Chadian handicrafts include carpets, woven mats,
fabric, jewellery, wool rugs, beads, leather products and wood carvings.
Calabashes (a type of gourd) are shaped and engraved to serve many
household purposes and to make musical instruments. The village of Gaoui,
a short distance from N'Djamena, is known for its fine pottery. Generally,
each village has its own distinctive shapes for water jars and pottery.
Chadians enjoy listening to music. In the Sahel region, groups such as African Melody and International Challal have popularized music that combines traditional and electric instruments. Tibesti, another well-known group, plays sai, a type of music that draws on folkloric rhythms from the south of the country. Ahmed Pecos plays Sudanese-inspired guitar music. Clément Masdongar is a leading Chadian musician and singer who performs in France.
Traditional Chadian instruments include trumpets
made from goat horns, the kinde (a variety of bow harp), the
kakaki (a tin horn that can be up to three metres long) and the
hu hu (a stringed instrument that uses calabashes as loudspeakers).
The Sara people of the south use whistles, balaphones (an instrument
similar to a xylophone), a harp-like instrument and large kodjo
drums. Kanembu music combines the sounds of a flute-like instrument and
drums, while Baguirmian music features zithers and drums. Baguirmians
also have a distinctive dance in which dancers wield large grain-pounding
pestles and pretend to use them on another dancer.
Chad has produced several important writers. The tales of Joseph Brahim Seid, including Au Tchad sous les étoiles (1962) and the autobiographical Un enfant du Tchad (1967) are Chadian classics. Baba Moustapha, who died in 1982 at the age of 30, left several notable works, one of which, Le Commandant Chaka (published posthumously in 1983), denounces military dictatorships. Poetry is a popular form of expression in the north.
Live theatre in Chad is often satirical and performers
poke fun at people in the news. The Cheikh Anta Diop theatre group is popular
and performer Haikal Zakaria, who plays the character "Commandant Al Kanto,"
is often featured on television.