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19 October 2023

The Daf and Its Role in the Badakhshan Region of Tajikistan

Author: Dr Chorshanbe Goibnazarov 
Assistant Professor at School of Arts and Sciences, 
Research Fellow at Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit, 
Graduate School of Development, UCA 

Abstract: Musical instruments have played significant roles in the life of human beings. They are part of everyday activities, accompany many life cycle events, and are utilized symbolically to support various aspects of culture and impact regional and national cultural development. They acquire meaning and value in the interaction between social and cultural situations in which they occur and have become symbols of tradition and identity for nations, sub-national regions, and ethnic groups. Frame drums are one of the essential musical instruments with their simple structure that have acquired specific cultural meanings related to many aspects of cultural relations and local musical traditions. This paper discusses a percussion instrument known as the daf in the Badakhshan region of Tajikistan. The daf is a frame drum that has great significance in Badakhshan, is played in many events, and is connected to various social and cultural life of the people in the region. By providing an overview of the daf as a musical instrument, the author discusses the significant role this musical instrument plays in Central Asian culture and specifically examines the daf in the social and cultural life of the people in Badakhshan of Tajikistan.