Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ahwach Festival in Ouazazate 15 - 17 November

The National Ahwach Festival of Arts will take place in Ouarzazate from 15 to 17 November

Ahwach is a traditional folkloric style of music and associated dance from southern Morocco. An Ahwach performance often features more than one hundred both male and female performers. However, in some regions the groups comprise only males. Ahwach is famous in the Amazigh (berber) regions of Morocco, especially, the region of Ouarzazate, Zagoura and Souss.

The performance style and instruments used vary from region to region. For example, troupes from the Souss region include flute in addition to the usual Ahwach instruments.

It is an exclusively Berber village music, probably unchanged for centuries or longer. Ahouach texts emphasize the submission of the individual to the community. Typically, it consists of two large choruses engaging in call-and-response vocals, accompanied by instrumentalists and dancers.

Since this music requires anywhere from 20 to 150 participants, it is not easily portable and so rarely heard in the cities.

Under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture, is part of a strategy outlined by the Department for the Preservation of Popular Intangible Heritage and the promotion of festivals that support sustainable development.

The 2013 edition, launched in cooperation with the provincial council, the municipal council and the provincial tourism board of Ouarzazate will feature more than 400 artists from 22 Ahwach troupes from different regions of Morocco.

The theme of the festival is "Between Heritage, Memory and the Future."

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