A celebration of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Southern Daraa Valley in southeastern Morocco, and an invitation to those around the world to witness this diversity.
The title reflects a continuation of Daraa Tribes’ efforts to shine a spotlight on the heritages from which each band member originates:
Aarib: The Aarib people from southeastern Morocco also reside in Saharan corners of Algeria, Mali, and Mauritania, originating from the Arab world centuries ago. They practice several music traditions, of which Chamra is highlighted in the music video for this single. The Aarib people are historically nomadic, and the Chamra music tradition is usually practiced at sunset and at night as a band of nomads would find a spot to sleep and settle in for the night.
Ragaga: The Regaga tribe are believed to have migrated westward across the Sahara more than a millenia ago, settling in the lush oasis of Ktawa. Before colonization, their village, also named Ragaga, was the center of commercial and public life in the region for centuries. They perform several traditional music styles, of which Akalal and Skal are featured in the music video.
Amazigh: The Amazigh people are indigenous to Saharan North Africa and are believed to have been living in the region for thousands of years. They are historically nomadic people who often settle near mountainous areas across the desert, and the traditional Ahidous style of music performed in the Southern Draa Valley often recalls the Amazigh people’s relationship with nature.
Kaaba: The Kaaba tribe is a particular ethnic group that belongs to the larger Daraoua people, who are mixed ethnicities which migrated to the Daraa Valley region from other parts of the Sahara and other corners of Africa over the course of several centuries. Their musical style Rokba means ‘Knee’, and reflects the movement of a horse during warfare centuries ago. The Kaaba and Daraoua people are in large part responsible for having maintained the lush oases spread throughout the Daraa River Valley.
Gnawa: The Gnawa people historically were brought into Morocco as slaves from Mali and even further eastward across the Sahara from Sudan. They practice several traditional music styles, of which Ganga is practiced in the Southern Daraa Valley, and is a direct reflection of the condition of slavery. The metal hand-held percussion instruments Karakash reflect binding chains in both imagery and sound, and their lyrics are both spiritual and have been sung for centuries during the time of slavery. Their ownership over their cultural heritage is a testament to the will of the Gnawa people to overcome suffering and become a dominant cultural force across Morocco.
The song ‘Lakbayl’, and the accompanying music video, not only represents this diversity, but also the general attitude of peace, tolerance, and social cohesion so integral to life in the Southern Daraa Valley of Morocco. Tribes may have different languages, histories, clothes, songs, dances, villages, and other customs, but all are respected and celebrated as vibrant aspects of local society. This is Daraa Tribes message to the world: to acknowledge, respect, and celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity, rather than use these identities to divide, as is the case in so many corners of the world.
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