Cont'd.: Picture-Post/ Waiting for G'naouaot - Final And Last Installment.

Greetings again.

"Waiting for G'naouat", 'Waiting for The Gnawas'. Nice title donchy'all think? I know, I know... it's been ages and so long overdue to present the Gnawa post, but really for me 'ere it's also been one hectically busy week after another, and I couldn't make even half of it till now.

Do remain cheerful, nonetheless, because by the weekend I'm going to finish most of it, hopefully. Some parts will have to be put in the back-burner, too. This is not an easy post to write lemme tell ya: the amount of information in it is beyond enormous and every word is being given so much care in writing it.

In the meantime, I hope you can enjoy Tim Abdellah's latest post here
where you can find a downloadable Essaouria Gnawa Festival CD (Note: His posts are mostly tape cassettes, by the way). Also, hop right into A.T.A. (Awesome Tapes from Africa) and ogle the oodles of new Moroccan music cassettes that atta-boy, Brian Shimkovitz has got for us there.

As for these in-between picture-posts, this one here will be the last before the Gnawa main one. 'Kays, right unda you can find some of the rarest, and oldest postcards and pictures of gnawa musicians and yes, again more female tambourine players. Needless to say that there will be a ton more in the coming post!

I gotta slide now. 'Njoy.



Gnawa Musicians
A comic painting of a guembri player. Artist Unknown.
Gnawa Player. Comic pose.
Musicien Nègre.
Rifi (top), Karakeb Player (mid)
Guembri player. Getty Archives.

Gnawa Fiddler, Photographs by J. Geiser.

Musicien Nègre/ Algerian T'bal Player
1880s, Tupper Scrapbooks Collection.
Bou Saadia.
Salem, Negro Danseur.
Musicien Nigre.
Nègro Mendiant.
Musicien Ambulant.
Musicien Comique Arabe.
Dansuer Nègre.
Tambour de Sonnettes.
Musicien Morocain.

Musician Soudanias - Un Saint/ Sherift.
Négro Musicien.
Papa Bobo.
Oran - Hajhouj Player.
Marocain Jouvant Le Guembri.
Musicien Nègre.
Musiciens Nègres.
Musiciens Nègres.
Dansuer Soudanais.
Gnawa Musicians.
Types Marocain.
A collection of comic postcards.
 Musiciens Nègres.

Un Type Arabe.
Musicien Maure. Getty Archives.
Musicien Kabyle.
Musicien Arabe Ambulant.

Un Négro.
Oran - Type de Mendiant.
Musiciens Nègres.
 Un Musicien. Qaraqeb Player.
Mendiant Musicien.
Musicien Nègre.
Gnawa band.
Biskra - Musique de Négres.
Back-side of postcards.
Les Dansuers G'naoua. Painting.


Mauresque Tambourine Players
Paintings And Postcards.

The Tambourine Player - Francesco de Maria.
The Tambourine Player - Hans Zatzka.
The Harem Dancer - Hans Zatzka.
The Dancing Girl - Giulio Rosati.
The Tambourine Dancer - Fabbio Fabbi.
Entertainer - Salvator Valeri.
Tambourine Dancer - Otto Pilny.
The Harem Dance - Paul Alexandre Alfred Leroy.
A Musical Interlude In The Harem - Fabbio Fabbi.
The Musicians - Giulio Rosati.
Harem Dance - Giulio Rosati.
Harem Girl with Tambourine - Joseph Bernard.
Dance of The Almeh, Jean-Leon Gerome.
Harem Dance. Unknown Artist.
A Harem Scene.
Tambourine Player. Postcard.
Tambourine Dancer. Postcards.
La Danse Du Ventre. Postcard.
Nude Tambourine Player. Postcard.
La Danse Du Ventre. Postcard.
Dansuer au Tambourin. Postcard.
Jeune Fille Arabe. Postcard.
Fille Arabe. Postcard.
Indigènes Tunisiennes. Postcard.
Mauresque. Postcard.
Une Jolie Mauresque. Postcard.
Danseuses Arabes. Lehnert & Landrock 1910 - 1920.
Dancing Girls In The Harem, 1901. Underwood & Underwood.
Moorish Maiden.
Photograph, 1890s Getty Archives.
Danse Les Almées.
Photograph by, Alexandre Le Roux.
Women with A Tambourine: two Heliogravures by Louis Le Loir.

(Below) Musiciens Arabes. A Postal Card.

Tambourine Girl - 19th Century Middle Eastern Harem-Girl.


Bonus Pictures

Coming Soon!



Anonymous said...

Fantastic Gnawa pics...thanks!

Mr Tear said...

Thanks for all the wonderful & dubious images Hammer.

I'm looking forward to the Gnawa post immensely. Hammer, could you tell us something about the Algerian trance music that has similar roots to Gnawa? I'm intrigued but haven't been able to find any of the sounds - maybe you can help?

Many thanks,
Mr Tear

Hammer said...

Yes, Mr. Tear, I will in hideous detail in the next post.

