Home Institution

Pomona College

Publication Date

Fall 2022

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


This project explores how Anounizme, a village in southeastern Morocco, interacts with water. I was particularly curious about how traditional community management systems operate in the context of drought. I argue that the customary management system exhibits resiliency like it has in the face of Arabization, colonization, exploitative industry, and land privatization. It is capable of adapting to drought because it is more than a management system; it is a part of culture engrained as custom. Customs have porous boundaries, allowing a space for old aspects of culture to interact with both emerging aspects of culture and external pressures. I draw upon existing scholarship surrounding the commons, customs, khettara, and community resource management in the region. I turn to semi-structured interviews and participant observation in Anounizme to better understand this scholarship in the context of drought and desertification. This research takes unique relevance as there is little field-based research in the region, and it explores customs and community management in the framework of water scarcity.


African Studies | Fresh Water Studies | Human Ecology | Place and Environment | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Water Resource Management

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