Gnawa Music, Culture, and People

The ancestral memory (turath) of the displaced and enslaved people that were brought to Morocco is preserved mainly in their songs and dances.
For the Gnawa, the spirit world is inhabited by ancestral spirits who, among other spiritual creatures, can be used for either good or evil purposes. The gnawa have modernized their style. With these recent developments and their appeal to tourists, the Moroccan government in 1997 established The Gnawa and World Music Festival in Essaouira. This blog will be a representation of this musical style, the gnawa peoples themselves, and the places in which they live and have lived.

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I’ve been asked to take part in a dance concept video which pays respect to African heritage and cultures from different parts, and I’ve chosen to do gnaoua (or gnawa) from Morocco.

I’m researching the dance styles used in gnaoua music and it looks sooo similar house dance ahaha wtf. I wonder if House originates from Africa too?

Since house music was created by African-Americans, and much of our culture is West African in origin…it makes sense. They share that musical link in common. :)



Majid Bekkas - African Blues (Luca Musto Remix) by Luca Musto on SoundCloud 

Roots Mawon performing on 2M, featuring my friend Simo with guembri. I am so proud of him.



Gnawa Gospel


imageI never got a chance to write about my experience in the Sahara desert but one of the highlights of it was my introduction to the Gnawa people of Morocco. I had the opportunity to meet them, learn about their history, their music, and their sorrow and it had to be one of the most heartbreaking realizations of my life.

I am not unfamiliar with the concept of putting one’s sorrow into song, or more…

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