Hassani: Culture of Sahrawi tribes

Ismail El Alaoui 2019-07-21 00:00:00 Culture
Hassani: Culture of Sahrawi tribes

When we hear the term «Culture», our minds go directly to the customs, traditions, language... etc that define a certain society. It is undeniable that CULTURE  is a gateway to a full understanding of a specific society, that’s why it is given much importance by writers and thinkers who tend to break the wall of curiosity in front of people who are starving to dig inside the depths of this desirable mystery. Hassani culture is considered one of the cultures which have a rare presence in the table of discussion, due to the lack of global media’s interest in it. So, in this article, I will put into discussion three main components of this culture: Clothing, poetry, and weddings.

Hassani culture belongs to the Sahrawi tribes that live in the Southern regions of Morocco. Such tribes are actually known by their sense of generosity, hospitality, and entertainment. Let’s start first with CLOTHING. Clothes have great importance for Sahrawi people. Each of male and female has a precise type of clothes; men wear the traditional " Darrâa" which is a wide, white or blue piece of cloth with two large openings to the sides, with a pocket on the chest. Women wear "Al-Malhfa" which is a long garment ( about 4 meters) with a special way of dressing it. Darrâa and Al-Malhfa are also a part of some countries’ culture that shares a lot in common with Sahrawi people such as Mauritania and Senegal.

Hassani poetry as any other type of poetry has the aim to discuss different concerns such as History, war, satire praise...etc. It has an immense significance in Hassani literature as it reflects its variety and diversity. Sahrawi people have a common naming for Hassan poetry which is « Gifan», some of them turned to be a part of popular songs.Badi Ould Mohammed Salem, a great professor and poet defines the Hassani poetry as “a speech extracted from the dialect and the wide-spread language and conforms to the five laws of the Charia: what is obligatory (Wajib), what is recommended (mandoub), what is indifferent (mubâh), what is blameful (makrûh) and what is prohibited (haram).“

A wedding is marked with a traditional-directed ceremony. It actually starts with the so-called «D’foua» which is a group of cars and trucks that line up to go from the groom’s home to the bride’s one. They are loaded with: furniture, boxes of sugar, jewelry, sometimes male sheep or camels...etc. On the night of the wedding, also called «Tarwah», the groom wearing Darrâa, comes to the house of the bride with his friends and family. They find there a certain musical band. When the music starts, some members of the family of the bride or the groom, most women start to dance, and as a matter of showing off, some attendees throw money on those who dance, but all the thrown money is taken by «Mâalma», a woman who is brought to praise the family of the  bride and the groom. These wedding ceremonies are actually money-consuming, which makes marriage a bit difficult for people with a limited income to

Hassani culture is an extremely rich and diverse culture. In order to encompass all its aspects, one needs to investigate, search and read it. Yet, to promote this sub-cultural heritage social media can play a remarkable role.  It can bring a little bit of interest to this forgotten culture as it will surely be an added value to the domain of literature.