Monday, November 17, 2014

Photo Essay - Master Musicians of Joujouka ~ Part 1

Over the weekend The View from Fez was invited to join a group of scholars and musicologists on a trip into the hills behind Ksar El Kbir to visit the village of Joujouka and spend time with its most famous inhabitants ~ the Master Musicians of Joujouka

Sunset over Joujouka (Click on all images to enlarge)

The Master Musicians of Joujouka are Berber Sufi trance musicians most famous for their connections with the Beat Generation and the Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones. These musicians hail from the village of Jajouka near Ksar-el-Kebir in the Ahl Srif mountain range of the southern Rif Mountains in northern Morocco.

Joujouka village street
The next generation dancer in rehearsal

One of the most interesting aspects of the Master Musicians' performances is the character of Boujloud - a Pan-like figure half goat half man. Although the character of Boujloud is found all over Morocco, it takes on different form in Joujouka.

According to local legends, the original Boujloud gave the gift of flute music and the power to bestow fertility on the village every spring when he danced. The present "Boujloud" is an extraordinarily energetic elderly man with wicked sense of humour.

The fiddle player with endless energy

After an afternoon of frenetic music lead by a fiddle player who appears to have endless energy, the musicians regroup in a small hut and launch into more fiddle and drum music. The beat is infectious and soon the guests find themselves unable to sit and so join the dance.

The visitors are invited to join the dance
Artist Yuri Zupancic of William S, Burroughs Communication joins the dance
"Boujloud" dancing
After an hour of dancing there is another break for food in preparation of the long night ahead. The supply of food, tea and coffee seems endless, but eventually there musicians head off to change into their traditional costumes.

The visitors were treated to a banquet
Final preparations for the main event

The 8th edition of the The Master Musicians of Joujouka three day annual festival takes place 5-7 June 2015 and is booking now

Photo essay: Sandy McCutcheon

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: