Album: Mamane Barka, Introducing..., (Introduction Records)

Michael Church
Sunday 02 August 2009 00:00

The biram is a giant, five-string, boat-shaped harp it takes two men to carry. This sacred instrument of a fishing tribe on Lake Chad has a rich, dark timbre, which, when accompanied by hand-drums and ululations, creates a unique ambience. Barka, a nomad of the Nigerian Toubou tribe, is its only surviving exponent: he graduated from the more common ngurumi, but has developed a repertoire going back centuries, singing of bravery, animals and the importance of the lake's life-giving water.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in