Recorded by Paul Bowles
At Amizmiz, Morocco
November 5, 1959
"I went out to Amizmiz, (59 kilometres south of Marrakech) on a Monday to arrange with the Caid there to make contact with the Tiskiouine, who live in a region some ninety kilometres south of Amizmiz in the Grand Atlas. The Poste, sixty kilometres above Amizmiz in the mountains, was notified Tuesday, and the men began arriving there by muleback Wednesday morning. A truck was sent up from Amizmiz to the Poste Wednesday afternoon and it brought the men down to Amizmiz Thursday, shortly before I got there to record. There were twenty-six men altogether. Twenty played tarija, (small ceramic hand-drums) three played tara (the local name for benadir) and two played aouadas (which in most parts would be called lior, since they were small recorders.) The final man was the moqaddem, as the leader called himself here.The performance was to take place on the lawn of the Caid' s residence. As soon as the men arrived, they sat down and removed their clothing in order to put on their dance costumes. On his left shoulder, over a white toga-like garment, each man wore a clump of silk tassels to which was affixed a brass bell and a large silver powder-horn (from which the tiskiouine take their name); some of the powder-horns were set with large amethysts and rose -quartz. When they had their costumes on they got up and immediately began to play an arrival piece (no. 1) walking in single file slowly across the lawn."
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection (AFC 1960/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Courtesy of the Paul Bowles Estate and Irene Hermann / Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies.