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’m tryna buy a Gnawi qandora like this for Eid

Farouk Sendal - Guembri.

(Source: Spotify)

18 plays


Mâalem Guinia #gnaoua #essaouira #Streetart #Graffiti

Maallem Abdelkébir Merchane & Ahmed Bakbou - Sala Ala Nabina.

Silver Kasbah - Bacha Hammou.

Gnawa Salam - Sabra ou Chatila (Nass El Ghiwane cover).

Derdba - Essaouira 2014.


Gnawa boys.


Many forget that the first Muslims to celebrate Ramadan in America were African slaves.
…Although the Quran “[a]llows a believer to abstain from fasting if he or she is far from home or involved in strenuous work,” many enslaved Muslims demonstrated transcendent piety by choosing to fast while bonded. In addition to abstaining from food and drink, enslaved Muslims held holy month prayers in slave quarters, and put together iftars - meals at sundown to break the fast - that brought observing Muslims together. These prayers and iftars violated slave codes restricting assembly of any kind… [exposing] them to barbaric punishment, injury, and oftentimes, even death…
Ramadan was widely observed by enslaved Muslims. Yet, this history is largely ignored by Muslim American leaders and laypeople alike - and erased from the modern Muslim American narrative.
…This Muslim American multiculturalism comes with many challenges: Namely, intra-racism, Arab supremacy, and anti-black racism prevents cohesion inside and outside of American mosques. These deplorable trends perpetuate the erasure of the Muslim slave narrative.

Ramadan: A centuries-old American tradition, Khaled A Beydoun (via chupnaraho)

Slave owners used to call them sun worshippers, mistakenly judging from the raising of hands during du’a and sajdah at the five salat times. Many of these enslaved Africans came from the same regions Gnawa people (who were caught in the Arab slave trade and continue to practice Islam, fused with African animist belief) call home today: Niger, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, etc.

(via divanoid)

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