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A Kabyle musician with her Tam-Tam. Algeria, North Africa

A Kabyle musician with her Tam-Tam. Algeria, North Africa


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A Kabyle musician with her Tam-Tam. Algeria, North Africa

A female Kabyle musician sits cross-legged holding her Tam-Tam (a type of gong). The Kabyle are a Berber ethnic group originating from Kabilya in Northern Algeria. Date: circa 1910s

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Media ID 14373832

© The Roseries Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library

Algeria Algerian Berber Drum Drums Gong Instrument Instruments Kabyle Musician Wears


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this evocative photograph, a Kabyle musician gracefully holds a Tam-Tam, a traditional Berber gong, in the heart of Northern Algeria during the early 1910s. The Kabyle people, also known as Chaouia or Shawia, are an ethnic group indigenous to Kabilya, a mountainous region in Algeria. This image offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Kabyle people and their deep connection to music and rhythm. The musician wears intricately designed traditional clothing, reflecting the unique artistic traditions of her community. Her attire includes a flowing, embroidered robe, adorned with intricate patterns and colors, and a headscarf, known as a tassel veil or tassel headdress, which adds an elegant touch to her appearance. The Tam-Tam, a key instrument in Kabyle music, is held in both hands, with the musician's fingers poised to strike its smooth, metallic surface. The gong produces a deep, resonant sound when struck, and its vibrant tones have been an integral part of Kabyle music and storytelling for generations. This photograph captures the essence of a bygone era, showcasing the resilience and creativity of the Kabyle people in the face of cultural change. The image serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating the diverse cultural heritage of North Africa and its various ethnic groups. The Kabyle musician's expression is serene and focused, as she connects with the Tam-Tam and the rhythm that flows through her. The photograph invites us to appreciate the power of music as a universal language, transcending time and place, and offering a window into the soul of a people and their traditions.

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