As for Algerian trance scene:
Well, there's a gnawa scene in both Algeria and Tunis in addition to the Moroccan one. Gnawa music has also some few remaining 'Afro-Arab' traces in other Middle-eastern countries, like Sudan, Nubia, Saudi Arabia, and Mauritania.
The only difference between these gnawas is the nominations. In Algiers, for example they call it El-Diwan ('The Gathering') and in Tunis it's called El-Istambuli in reference to the Ottoman's Empire capital Istanbul where the first Gnawaist played there to rich Sultans. It's a celebration of the end of the harvest year in most of the western, or 'Maghreb' countries of the Arab world, but through which they collect money and boons as they move from one house to another in what's called L'Aada ('The Habit')/ Taweif Jawalah, or 'The Wandering Parades' (called by Sufists 'dakhla': The Intro), that would end facing the head of the sect's house whom they refer to as 'Muwlai/Moulay' (or, sometimes a local prince's one or a Sultan if their Muwlai was influential enough or has performed strong incantations to 'enamor' him).

Similar to Sufist trance, Gnawa musicians dance and sing wearing strange hats (tarabeesh/shuwashi/etc...), but there's a huge difference between the two schools of sectarian Muslims: One is allegedly secular and combines both male and female dances and daemonical enpossessabilities, while the other (Sufism) has a followed path, or tariqa to strictly adhere to.
Gnawa is African in origin as most sources claim it to be while Sufism is Asian (hence, it is closely related to Buddhistic interpolation of ritual trances). There is a lot of chagrin between the two let's say, 'schools of thought' and this is very familiar in the Arab world: there isn't a single sect that likes the other, rival one. These are more like rivals who compete to win the admiration of those in the power seat, Kings, Princes, and other influential rich people with black-magic and sorcery.

In my essay, which has grown from 20-30 MS-Word pages into what amounts now to almost 135... the job of discussing the hidden historisms, truths, philosophies, and defining the terms has taken a lot of time and toll on me due to the huge amount of information that I want to discuss and clarify to the respected reader. I don't want to follow, because I simply know that there's too little truth to see/read/follow in any of the Internet sources, and of course nothing when it comes to the paper 'treeware' ones.
Most of what you can obligingly read in regards to Gnawa in particular (and Trance music in general) is nothing but a huge fagload of bullshack. The essay, which is now growing as I've mentioned earlier into almost a mini-book will be I assure you... very different, but most of all true in context to the best of my knowledge and effort.
On another vein, so-called 'Néotraditionnel' Moroccan Gnawaist bands and neo-sufists ones have never dared intrude into this world of spiritualism at all. These bands that we all know of have given us; ever since the early 60's, a small assured picture of how to be an on-looker into these unseen magi-religious 'transcendental' worlds without having to endure the hellish pain of actually being a follower of a sect. I won't get near any of these bands in my essay because I don't want to change your idea of these bands' music and repertoires. Let sleeping dogs... sleep.

Finally, it's taking too long because I have been busy lately, and really couldn't work the essay and place the final finesse touches on it: it's already typed haphazardly. There is like many cut-and-paste ideas that I've written directly on the MS-Word and clicked Ctrl+S to save it all without even going back and making sure erm, it's all correctly spelled. I am a lout. I admit. Fack. But, I will... I will. Insh'Allah.


Hammer said...

A few Algerian Gnawa Music links:



Mr Tear said...

Hi Hammer, A million thanks for the links and for your thoughtful and informative reply. Looking forward to checking out those sounds.

I am very excited about your Gnawa essay, but please, take your time...there is no hurry - you should be happy with the fruit of your labour. This is very important as writing, imparting your knowledge, trying to promote understanding - this is a craft or an art and not something to be rushed. You should feel that you have produced an essay that is the best it can be. Those of us who are keen to learn more will wait until you are ready to share it with us.

Many thanks and good luck!

Hammer said...

Same to you too brofessor T.

I have already compiled an extensive Gnawa (Moroccan-only, sorz) of some of the 'new-old' artists and will upload it along with the post soon. Note: some of the Gnawa musicians featured are so obscure that I am not sure if Gnawa-meister Tim Abdellah himself know of. But, lemme see if he does.

In the meantime, a small bonus picture-post will be added to this one right here for the readers' enjoyment.



Anonymous said...

يا هلا
بوست مثير للاهتمام والعين ههه
الف شكر حبيته هواية
بس كنا متوقعين بوست عن محمد عبده!!
وعدتنا صور و البومات نادرة
قريبا انشالله!

Hammer said...

insh'Allah. I am working on the pictures right now: more Gnawa and Tambourine-players' pics are on their way and these can keep on coming til all days. Still, I'll be posting those with an artistic value only.
- - -
بس كنا متوقعين بوست عن محمد عبده:
أبونورة لديه البوست خاصته منذ مدة. لربما لم ترينه/تراه إلى الأن؟ على العموم, هذا هو الرايط/اللينك لبوست محمد عبدو: مطرب العرب

كلي أمل بأن يلقى إعجابك, و المزيد كما يقولون... على الطريق



Anonymous said...

looks like those algerian gnawa tracks aren't downloadable? i'm enjoying them very much, but the speakers on my computer are so small, hahaha


Hammer said...

Right on, right on. It's all 'bout enjoyin' after all.

Have fun. More to come, of corz.


Anonymous said...

i like the waiting for godot ref., btw

yeah i'm sure i'll be dl-ing tons of obscure gnawa music, soon enough

you do a great job with these posts -- all the research, photos, background, history, your own spin on it, THE MUSIC, etc...

Anonymous said...

هسه شايف البوست
Incredible, thanks. The old 3bdu is incomparable.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Here is a link that may interest you :


Enjoy !


Anonymous said...

Hello! I am trying to track down the second image in "Women with A Tambourine: two Heliogravures by Louis Le Loir. Are both titled 'Woman with a Tambourine'? Do you have a source for the second image? Thank you!