Fabrication d'imzad à l'école.



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O make an Imzad requires about 6 – 7 days.  The materials used are of animal, vegetable and mineral origin.


Animal origin


In the old days the skin of a gazelle was the preferred material.  Nowadays goat-skin is more usual.


The horse-hair is prepared as follows: 

  • it is lightly greased
  • then placed in water and tannin for about a day
  • rinsed
  • rubbed with fine sand or with water to get rid of all the tannin and the grease


Vegetable origin

The gourd

This is from a climbing plant of the family cucurbitaceae, whose hollow fruit (the calabash or gourd) is cut while it is still green.  Emptied out and dried, it can then serve as a storage container, as well as for the sound-box of the imzad.

The wood

Fig-tree wood is highly-prized for the making of the imzad.  Otherwise, the wood of the oleander or the acacia will do.


Mineral origin

The dye colours:

The colours used come from powder which is dissolved in warm water to give the brightness of the dye.  Yellow and green colours are imported from Niger;  ochre comes from the quarries of Tamanrasset, and black is obtained by grinding down bits of metal (iron, nails etc)… in the first ‘rinsing’ of the ritual preparation of green tea.

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