Archive for the amazigh Category

Le Moor c’est L’amour – Moroccan henna class in Montreal!

Posted in algeria, amazigh, art, classes, culture, design, henna, history, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, women, workshop on May 21, 2012 by kenzilisa

Lumanessence Henna Body Art is proud to host MOOR Henna Master Class, with renowned henna-artist and author Lisa Butterworth — aka Kenzi — who will be coming to Montreal at the end of July to teach this exclusive class on Moroccan henna art.

THE MASTER CLASS
During the workshop, you will learn about the history and culture of Moroccan henna, as well as an in depth look at how to break down designs, construct patterns, combine elements, and more.
• Jamila henna cones will be made available, but if you prefer working with your own, please feel free to bring them.
• In keeping with our Northern African theme, there will also be succulent Moroccan delicacies that will be served during the workshop.

THE BOOK
You will also have the opportunity to purchase the book Moor: a Henna Atlas of Morocco (which Kenzi co-authored with another accomplished henna-artist, Nic Tharpa Cartier), and have it autographed. Please let us know if you would prefer the book in hardcover or soft cover so that we can plan in the advance the exact amount of copies needed.

RESERVATION
Places are limited so to confirm your reservation, a non-refundable deposit of $30 is required before Thursday, June 28th.
Below you will find a button that will lead you directly to Kenzi’s Paypal account where you can make your secure online payment.
The balance amount is to be paid in cash the day of the class.

The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries

Posted in algeria, amazigh, culture, history, mauritania, morocco, people, politics, sahara, tuareg on February 4, 2012 by kenzilisa

 

ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images Tuaregs on camelback Sept. 25, 2010, during a festival in northern Niger

The Tuaregs, a nomadic tribe in North and West Africa, dominated the caravan trade through the Sahara Desert for thousands of years. Their entire way of life was disrupted, however, by the imposition of borders, natural desertification, urbanization and the rise of maritime trade. In their quest to survive, the Tuaregs have launched several revolts in Mali and Niger, fought as mercenaries in the Libyan civil war and used their expertise to smuggle illicit goods, which brought them into contact with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). It is the development of these skills and links to AQIM that have brought the Tuaregs to Western governments’ attention.  More here: The Tuaregs: From African Nomads to Smugglers and Mercenaries | STRATFOR.

New York City Moor Workshop – October 16th

Posted in amazigh, art, classes, culture, design, henna, history, morocco, traditions, women, workshop with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by kenzilisa

At last and thanks to great demand, Nic and I will be doing another Moor Moroccan Henna Master class in NYC.  The class will be on Sunday, October 16th from Noon to 5 pm in Brooklyn, NY.

 

More info and registration here: http://tinyurl.com/moorclass

Hard to believe but this is my first Moroccan bridal!

Posted in amazigh, art, culture, design, henna, moor, the book, morocco, traditions, weddings, women on June 2, 2011 by kenzilisa

I do a lot of bridal henna and especially now that it’s spring-going-on-summer.  Most of my brides are S. Asian women or women marrying S. Asian men and they all want Indian-style designs.  I get to the point where I don’t even bother showing them Moroccan designs because they skip right over them and I get sad thinking about how underappreciated Moroccan designs are.   I had a bride meet me for a consult a few weeks ago and I handed her all my Indian bridal books; as I was turning away from her to hang up her coat I caught the tiniest glimmer of disappointment in her face which confused me, so when we started talking I tried to observe her and see what that disappointed look meant.

Moroccan bridal henna….at last!!

As we talked it dawned on me that she didn’t want Indian-style designs but had come to me specifically for Moroccan designs.  I chucked all my Indian books and proudly pulled out Moor, and her face brightened immediately.  As we got talking she told me about the time she spent living and studying in Morocco as well as Egypt and it was fun reminiscing.  I finally met her again yesterday for her bridal henna.  I had a moment of panic because I haven’t ever done full Moroccan bridal henna and I feared that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  After a few deep breaths it all came to me and I was able to just go with the flow.  I kept thanking her for requesting Moroccan and I think she started to think she had a nutcase on her hands.  I will nag her in a few weeks for some photos from her photographer at her wedding but here is my quick snapshot of her hands.

Metropolitan Museum’s Moroccan Courtyard Takes Shape – NYTimes.com

Posted in amazigh, art, ceramics, culture, design, history, morocco, traditions on March 20, 2011 by kenzilisa

Metropolitan Museum’s Moroccan Courtyard Takes Shape – NYTimes.com.  An excellent story about the creation of a Moroccan courtyard in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC by traditional craftsmen from Morocco.  I love this kind of mosaic and plasterwork, and this article says that this courtyard may be one of the best examples of this art.  It’s opening in the fall of 2011. I can’t wait to see it here on my home turf.

Moroccan zellij - photo by Jonathan Khoo

“The Moroccans, who are known for their restoration work on important mosques and other landmarks in the Middle East, are in essence living historians who have carried on patterns and designs preserved in practice for generations. But they have never attempted a job requiring this level of historical attention or artistry, one whose goal is to look as authentic to Moroccan eyes as to those of scholars.”

