🇲🇦 🇬🇧 We arrive at a bustling place somewhere in Morocco to learn a little bit about Gnawa. Our guide is inimitable Simo Lagnawi.
Gnawa tradition appeared at the time when the people from the land of Sudan, Guinea and neighboring countries were taken from their home land and brought to the Northern and Western African countries as slaves. Among them, there were spirited ones, who devoted themselves to ceremonial and sacred art even under pressure and humiliation.
Simo Lagnawi is a true ambassador of Gnawa, who travels around the world, performs himself and teaches. Residing in Great Britain since 2008, he has established Gnawa London, the society which keeps the secrecy of Gnawa and share it with the Western world.
Simo plays the guembri, technically, the plucked lute, Moroccan three-stringed instrument made of camel’s skin. When the group performs, it usually has krakebs, the metal castanets referring to the handcuffs and the chains of the slaves. The drums and other percussion instruments are used as well. Such a performance is always rich in driving energy, deep groove music with truly sincere spirit of freedom, intensified by bright clothing and irrepressible rhythms.
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