who use plastic components, but those [‘mezoued’] have no soul like the natural ones”, said Khaled ben Khemis, a Tunisian craftsman specialising in making this instrument.
The “mizwad” is now embraced by a new generation of artists, infusing its sound into new musical styles, such as rap, jazz and hip hop.
“The “mizwad” is gaining popularity around the world thanks to the new generation which is contributing to this. There are musicians from abroad who call on us to merge their music with ours and share many [projects] with us. I hope that the “mizwad” will become known worldwide. It won’t be for tomorrow or the day after, but we’re making progress little by little”, affirmed Montassar Jebali, a Tunisian musician fusing the traditional sound of the “mizwad” with more urban sounds.
Source: Africa News