AFP: African Oscar goes to incest movie from Morocco

Posted in amazigh, art, culture, morocco, people, traditions, women on March 6, 2011 by kenzilisa

AFP: African Oscar goes to incest movie from Morocco.

I know that headline is kind of disturbing, but bear with me!  I found this news interesting not just because I follow what is going on in Moroccan culture but also because the film’s subject touches on some of the themes of our book on Moroccan henna.  Specifically the film talks about demon-possession in Morocco.   From the article, “Set in the countryside of the north African nation of Morocco “Pegase”, the debut film of young filmmaker Mouftakir, is a drama of rape of Rihanna, 20, perpetrated by her father in the belief she is “pregnant” with a demon.”  Henna is often used to placate demons but sometimes also to protect a person against demon possession, either by wearing henna to keep the demons away or by making an offering of henna at a saint’s tomb to gain protection from the saint.  I haven’t seen this movie yet but I will see if I can find it somewhere.

“Day of Dignity”protests in Morocco this coming weekend

Posted in amazigh, morocco, people, politics on February 22, 2011 by kenzilisa

This is a story from Afrol News.  They don’t have share or email buttons I had to cut and paste it here. You can see the article with photos at the link.

From Afrol News, 22 February – Human rights groups and the opposition youth movement are preparing new mass protests in Morocco for 26 and 27 February, while denouncing government “lies” that Sunday’s protests had been peaceful.

Already during the Sunday mass protests in Morocco, key groups gathered in front of the Rabat parliament announced that new protests would be held on Saturday and Sunday, 26 and 27 February. This was today confirmed by the Moroccan Human Rights Association (AMDH), calling for massive protests all over the country during the weekend.

The AMDH also strongly challenges the government’s and Moroccan press’ version of Sunday’s protests. The official version is that the protests, which had been allowed, in general went peacefully, with a friendly cooperation from security forces. However, looting criminals during the evening had caused great damage and violence, resulting in 5 persons being killed and 138 injured.

Not so, says the AMDH, which is among the key groups organising the protest movement. Indeed, AMDH President Khadija Riyadi herself was among the injured as she, other human rights activists and a journalist had been attacked by “pro-government thugs” outside a court in Rabat, the capital, in the late afternoon.

According to an AMDH statement in Arabic language, received by afrol News, “repressive forces” were used against the peaceful protesters in central Rabat. Both uniformed and plain-cloth government agents, “armed with batons,” started beating the peaceful protesters, causing severe injuries. Ms Riyadi and several others were hospitalised.

The AMDH strongly condemned “this heinous attack” and human rights violation, urging an “investigation into these violations” and further pro-democracy demonstrations in the coming weekend.

And as the first joy over Morocco’s “Day of Dignity” demonstrations is settling, an increasing number of reports document that government repression in Morocco had followed the same lines as other Arab regimes; only executed in a more elegant and discrete way.

For example, trains between Casablanca – Morocco’s largest city – and nearby Rabat were cancelled during the period protesters could have used them to flock to the capital. Protest organiser Mohammed Elaoudi and many other activists saw their websites and e-mail accounts blocked. Foreign journalists covering the events report being tailed by intelligence agents. “Activists” on state TV declared that the protests were cancelled one day before.

After the protests, the message is the same. While Moroccan media reported widely about the protests, they all refer to the official version. All disturbances are attributed to criminals, looters and drug addicts. Security forces had done nothing wrong.

King Mohammed VI in a televised speech yesterday commented on the protests, insisting he would keep faithful to Morocco’s “unique model of democracy and development,” not bowing into “demagoguery and improvisation” as represented by the protest movement.

For the masses of Moroccans, the messages from government so far are credible. Most people believe the protests were widely peaceful, only disturbed by looting criminals.

However, discontent is rife and Sunday’s protests also in Morocco helped to lift the barrier of fear. Protests like those on Sunday would not have been allowed before the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, and the masses can again be mobilised next weekend. 

But there are also more and more people that have stopped believing in the government version. Organisers like the AMDH are increasingly angered. But, even worse, in the areas witnessing violence on Sunday, discontent may grow into an Egypt-like force as people for the first time in decades dear protesting. Sunday’s deaths and injured may ignite deeper anger.

The nucleus of discontent and unrest remains the northern Rif region and the central Atlas mountains; both historically disadvantaged regions dominated by the Berber minority.

Especially in the Rif region, which includes the port city of Al-Hoceima where 5 persons were killed during the Sunday riots, resistance against the capital has deep roots. Indeed, the great political discussion in the Rif right now is whether the government or the King himself is responsible for the problems in Morocco.

In forums, politically conscious Rif residents are discussing the way forward and whether to keep revolting until the King steps down. A person calling himself “Khattabi” in a Rif discussion forum urges people not to believe in the King’s “false promises.” Rather, he says, “we now have a golden opportunity to confront the government; an opportunity that may not present itself again.”

The future of Morocco’s protest – whether they can become peaceful or violent – will probably be decided in the Rif region and around Marrakech, the unofficial Berber capital, next weekend.

By staff writers

© afrol News