The boussadia is a masked and costumed street performer who dances and plays shqashiq (large metal clappers) during festivals, weddings, and special ceremonies in Tunisia. It is believed that the boussadia dispels djinn (evil spirits). The boussadia is part of both the Tunisian folk heritage as well as Stambeli, the trance-based healing and spiritual practices brought to Tunisia by black slaves from sub-Saharan Africa.


I am grateful for my Tunisian colleagues for this third video: Jameleddine Boukraa, Thoua Thouibi, Nourredine Jouini, and Habib Jouini (Allah yarhmou). I believe this was filmed in June 2010.

Many Tunisians associate the boussadia with the song “Sidi Mansour”. The story behind the association is long and complicated; click here to listen to a pop version of the song performed by Saber al Rubai.

Here is the the Stambeli nuba “Boussadia” performed by Salah Ouergli: