ABOUT

CONTEXT

Map of the DRÂA Valley

This website is a digital archive documenting the diverse spectrum of culture unique to the Drâa River Valley, a UNESCO Biosphere located in southeastern Morocco through music, dance, language, instrumentation, clothing, and natural and architectural spaces where music has been performed traditionally for centuries and beyond. The Drâa Valley consists of six stretches of oases/palm groves called, from north to south: Mezguita (1), Tinzouline (2), Ternata (3), Fezouata (4), Ktaoua (5), M’hamid (6). This project focused on the Southern Drâa Valley, which emcompasses the 3 last oases, South of the town of Zagora. 

The Musical Heritage of the Southern Draa Valley project was granted to Association Zaila of M’hamid el Ghizlane by the US Embassy Rabat through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.

About

The Southern Drâa Valley, because of its liminal localization at the crossroads of ancient caravan routes and at the edge of the Sahara desert, has a unique cultural heritage, is influenced by Sub-Saharan, Arabic and Amazigh traditions. A key stop along the salt and gold caravan routes, M’hamid for centuries has seen bands of nomads from Senegal, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, and further east from the Arab world not only pass through on their way to Marrakesh to bring gold from Timbuktu and goods from other areas, but settle within the oasis of the Drâa River as it provided opportunity to build a livelihood around the plentiful date palm trees.

The traditional songs of the Drâa Valley are a result of the harmony between civilization and nature that characterize culture of the oasis, in which the harshness of the surrounding landscape and climate is counterbalanced by a collective management of natural resources, the efficient cultivation of arable land, and caravan trade. For several centuries, the Drâa Valley has played a central role in Moroccan cultural life, since it was the crossroad of Islamic civilizations coming from the Arab world, western civilizations coming from the Nord, and African civilizations coming from the South.

The songs of the Draa Valley have been played inside Ksour, which are small settlements, composed of rammed earth buildings, entrance plaza, fortification gate(s), turets and courtyard homes. Songs are played in public areas: plazas, gardent etc…while others are played in the streets as processions, inside private homes. At last others are played asmid sand dunes.

GANGA
Song 6
GANGA Song 6
AKALAL
Song 5
AKALAL Song 5
ROKBA
Song 1
ROKBA Song 1
AHIDOUS
Song 5
AHIDOUS Song 5
CHAMRA
Song 1
CHAMRA Song 1
GANGA
Song 1
GANGA Song 1
AKALAL
Song 4
AKALAL Song 4
CHAMRA
Song 2
CHAMRA Song 2
ROKBA
Song 2
ROKBA Song 2
AHIDOUS
Song 1
AHIDOUS Song 1
About

Project Partners

Project partners include Joudour Sahara, Conseil Provincial Zagora, Aziza Chaouni Projects, Playing For Change Foundation, The International Society for Music Education, Komcept, with additional support from Playing For Change partner Audio-Technica USA.

About