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 Zar practitioners in Egypt. The music is inspired by the three different styles musical styles of the Zar tradition practiced in Egypt. One of the African dimensions of Egypt, Zar music unfolds through rich poly-rhythmic drumming: it’s songs are distinctly different from other Egyptian music traditions. The music of Mazaher is inspired by the three different styles of Zar music practiced in Egypt-the Egyptian or Upper Egyptian Zar, Abu Gheit Zar and the Sudanese, or African Zar.Zar is a community healing ritual of drumming and dancing whose tradition is carried mainly by women (men have the secondary roles) and whose main participants are women.The Zar is said to have originated in East Africa and, although its practice is disappearing in Egypt, the ritual flourishes in other parts of East Africa and in the Arabian Peninsula.The ritual has been misperceived as a form of exorcism.
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