Note: Alan Lomax and his interpreter comment on what is happening in the wedding ceremony. The groom eats dates (considered to be auspicious in Moroccan culture –the first food eaten upon breaking the Ramadan fast) and drinks milk before entering the bride’s house.
About the session: A collection of wedding music and festivities recorded in the southeastern town of Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara Desert. The wedding took place on September 17th, 1967. The lead instrument on these recordings is ghaita (oboe) with three percussion instruments (bendir, darbaka and kettle drum) forming the rhythm section. The names of the musicians are as follows : Abderrahmane ben Mohamed, his sons Mohamed and Abdelkader ben Abderrahmane, Ahmed Benjilali, and Mohamed ben Lakhlifa—all residents of Erfoud. At the wedding in Erfoud on September 17th, 1967, Alan Lomax recorded songs by the troupe of Monsieur Abderrahmane ben Mohamed, featuring lead vocals from Tahar ben Larbi. Most of the songs are in praise of King Hassan II (1929–1999). The Tafilalet region, in which Erfoud is situated, is the ancient seat of Morocco’s current ruling family, the Alaouite Dynasty, who made their first capital at the now-vanished city of Sijilmassa in this region. The Tafilalet area remains a bastion of support for the monarchy, as evidenced by the laudatory sentiments expressed in these songs.
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