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Defining and Revising the Gnawa and Their Music through Commodification in Local, National, and Global Contexts

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021206/00001

Material Information

Title: Defining and Revising the Gnawa and Their Music through Commodification in Local, National, and Global Contexts
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Witulski, Christopher
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: aissawa, arab, arabic, berber, derdba, diffusion, ethnomusicology, fes, fez, fusion, gimbri, ginbri, global, globalization, gnaoua, gnawa, gnawi, hajhuj, hamadcha, hamadsha, islam, issawa, jinn, laila, layla, maalem, maroc, maskun, mluk, moroccan, morocco, music, orientalism, possession, qaraqeb, qarqeba, shakshaka, shaqshaqa, spirit, sufi, sufism, tbal, tijani, tijaniyya, trance
Music -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Music thesis, M.M.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this thesis I examine the shift of Morocco?s Gnawa music from a local tradition (marginalized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stages. The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex-slaves whose religion involves trance and possession by various spirits, personifications of significant Muslim figures. Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly saints, or manipulative demons? This theological concern, along with the importation of sub-Saharan ritual and song, has historically rendered the group outside of ?acceptable? Islamic practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular with the Moroccan public and international audiences, troubling more orthodox authorities across the country. By contextualizing Sufism and non-Orthodox practice within Morocco?s social and political history, I interrogate the strategies that festivals and the international record industry use in promoting and defining Gnawa music. The ways in which these groups portray the Islamic and sub-Saharan elements directly coincides with their pragmatic goals and target audiences, causing the actors to reconfigure Gnawa music and faith differently for regional, national, and international audiences. These activities define the Gnawa to the rest of the Moroccan population, often with a lack of regard for actual practices and theological positions. By shifting to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fez?s old city, I consider how religious groups incorporate controversial Gnawa musical and ritual traditions into their own practices. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and ?Aissawa Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Mekne graves, I show the poignant and effective strategies, both musical and commercial, that they use to engage with each other, the Gnawa, and the commercial opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music scene. These changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these behaviors evoke criticism from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the intent and faith of these novel religious/commercial performances. Spiritual and moral authority is up to debate, a debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The conclusions gained through this work emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can and should play in anthropological research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of musical performance creates contested spaces for debates about the validity and authority of religious tradition.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christopher Witulski.
Thesis: Thesis (M.M.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Crook, Larry N.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0021206:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021206/00001

Material Information

Title: Defining and Revising the Gnawa and Their Music through Commodification in Local, National, and Global Contexts
Physical Description: 1 online resource (115 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Witulski, Christopher
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: aissawa, arab, arabic, berber, derdba, diffusion, ethnomusicology, fes, fez, fusion, gimbri, ginbri, global, globalization, gnaoua, gnawa, gnawi, hajhuj, hamadcha, hamadsha, islam, issawa, jinn, laila, layla, maalem, maroc, maskun, mluk, moroccan, morocco, music, orientalism, possession, qaraqeb, qarqeba, shakshaka, shaqshaqa, spirit, sufi, sufism, tbal, tijani, tijaniyya, trance
Music -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Music thesis, M.M.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this thesis I examine the shift of Morocco?s Gnawa music from a local tradition (marginalized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stages. The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex-slaves whose religion involves trance and possession by various spirits, personifications of significant Muslim figures. Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly saints, or manipulative demons? This theological concern, along with the importation of sub-Saharan ritual and song, has historically rendered the group outside of ?acceptable? Islamic practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular with the Moroccan public and international audiences, troubling more orthodox authorities across the country. By contextualizing Sufism and non-Orthodox practice within Morocco?s social and political history, I interrogate the strategies that festivals and the international record industry use in promoting and defining Gnawa music. The ways in which these groups portray the Islamic and sub-Saharan elements directly coincides with their pragmatic goals and target audiences, causing the actors to reconfigure Gnawa music and faith differently for regional, national, and international audiences. These activities define the Gnawa to the rest of the Moroccan population, often with a lack of regard for actual practices and theological positions. By shifting to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fez?s old city, I consider how religious groups incorporate controversial Gnawa musical and ritual traditions into their own practices. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and ?Aissawa Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Mekne graves, I show the poignant and effective strategies, both musical and commercial, that they use to engage with each other, the Gnawa, and the commercial opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music scene. These changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these behaviors evoke criticism from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the intent and faith of these novel religious/commercial performances. Spiritual and moral authority is up to debate, a debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The conclusions gained through this work emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can and should play in anthropological research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of musical performance creates contested spaces for debates about the validity and authority of religious tradition.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christopher Witulski.
Thesis: Thesis (M.M.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Crook, Larry N.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0021206:00001


