The book Ancient Egypt’s Lost Legacy? The Buduma Culture of Lake Chadis now available for free download on World Music Network’s website.
This work is the result of years of research by Guy Immega, a retired aerospace engineer that worked on a Peace Corps medical team in Africa from 1966 to 1968. While living in the village of N’Guigmi in eastern Niger, he built a boat to survey schistosomiasis (a parasitic disease) in Lake Chad. While sailing on the lake, he came into contact with the Buduma people in their home environment. Now, forty-five years later his stay he has been able to connect Buduma and Ancient Egypt cultures with his research. But most importantly, he has recorded what is left of Buduma culture, which has become increasingly endangered due to the shrinking and drying up of Lake Chad.
The book features a a chapter on music and legends of the Buduma contributed by World Music Network artist Mamane Barka, the only master of the five-stringed boat shaped harp biram in the world since his Buduma master Boukar Tar passed away in 2006. Barka, a Toubou nomad from east Niger, received an Unesco scholarship in 2002 to travel to Lake Chad and learn the Buduma traditions and revive the sacred biram harp. Master Boukar Tar agreed not only to teach him the secrets of the instrument and the meanings of mystical songs’ lyrics, but gave him his last biram as a gift, asking him to promote it all over the world. Since then Mamane Barka maintains the tradition single-handedly, bringing the boat-shaped instrument to the attention of the wider world with his own blend of desert blues. World Music Network released his album Introducing Mamane Barka in 2009, which is dedicated to the master Boukar Tar and his family. The album combines traditional Buduma pieces alongside contemporary ones written by Barka.
As a nomad of the Toubou tribe, Malam Mamane Barka is the indisputable son of the desert and the world's only remaining master of the biram.
Ancient Egypt’s Lost Legacy? The Buduma Culture of Lake Chad is also available as iBook on the iTunes store with audio and web content available to see and listen on Mac and iPad.