The cultural festival returns for its 17th year in March to celebrate and preserve Moroccan nomadic heritage.
The festival celebrates cultural diversity as many nations come together to celebrate with music, poetry, storytelling, and cultural dances. The event also welcomes foreign musicians to participate in the activities and perform.
Musicians from India, Senegal, Niger, Somalia, Algeria, Mali, Poland, and Italy will be performing local music and dance alongside local Moroccan artists.
Festival-goers can expect to hear traditional Moroccan musical sounds of the oud, taarija, qanun, drums, and harps, as well as traditional music from other cultures.
The festival aims to preserve the rich history, heritage, and identity of the nomadic tribes in the region. Nomadic tribes value tribalism and community; their ancestry and mobile way of life are a significant part of their culture.
Nomadic tribes in Morocco live completely independently, making their own medicine, herding cattle, collecting water from wells, and collecting their own firewood.
The mobile communities craft khaimas (tents made from black goat hair and camel) for shelter and are heavily family and community-based.
The nomadic people of Morocco mostly come from Amazigh (Berber) and Arab backgrounds. The Amazigh people have ancient origins dating back to 10,000 B.C., and M’hamid El Ghizlane was a haven for the nomadic people.
Organizers will also offer various traditional activities at the event such as sand hockey, painting, weaving, camel racing, and bread making.
The festival will also have educational activities like workshops and conferences on nature, nomadism, agriculture, environmental protection, and heritage.
M’hamid El Ghizlane is a town with an estimated population of 7,500 in the Sahara desert, approximately 450 kilometers southeast of Marrakech. It is known for being located by the picturesque Atlas Mountains for its lush palm groves, traditional architecture, and rich history.
Entrance to the festival is free, and visitors can reach M’hamid El Ghizlane bus from Marrakech, Ouarzazate, or Zagora. Flights from Casablanca to Zagora, Marrakech, and Ouarzazate are available.