5 Moroccan Cultures That Showcase The Developing Melting Pot Of Africa

5 Moroccan Cultures That Showcase The Developing Melting Pot Of Africa

Diversity in Africa
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There are 54 culturally diverse nation-states on the African continent, yet many Americans tend to perceive Africa as culturally and ethnically homogeneous. However, scientific research has demonstrated that there is more genetic diversity within Africa than between Eurasia and Africa itself. One prime example of the diversity of Africa can be found in the Northern country of Morocco, a nation that many consider the melting pot of the African continent. All of the cultures described below have rich histories that can be traced back to ancient times, and each are treasured, celebrated parts of a greater Moroccan culture. Here are six of those Moroccan cultures today.



Amazigh

Sanhaja Berber Women

Tropenmuseum, part of the National Museum of World Cultures [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Berber people, also known as the Amazigh (meaning proud raiders), were the first inhabitants of North Africa and are the indigenous people of Morocco. They fought against Roman, Arab and French invaders and have an long, rich history.

Today most Berber live in the South of Morocco, represent more than half of the Moroccan population and speak different yet similar languages depending on their location. These languages include Tarifit in the Rif of northern Morocco, Tamazight in the Middle Atlas region and Tashelheet from the High Atlas and Souss region.

The Berber people are known for their folkloric music, jewelry, tattoos and beautiful poetry.

Arab

Arab invaders conquered Morocco in the late seventh century and spread Islamic culture to the Berber natives. Despite the fact that most Arabs live in the northern regions of Morocco, Arab culture can be seen across the nation. Not only is Arabic the first language of Morocco and the ethnicity of the nation's leaders, but the religion of Islam, brought to Morocco by the Arabs, is followed by over 99 percent of Moroccans today.

The national dish of Morocco is couscous, which though mostly associated with Arab tradition is a common dish across the Maghreb. Classic Arab dress has become traditional Moroccan garb, consisting of caftans, djellabas and more.

European

Map French and Spanish presence in Morocco in 1912

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During the 300 years of Roman occupation that ended late in the third century, Roman territory and influence extended to just north of Rabat, the present day capital of Morocco. The northern tip of Morocco known to the Romans as Mauretania Tingitana, present day Tangier, exported olive oil and wheat to Rome, and was the home to many Berber who had become Christian. However, today the population of Christians in Morocco is very small and anyone trying to convert Moroccans to Christianity can be punished by law.

Morocco, like every other African country, did not escape contemporary European colonization that began as early as the 15th century on the coasts of Africa and India. By the 19th century, Spain and France were the two major European powers that occupied Morocco and had the most recent impact on the nation's culture. The French protectorate controlled most of the country until 1956 when Morocco became independent, and soon thereafter regained most of the territory from Spain.

Although the country's first language is Arabic, about 85 percent of the population frequently uses Darija (the colloquial language) which has integrated French and Spanish words and phrases. Andalusian cultural influences can be seen in the ruins of 11th century mosques and architecture in the northern cities such as Fez, though the Spanish Protectorate controlled only about 1/10 of the country.

Gnawa

A Gnawa Festival

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The Gnawa people are an ethnic group originally from the northern region of West and Central Africa known as the Sahelian region. With pre-Islamic African spiritual traditions, the Gnawa eventually adopted the Sufi order, a mystical spiritual version of Islam that focuses on peace and love and looking within. The famous 13th century Sunni Muslim Persian poet, popularly known as Rumi, Persian Sunni Muslim poet, as well as scholar of Islam and a jurist, founded the mystic Sufi order of Islam. The Gnawa people mix pre-Islamic African traditions with classical Islamic Sufism.

Gnawa music has attracted leading musicians from around the world, including Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin lead singer, for example.

The music is often accompanied by rituals with a specific purpose to connect with the spiritual world in order to heal. When Gnawa music began attracting droves of tourists, the Moroccan government publicized it on a government website and in 1998 launched the Gnawa music festival in the southern city of Essaouira.

Jewish

A Fountain at the Temple Beth-El in Casablanca

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The roots of the Jewish population in Morocco can be traced to four diasporas that took refuge in the country over a period spanning many centuries. While the faith has many unique traditions, ever since the fourth wave of Jewish immigration to Morocco, many aspects of their culture have meshed together with that of the Moroccan land they inhabited. The Moroccan city of Casablanca maintains the largest Jewish community along with the only Jewish museum in the Arab world.

Today Morocco's Jewish population numbers are small, yet many are optimistic about the future revival of the community and live in peace with Moroccan Muslims. The country is experiencing growth in Jewish-heritage tourism.

During Shabbat Jews in Morocco traditionally enjoyed a meal of wheat, meat and dried peas. Possibly the original slow-cooked meal, this Moroccan stew was prepared by cooking these ingredients slowly overnight at a low temperature. The name of the dish, known as dafina, refers to it being covered or smothered. Interested in the recipe? Click here!

Popular Right Now

37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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The Dallas Cowboys: 10 Things You Need to Be Watching For this Offseason

Without #82 and #88, how will the Cowboys look in this upcoming season?

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Will this finally be the year that Dallas returns to the Super Bowl? It's too early to say, but some fans are hopeful.

1. Dak Prescott

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Dak had a surprising rookie season in 2016-2017, followed by the infamous sophomore slump. Coming into his third season, he has Zeke and the running game solidly behind him again, balancing the pressure that was on him during Elliott's 6 game suspension in 2017-2018. Also, now that Dez is out of the picture, I hope Dak can focus more on his other passing options instead of making questionable passes to the veteran WR desperate to show off what he once was to the franchise.

2. Ezekiel Elliott

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After his time training in Mexico during his suspension, I have high hopes for Zeke's potential in the upcoming year. Fresh and ready to prove himself, with RBs Rod Smith, Tavon Austin, and Bo Scarbrough behind him, I hope to see Dallas' rushing game strong this upcoming season.

3. Cole Beasley

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Beasley's been busy this offseason pursuing other hobbies with the release of his first rap album, The Autobiography. However, I (along with all other Cowboys fans) am hoping that the WR comes into this season aiming high... specifically looking back to his 2016-2017 season that included 75 receptions. Now that Dez is gone, his ranking within WRs may be liable to change up a bit, and he needs to capitalize on it.

4. Jaylon Smith

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The foot brace is officially gone. Seemingly fully recovered from the tragic knee injury that caused nerve damage and drop foot in his last collegiate game at Notre Dame, I am eager to see Smith in his full form. In 2016, Dallas made the gutsy choice to draft the then out-of-commission linebacker in hopes of what his recovery could lead to. I can't wait to see Smith at his full potential this upcoming season.

5. DeMarcus Lawrence

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With 14.5 sacks in 2017-2018 (tied for second best in the league), Lawrence was Dallas' best pass rusher by far. Using their franchise tag to keep him a year longer, Lawrence needs to continue putting pressure on QBs this year.

6. Sean Lee

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Sean Lee led Dallas in tackles last year with 118. There's no doubt that he is not only talented but also a leader of the defense. However, injury seems to plague him. Looking at stats comparing the defense with and without Lee is astonishing. With Lee, the defense allowed opposing teams to score an average of 18 PPG. Without Lee? 35 PPG. Obviously, this defense excels with him leading it. Let's hope conditioning in the offseason allows him to strengthen the faulty hamstring and keep him in the game.

7. New Coaches

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I want to highlight 3 new coaches that Dallas added to their arsenal this offseason. First is Kris Richard, from Seattle, as defensive back coach. He will primarily be in charge of coverages of the defensive backs and linebackers. Also, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said that he's a good acquisition, and that's all I really need to hear. Second is Sanjay Lal, the new wide receiver coach. With Dez gone, this is one of the biggest question marks of the whole team, so I'm excited to see what Lal does with this batch of WRs. Lastly is Kellen Moore, the new quarterback coach. Moore is no newbie to Dallas, being a backup QB for three seasons. With the familiarity of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and his own fresh player perspective, I hope Moore proves to be a good sounding board and mentor to Prescott.

8. The Offensive Line

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Dallas' offensive line has been a consistent part of the team, quality wise, for the past few years. Hopefully, this year will be no different. With three pro-bowlers (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin), and La'el Collins steady at tackle, second round rookie Connor Williams is the only real wildcard.

9. Tight Ends

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Witten is gone (tears). Without him, that makes way for new TEs to get the spotlight and step up. Options for tight end include Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers. None of them have much experience, so this position is up in the air for the season to come. While definitely a shaky area for the Cowboys, hopefully, they've learned a thing or two from Witten and new TE coach Doug Nussmeier can add a new perspective.

10. Young Defense

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With second-year players Awuzie and Woods showing promise in their rookie season, the defense has a lot to look forward to. They will be accompanying 6-year veteran Jeff Heath and 4-year veteran Byron Jones in the backfield.

Cover Image Credit:

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