UNESCO-Recognized Elements Of Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Morocco

Jemaa el-Fna Square in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Morocco has a rich culture and heritage that is well-preserved and protected by the people of the country. In this article, we have mentioned some of the elements of the intangible cultural heritage of Morocco that have been recognized by the UNESCO. They are as follows:

7. Taskiwin

This is a martial dance form that is specific to Central Morocco’s High Atlas mountains. The dance form is about to disappear since the younger generation is now more attracted to modern artistic practices. The Taskiwin performances involve two basic elements, a richly decorate horn, and the shaking of one’s shoulders in response to the music played on traditional instruments. In the past, the dance was one of the important ways through which young people would socialize. Today, it is a symbol of the history and heritage of the country.

6. Falconry

This intangible cultural heritage of Morocco is also practiced in other parts of the world including countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Austria, etc. In the past, falconry was used to obtain food. However, now it is a symbol of ancient culture and heritage. Falconers breed, train, and fly birds of prey and in the process, develop a bond with the birds. Falconers often travel together in groups. They believe that the practice of falconry acts as one of the last remaining links with their natural environment.

5. Argan

The argan tree is a Moroccan endemic tree that grows in south-west Mexico’s Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve. The rural women of the nearby villages practice traditional methods to extract argan oil from the fruits of the tree. The process of extraction of oil demands the execution of multiple steps. The final product has a wide variety of applications in medicines, cosmetics, and cooking. The practice of argan oil extraction is family business in the rural areas of the reserve and women pass on the knowledge of the methodology to their next generation.

4. Cherry Festival In Sefrou

Every year, Moroccans in Sefrou celebrate the Cherry Festival for three days in June. On this day, they celebrate the natural beauty of their region which is symbolized by the cherry fruit. A Cherry Queen is chosen as the winner of the pageant that has participants from all across the country. For many, the most memorable event of the festival is a parade of dance, music, bands, and floats. The Cherry Queen sits at the center of the parade and distributes cherries to the onlookers. The festival is a time of merriment for the entire community and many people get the opportunity of showcasing their talents to all.

3. Moussem Of Tan-Tan

Every year, Tan-Tan in southwest Morocco witnesses an amalgamation of different tribal cultures. Representatives of over 30 tribes of the northwestern part of Saharan Africa gather at Tan-Tan during this time. The gathering encourages trade and exchange of cultures. Musical and dance performances are held during this time. A lot of information is shared and knowledge is circulated. According to some accounts, Mohamed Laghdaf, a leader who resisted the European occupation of Morocco, was the first to establish the tradition of Moussem. For several decades, between 1979 and 2004, the gathering was not held due to security issues in the region. Today, the region’s Bedouin communities are highly dependent on the Moussem of Tan-Tan to help them in protecting and conserving their age-old traditions and unique identity.

2. Cultural Space Of Jemaa el-Fna Square

The Jemaa el-Fna Square is a cultural space in Marrakesh. It serves as the venue for many cultural events and activities throughout the year. It is a triangular square that is surrounded by restaurants, public buildings, shops, etc. A variety of services are offered to the visitors of the square such as traditional medicine, henna tattooing, fortune-telling, etc. Musical and dance performances are held here as well. The square is thus the perfect venue of exchange of cultures.

1. Mediterranean Diet

Morocco shares this aspect of its culture with many other Mediterranean nations. A Mediterranean diet is not just about the Mediterranean dishes served on the plate but much more than that. It is a set of knowledge, skills, traditions, and rituals related to agricultural practices, conservation and processing of food products, cooking, and definitely the sharing and consumption of the food preparations. The Mediterranean diet connects the people of the Mediterranean region and gives them a unique identity. It plays a significant role in the celebrations and festivals of the region. The diet is also famous all over the world.


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