Odile’s feedback after travelling in Tamegroute, Morroco
«4 days and 3 nights for a darbouka workshop in this small village of Tamegroute at 8:00 drive from Marrakech and in return, the landscapes of the breathtaking Atlas, the extraordinary welcome of the Berbers (their humor, their simplicity ) and Tarik and all his family. The desert is nearby (camping at night under the stars is something to live absolutely, and in music!). The work of the potters, the visit of the library ... "
Tamegroute is a beautiful city of a thousand inhabitants, located on the edge of the Draa Valley, the longest river in Morocco, surrounded by lush oases. The valley knows its hour of glory under the Sadians (1554-1659) with the apogee of the trans-Saharan trade. It is populated by Arabs, Berbers and descendants of slaves.
But what makes Tamegroute different from the hundreds of ksour (fortified villages) located in the South, is the zawiya, a holy place housing a religious brotherhood: only twenty of these sites still exist in Morocco.
That of Tamegroute, founded in the seventeenth century, is the headquarters of the important brotherhood Naciri, which spread its influence over several centuries in the South. Today, the zawiya is still led by a descendant of the founder, Imam Sidi Mohammed Ben Nacer. Theologian, famous scientist, physician, passionate about the diseases of the soul and the mental problems.
At the exit of the village, you will find the cooperative of the potters, the other pride of Tamegroute. These pottery workshops, the oldest and most famous in Morocco, have existed since the 16th century. Seven families work there, 260 people. Here, we are potters from father to son and the job is learned on the job, as before, watching the parents tirelessly repeat the same gestures. The craftsmen are as buried to the belt: the legs that operate the pedal are coiled in a hole dug in the ground. Strange irruption of the modern world, cell phones enthroned on the tablet of the tour.