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Ahwash

Ahwash

Ahwash dance (ahwach, ahouach) is a folkloric style of music that is lively and pleasant. It demonstrates a significant share of Berber traditions. Ahwash means a group of dancers dancing together in alternating rhythms from slow to fast.

Credit to commons.Wikimedia

It is most common in the southern regions of Morocco. Thus, it belongs to the Berber “Amazigh” culture. Maintaining the originality and preserving Ahwash’s historical and cultural identity is vital. This is because it presented an excellent legacy for generations to come.
It is prevalent in the High Atlas and Ouarzazate region, and it extends to other southern areas of Morocco. Ahwash dance creates a stunning presentation of Berber customs. Ahwash dance changes slightly from region another and from trib to trib. This is by adding a distinct touch to it by types of clothes worn or types of jewelry worn during a dance session. Yet, its originality is always authenticity is always maintained.

The traditional dance brings together villagers and tribes who integrate Ahwash dance into many types of their celebrations. The Ahwash theme is mostly about love, nature and appreciation. Thus, it is performed in many events following standard practices of greats song and dance.
These events include:

  • Wedding
  • Small community gatherings
  • Feast
  • Festivals

Some Other Facts about Ahwash Dance

  • It is a group dance performed by the Amazigh locals, who are the indigenous peoples of Morocco.
  • The Ahwash dance is coordinated by what is called TAWAL, orchestrated by a soloist. They are always in the Tamazight language, which is a “Tachalhit” dialect.
  • The single round of an Ahwash session sometimes lasts 20 minutes. The performers of Ahwach consist of 25 to 30 performers from both men and women.
  • Ahwash dance consists of drumming, clapping, stomping movements that are well-coordinated while maintaining the lyrics.
  • It is sometimes performed only by women, and sometimes it is performed exclusively only by men. Yet, it is always done in groups, even if it varies from region to region.
  • In an Ahwash session, females wear lavish coloured, which is mainly designed as Ahwash dance outfits. These outfits are mostly locally made.

Ahwash is performed, as part of the tradition, following traditional rules.

  • It opens with two alternating choirs, men and women, with the drums’ members’ support. Women stand around men whom themselves are sitting around the fire they created.
  • After remaining motionless, Ahwash dancers began to move slowly while maintaining dance rules. This is with a slight swinging playing on the rhythms of drums while chanting.
  • Male dancers and performers are at the center of the dancing square, standing or crouching. They play “talloont” and “bandeer.” The bandeer is a wooden-framed framed drum, which about 12 to 18 inches.
  • The Bandeer and Talluunt skin get stretched over the fire continuously during the Ahwash session. The drums must cross the neck by alternating choirs at all times to maintain rhythm consistency and coordination.
  • The rules of Ahwash can appear to be complicated to the audience. Yet, Ahwash members know exactly how to execute and perform it seamlessly without any effort because of their regular and routine practice.

During the twenty minutes of an Ahwash session, the ahwash rhythm moves from symmetrical rhythmic to the asymmetrical rhythm. These dancers perform the rhythms so smoothly. Yet, it is joyfully confusing, at the same time, to the audience. This change in the rhythm category is impressive because the two linked rhythms are very distinct, yet they are unnoticeable. It is skillfully connected with the continuum of the Ahwash.

This traditional dance attracts thousands of attendees during the big summer celebrations. It is also practiced throughout the year, especially at weddings and celebrations.

National Ahwash Festival “The Arts of Ahwach and the oasis cultures.”

The Ministry of Culture and Communication organizes National Arts Festival. This is under the theme “The Arts of Ahwach and the Oasis Cultures.” The historic Kasbah of Taourirt in Ouarzazate is a well-used space for this festival. It is an annual gathering place for groups of Ahwash of this authentic art that has been preserved for years and years. It attracts thousands of visitors, either from the inside and outside of the country.

There are many traditional Amazigh costumes and local products that are shared with their visitors. There are more than 600 artists participate in Ahwach during the National Arts Festival. The participating performers and artists represent some of the best Ahwach groups in Morocco. They are mostly from the southern regions of the country.

Written by Moroccan Legacy

Moroccan Legacy, your number one source, a distinguished, original and respected hub for all you need to know about Morocco.
Moroccan Legacy Inc was founded in Canada in 2013. It was founded for one mission: to provide and present the authentic legacy and culture of Morocco.

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