Essaouira and the 100% female musical tradition

Per: Alice JOUNDI  

TRANSWOMEN Trance is not the prerogative of Gnawa, far from it in fact, traditional religious groups in Morocco like Issaoua as well as the Sufi brotherhoods, communicate through music and trance. From the 15th to 18th August Essaouira has been celebrating this tradition in its own way, bringing together for the first time female artists and queens of trance. There are workshops, conferences and concerts in the city over the course of the event.

Under the leadership of Haddarate Souiriyate Association and deep Morocco Association for the protection of heritage, the 1st Hadra Trance Music Festival was created this year in Essaouira. 

On this occasion, women in Morocco and elsewhere, artists and speakers come together in the heat of the summer to celebrate traditions unknown to the public, sharing a religious as well as cultural heritage of Essaouira. 

Poetry, dances and sacred songs enliven the city day and night. Alongside the musical performances, there are workshops where all are invited to share in the creativity of art, crafts and music. 

Here we talk about Maalma od Haddarates and at conferences we come to understand this is a cultural event more for women, which may be the start of many more editions in the future. 

Find the program in our agenda.

Read: The Music Therapy Center site Tissa in the Essaouira region.

Text  Alice Joundi

Translation Karen Athwal

Photo DR