A Gnawa Dancer : Essaouira, Morocco​

When travelling in Morocco for over a month, this was my first destination. As soon as I landed in Marrakech I caught a bus to Essaouira. The sights flew by. Soon I would join in the crowd, once my long ride was over. My heart skipped a beat to know I was in the land of things unknown, for me a mystical place I had long dreamt of.
Essaouira was mysterious, more hidden than the any of the other 5 cities I had visited. Walking the narrow streets of the Medina (the old Arab city) right by the ocean was a transcendent experience. I became uneasy in this maze of passageways, only 3 feet wide. As I walked the ground laid out before me, I had to remember my every step.

Emerging from the maze, I saw a group of young male Gnawa dancers in the square playing their spiritual religious music, singing and dancing in traditional bright gowns and pointy Moroccan slippers. One of the boys wore a seashell decorated hat with a tassel that spun around his head as he danced. A fascinating movement kept the tassel in motion.

14 x 18 inch

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