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Haverford College

Publication Date

Fall 2022

Program Name

Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity


Despite existing literature about Gnawa music and culture, there remains many discrepancies and holes a part of current understandings about the subject. This paper examines the existing literature in comparison with two site visits to different Gnawa music houses in Tangier and Khamlia Morocco. These visits including three interviews with musicians inform an understanding of the history, tourism, spirituality, performance aspects, and changing culture among the two distinct communities. The paper will draw upon these findings to evaluate what it currently means to be Gnawa, perform Gnawa, and spectate Gnawa performance in Morocco. Additionally, Gnawa music within the black Moroccan communities it is played is evidenced as the potential for music performance to become a mechanism for recording history and self-preservation in the face of persecution.


Africana Studies | African Studies | Ethnomusicology | Music Practice | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology of Culture


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