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Culture in Chad
 
 
 

General

Because of its great variety of peoples and languages, Chad possesses a rich cultural heritage. The Chadian government has actively promoted Chadian culture and national traditions by opening the Musée National and the Chad Cultural Centre. Some individual artists have galleries in N'Djamena.

Literature

The various ethnic cultures have their own traditions of oral literature, including narratives, epics, and ritual drama. Literary creativity of Chadians is notable in the diaspora community in France, but less so in Chad itself, where market demand and the conditions for a literary culture are very limited. Languages of literary expression (in poetry, novels, memoirs, and theatre) are French and, to a lesser extent, Arabic.

As in other Sahelian countries, literature in Chad has suffered from an economic, political and spiritual drought that has affected its best known writers. Chadian authors have been forced to write from exile or expatriate status and have generated literature dominated by themes of political oppression and historical discourse. Since 1962, 20 Chadian authors have written some 60 works of fiction. Among the most internationally renowned writers are Joseph Brahim Seïd, Baba Moustapha, Antoine Bangui and Koulsy Lamko. In 2003 Chad's sole literary critic, Ahmat Taboye, published his Anthologie de la Littérature Tchadienne to further knowledge of Chad's literature internationally and among youth and to make up for Chad's lack of publishing houses and promotional structure.

Visual Arts

Various ethnic groups in the country have their distinct artistic traditions related to the decoration of houses, clothing, leatherwork, and artefacts. Modern graphic artists are few and are located in the capital of N'Djamena.

Performing Arts

Performance arts in theatres are virtually non-existent; traditional religious and other rituals, however, are alive and well in both the south and the north, as part of the everyday cultural life of the Chadians.

Chadians play instruments such as the kinde, a type of bow harp; the kakaki, a long tin horn; and the hu hu, a stringed instrument that uses calabashes as loudspeakers. Other instruments and their combinations are more linked to specific ethnic groups: the Sara prefer whistles, balafones, harps and kodjo drums; and the Kanembu combine the sounds of drums with those of flute-like instruments.

The music group Chari Jazz formed in 1964 and initiated Chad's modern music scene. Later, more renowned groups such as African Melody and International Challal attempted to mix modernity and tradition. Popular groups such as Tibesti have clung faster to their heritage by drawing on sai, a traditional style of music from southern Chad. The people of Chad have customarily disdained modern music. However, in 1995 greater interest has developed and fostered the distribution of CDs and audio cassettes featuring Chadian artists. Piracy and a lack of legal protections for artists' rights remain problems to further development of the Chadian music industry.

 

 
 

 



 


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