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Art & Culture

Art & Culture

Essaouira is well known for its cultural life, as many artists and galleries.

Essaouira has a rich craft heritage. Marquetry was created in the early 19th century. Artisans use the cedar wood they encrust lemon wood, mother of pearl, ebony, ivory and camel bone. Practical designs called "khotta" are geometric shapes.

The goldsmiths developed by major Jewish craftsmen still very sought and found lost its luster in recent years. Currently the artisanal sector is increasingly encouraged and followed so that it regains its attractiveness and its former prestige.

Essaouira has had two different styles of music: music Haha south, in the Berber language and music of Chiadma north, in Arabic.

Essaouira is known for trance music of the brotherhood of Hmadcha organizing a "Moussem" each year in Essaouira. Their Zaouia, place of worship and meetings, is in the medina. The music of the Gnawa, Sudanese origin and famous in many countries, is a trance music where the body expresses and releases.

The Gnaoua are ancient inhabitants of the city; they are master musicians and use percussion and string instruments (drum hajhouj) and rattlesnakes (krakech) Their melancholic and plaintive songs, like the blues, tell the suffering of their ancestors. The moussem Regraga that begins in the spring, about March 5 and lasts one week is one of the most significant event in Morocco's spiritual culture. The Regraga are received annually by the notables of the city to the rhythm of Hmadcha.

A very special welcome, full of worship and devotion, is reserved for them during their journey that begins their zaouia Akermoud in the area north of Essaouira, passing through the village Diabat. The whole city is waiting for this ascent that will bring joy and healing of the soul and drive out evil spirits. During their stay they will be cheered and revered by all and received great couscous dishes, traditional places of the Country.

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