I feel deeply fortunate to be able to travel regularly to southern Morocco. In Taroudant in the Souss Valley, and further south in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, my groups of students have the chance to discover women’s cultural traditions including music and dance, weaving and embroidery, household and healing rituals. In the seven years I have been leading these tours, women have joined me from a dozen different countries and as many different faiths, and most of them end up feeling at home here just the way I do.
What makes southern Morocco so special? Many threads come together to create the extraordinary ambience which permeates this part of the country. First of all, there is the Berber influence: a large percentage of Moroccans in the South are Berbers, and many elements of ancient North African Berber culture, with roots in Neolithic times, remain percepible beneath the relatively recent overlays of Arabic culture and Islam.
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