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DEFINING AND REVISING THE GNAWA AND THEIR MUSIC THROUGH
COMMODIFICATION IN LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS





















By

CHRISTOPHER JAMES WITULSKI


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF MUSIC

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2009


































2009 Christopher James Witulski









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project is the culmination of efforts offered by many people and the final product

bears their distinct imprints. Funding for research was provided by the Department of

Musicology, via the Alumni Grant Program at the University of Florida. The Center for African

Studies at UF made three fieldwork trips to Morocco possible through Foreign Language and

Area Studies and Pre-Dissertation summer research grants.

I am indebted to the assistance of a number of individuals in Fez, whose sheer generosity

defines "Moroccan hospitality," especially Hejji Karim, Mohammed Boujma, Saida, Si Ahmed,

and Maati Manjib. Abderrahim Abd Ar-Rzaq, Muqaddem Adil, Abderrahim al-Marrakeshi, and

Abdullah Yaqoubi offered me days of their time in order to explain their musical and religious

traditions and allowed me to enter their personal and spiritual lives for those months that I spent

in Fez.

At the University of Florida I have been blessed with the guidance of teachers and

scholars who have taken their time to discuss my ideas and carefully read and reread portions of

this document including Welson Tremura, Roman Loimeier, and Fiona McGlaughlin. I am

especially thankful to Larry Crook for his advising, insights, and direction since my time here in

Florida began.

The true support from the course of my life, however, comes from family and friends,

those who have been with me for years. It was my parents who supported me through life's

struggles, personally and professionally, and through each of the decisions, no matter how

unexpected, that I have made. And finally, my wife has offered me her patience and

encouragement, listening to my innumerable ideas (knowing that the vast majority would simply

be discarded) and sharing in my frustrations. It is her love that has made the last years, since we

met in Fez, remarkable.










TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ...............................................................................................................3

LIST OF FIGURES .................................. .. ..... ..... ................. .6

ABSTRAC T ...........................................................................................

CHAPTER

1 THE COMMODIFICATION OF MOROCCAN SUFISM ............................................. 9

In tro d u ctio n ................... ...................9.............................
Islam as Discourse ...................................................................... ........ 15
S u fism in M o ro c c o ........................................................................................................... 17
M o ro cc an Islam (s) .......................................................................................................2 0
Com m odifying the G naw a.....................................................22

2 THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ETHNOMUSICOLOGY ..............................25

In tro d u ctio n ................... ...................2...................5..........
S cien ce an d O rien talism ................................................................................................... 2 5
Concerns of the A anthropology of Islam .............................................................................. 28
Historical Disciplinary Power Structures ........................................... 28
Great and Little Traditions-Robert Redfield ................... .................. 31
Responding to Anthropologists-Abdul Hamid el-Zein .........................................33
M oving toward an Anthropology of Islam ................. .....................................................37
M music and E thnom usicology ...........................................................................39
Gamal Abdel Nasr, Umm Kulthoum, and History as Anthropology ............................39
Listening ........................................... ....................... ........ ........ ..................... 40
Fusing the Sacred and the Profane ................. ................................43
L listening in M oroccan Islam .......................................................................... 44

3 FROM THE LAYLA TO THE STREETS: GNAWA RITUAL AND THEOLOGY ......45

The A rab-B erber R acial C ontinuum ................................................................................. 46
T he G naw a and the L ayla ......... ................ ..............................................................49
The L ayla C erem ony ........................ ........................ .. .... ........ .... .. ... 50
Perform ers and Instrum ents..... .................................................................. ...............53
Taking M music to the Streets ............. ........................................... ............... ........ 57
Moving toward a National and World Music....... ......... ......... .. ...............60







