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Experience Morocco: Essaouira Gnawa Music and Dance Performances

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USD 71.80
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2 travellers
Highlights
    What to Expect
    Meet under Essaouira’s clock tower in the evening for your 3-hour gnawa music tour, a unique experience that takes you back in time to discover Morocco's music culture, history and traditions.

    Walk through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Medina of Essaouira, the walled Arab quarter, and learn about the gnawa people and their customs from your guide. Originating from North and West Africa, gnawas are known for their ancient African-Islamic music, whose songs are marked by low-toned rhythms, chants, hand-clapping and cymbals. Performances range from upbeat social gatherings to religious rituals.

    Your first stop is a zaouia, or sacred temple of the gnawa people. Traditional lila rituals take place here to drive out evil spirits and treat psychological ills, and often last for hours at a time. Next, meet a gnawa dancer (or kuyu) and head inside their home for a gnawa dance demonstration. Watch typical dance moves accompanied by an explanation of the dancer’s traditional clothing. Often made at home, these intricate designs include bold colors, embroidery and shells.

    Then, it’s off to meet a gnawa maalem, or master, who acts as the leader of any gnawa troupe. Visit the maalem's private quarters to see how the traditional guembri instrument is made and hear some songs played. Share in their vast traditional knowledge and experience something usually reserved for gnawi, musicians and their friends and family.

    Come full circle from gnawa’s past to present by finishing the evening in true local style: enjoying live music with a drink in hand (own expense). Stay at this local music venue as long as you like, and feel free to ask your guide about other places to continue enjoying gnawa music. Recently, the style has been fused with Western and Latin music, making it perfect music for dancing, if you're in the mood!
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Traveler pickup is offered
    Inside Bab Sbaa, below the clock tower (L’Moganna). Find the exact meeting point with what3words: ///local.lyrics.coherent.
    Departure Time
    5:30 PM
    Duration
    3h
    Return Details
    Concludes inside a live music venue near the Medina of Essaouira
    Inclusions
    • Local guide
    • Gnawa performances/ demonstration
    • Tea
    Exclusions
    • Gratuities
    • Food and drinks
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • A conservative dress code is recommended as the tour visits sacred and private sites. Men and women should keep their upper body (especially shoulders, chest and midriff) and knees covered at all times as a sign of respect to the local culture. Wearing shorts is not recommended. Evenings can be cool so please dress appropriately.
    • This is a child-friendly tour, but is not stroller-friendly. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page. Please note that this tour may include narrow stairs and tight spaces, and is therefore not suitable for strollers.
    • For your Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people
    • Most travelers can participate
    Cancellation Policy
    If you cancel at least 4 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel within 3 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
    Reviews (4)
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    Reviewed 1 week ago

    Said was fantastic... having grown up here, he truly is a local and is well known. First stop was the masters workshop to see him at work and then he played some Gnawa music and next it was to a cafe for some mint tea...More

    Date of experience: October 2019
    Thank Hip246
    Reviewed 28 August 2019

    We come across this place on our travels and we are so glad we did, what amazing service, friendly and professional staff. The wanted to do the quads and horses so Yaseen took them out on a ride and gave them the time of there...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank laptopace2016
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