41B: "Aouada Solo" (Begging Music of the Djemaa el Fna)
1959 October 28; Video
Begging Music of the Djemaa el Fna
Recorded by Paul Bowles
At Marrakech, Morocco.
October 28, 1959.
In the past there were many more of this kind of performer in the Djemaa el Fna then there are today. The misshapen and incomplete have largely disappeared from the square, and the beggars are fewer. Occasionally one finds a man such as the one playing the aouada here, who does not actually beg with his voice, but pronounces the words of the formula, as it were, on his instrument. In this way he is able to think of himself as a musician rather than as a beggar, although no one ever stops to listen to his repetitive little plaint. He had only one arm; the other had been removed at the shoulder.
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.