Genres You Will Love
World: World Traditions World: African Moods: Type: Acoustic

By Location
Egypt United States - Washington DC

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Otaak Band

Otaak Band is the collaboration of Miguel Merino, from Indiana, USA, and Ahmed Said Abuamna from Eastern Sudan, who met in 2009 in Cairo. Ahmed Said is from the Beja, a tribe indigenous to the area between the Nile and the Red Sea, and a master of the Beja’s traditional instrument, the masankop, played since the time of the Pharaohs. Upon meeting him, Miguel took an immediate interest in it and started playing with Ahmed Said’s guidance. In August of 2011, Miguel invited Ahmed Said to Cairo to record an album of original and traditional masankop music, all with words in the Beja language. This album, "Bejawiya," is the first of its kind using this instrument, and features the entire history of the instrument, from the oldest traditional Beja songs, such as "W'annaafi" and "Yhaab Yhaaba," to the country-rock of "Ogna" and the Sudanese-inspired but original melodies of "Daleeb" and "Ifaarsa." Otaak Band brings the masankop and Beja culture to the world, showing how Beja traditions have evolved through the band's music. More information can be found at