Raïs Mahamed Ben Mohammed Ensemble
(Beni Haha Tribe, Tamanar)
Recorded in Essaouira, Morocco by Paul Bowles
August 8, 1959
Dance for solo drum and percussion chorus
1959, Video 2015
3B. Raïs Mahamed Ben Mohammed Ensemble Dance for solo drum and percussion chorus (Beni Haha Tribe, Tamanar) Recorded in Essaouira, Morocco by Paul Bowles August 8, 1959
"There were sixteen men in this group. Four
played benadir, and three played aouada; the rest sang, clapped their
hands and danced. The dancing is primarily percussive.
The musician-dancers are mainly
farmers of the region of Tamanar, and it is hard to believe that
such a degree of perfection in the way of making percussive music can be
attained by a group of untrained non-professionals. Asked for details
concerning the purpose of the second of these two selections, the Caïd
of Tamanar said: "The Haha
use this music to excite themselves, such as before making war, or before
marriage,--any time when courage is needed."
of ternary meter is by far the most usual one in Berber music; in this·
respect the first selection and the first
of the second on this tape are extraordinary.
first piece is intended to display, was also the principal dancer. He was a somewhat heavy elderly man, and he was particularly
solicitous about seeing
I appreciated his star quality.
he had decided that I was not really aware of it, he seized his opportunity and shouted his
name triumphantly into the microphone
the middle of the music."
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