UNESCO Lists Moroccan Gnawa as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
The UNESCO added the Moroccan centuries-old music after Morocco submitted a file nominating Gnawa to the ICH Service in september 2018. Gnawa music infuses poetry and traditional music along with dancing. Performers takes you to a spiritual journey with the rhythm, adorned by the famous genburi, an instrument with three strings. The rhythm is incomplete without the steel castanets called “krakebs” or “karkabat.”
Gnawa refers to a set of musical events, performances, fraternal practices and therapeutic rituals combining secular and sacred features including all-night therapeutic possession rituals in cities, and communal meals offered to marabout saints in rural areas. Originally practised by groups and individuals from slavery and the slave trade dating back to the 16th century, Gnawa now forms part of Morocco’s multifaceted culture and identity. The number of fraternal groups and master musicians is constantly growing in Morocco’s villages and major cities and Gnawa groups hold festivals all year round.