Mint Aïchata


Mint Aïchata
Sahrawi songs and dance
on Tour
6 artists on stage

Territory of transition, caravan of exchange and intermingling of cultures, in the south borders of Morocco, the region of Guelmin on the edge of the Sahara, resends us to a nomadic world where women still carry the culture of the magic word.

SallamYamdah, or Mint Aichata ("daughter of Aichata"), received her knowledge of her mother who had for a long time dominated the art of tbel and lgedra. She belonged to the caste of professional singers Meddahat (from the Arabic root madaha, which means, “sing praises"), also close to the morals of West Africa where they hold the same position of the Tuareg’s women in their daily practice.

Dedicated to the community, meddahat sing for families who seek their services (marriage or recovery from a disease) and praise the Prophet. However, it happens also that they accompany the female dance of the seven veils that leads to trance or to celebrate the male beauty during the real competition.

Secular and sacred songs are involved in this poetry of Hassani’s  with a language rich of metaphors. These singers and musicians, free individuals of dubious reputation, perform their religious norms to clear suspicion of immorality, heavy on their practice.

They play the tidinit, small four-stringed lute from Mauritania; the lgedra, Couscoussier make the sound by percussion; the lkisan, tea glasses knocked on a metal tray; tbel, the timbale, paired cylindrical drums played with sticks; and tsfag, simple clapping.

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