4









4 STRATIFICATION AND FUSION: GNAWA MUSIC ON NATIONAL AND
IN TE R N A TIO N A L STA G E S ..................................................................... .....................68

In tro du ctio n ..................... ........... ............. ........ .... .............. .......... ................ 6 8
The Globalization and Commodification of Musical Spirituality in Morocco.....................69
Nationalistic Uses of Commodification............................................................ ................ 71
Censorship and the Need for a Created Religious Authority, or "Moroccan Islam" .............74
Nationalistic Musical Promotion and the Essouira Festival of World Music ...................77
International Fusion and D iffusion......... ................. ................... ................. ............... 83

5 CONCLUSION: DISCUSSING SUFISM AND RELIGIOUS FUSION IN LOCAL
C O N T E X T S ..................................................................................................................... 9 3

M oroccan Islam R visited ............................................................................ ................... 94
Private and Public Religious Performances............................ ............... 95
Tijaniyya Claim s to Spiritual A authority ..................................................... ...................95
The 'Aissawa Public Performances and the Commodification of Dhikr ......................96
The Gnaw a, D efined by their M usic ........................................ .......................... 98
C laim ing Sufism (for O others) ........................................................................ ...................99
W hat is M oroccan Islam ? ........................................................................ .......................10 1

APPENDIX: GLOSSARY OF ARABIC TERMS ................................................................108

L IS T O F R E F E R E N C E S ......... .................................... ..........................................................

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ......... ............................................................. ........................... 115









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure age

3-1 A table presenting the Gnawa mluks as described by Abd ar-Rzaq, a maalem in Fez......62

3-2 Distribution of plucked lutes in West and Northwest Africa .........................................63

3-3 Table of G naw a instrum ents. ..................................................................... ..................64

3-4 Abderrahim ar-Rzaq, a maalem in Fez, demonstrating the hajhuj. .................................64

3-5 Abderrahim Abd ar-Rzaq and others performing on the quraqib .....................................65

3-6 A closer view of the quraqib ......... ................ ......... ............................ ............... 65

3-7 Street performers, musicians, and showmen in Marrakech's Jma' al-Fna......................66

3-8 Gnawa performers encircled by a crowd in Marrakech ...............................................66

3-9 Maalem Gaga (left) demonstrating the tbal in a Gnawa household. ................................67

3-10 M aalem Gaga (right) playing the tbal................. .......................................... ... 67

4-1 Souk System album cover.......................................................................... ................... 90

4-2 Itchak al-Baz: 'ud/electric guitar and electric bass............. ...............................................91

4-3 Itchak al-Baz: 'ud and electric bass ............................................................................91

4 -4 Itch ak a l-B a z : 'u d ......................................................................................................... 9 1

4-5 Baraket: quraqib ...................................................................... ......... 91

4-6 Baraket: electric guitar (2nd time only) and hajhuj......................................................92

4-7 Bhar el-W afa: hajhuj ................................. .............. .. ............92

5-1 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Mohammed Ben Guaddane's 'Aissawa
g rou p ......................................................... ...................................10 5

5-2 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al-Marrakechi's Hamadcha
g rou p ......................................................... ...................................10 6

5-3 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al-Marrakechi's most recent
project, Barakasoul. ................................ .... .. ........... .. ............107









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music

DEFINING AND REVISING THE GNAWA AND THEIR MUSIC THROUGH
COMMODIFICATION IN LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS

By

Christopher James Witulski

December 2009

Chair: Larry Crook
Major: Music

In this thesis I examine the shift of Morocco's Gnawa music from a local tradition

(marginalized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stages.

The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex-slaves whose religion

involves trance and possession by various spirits, personifications of significant Muslim figures.

Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly

saints, or manipulative demons? This theological concern, along with the importation of sub-

Saharan ritual and song, has historically rendered the group outside of "acceptable" Islamic

practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular with the Moroccan

public and international audiences, troubling more orthodox authorities across the country.

By contextualizing Sufism and non-Orthodox practice within Morocco's social and

political history, I interrogate the strategies that festivals and the international record industry use

in promoting and defining Gnawa music. The ways in which these groups portray the Islamic

and sub-Saharan elements directly coincides with their pragmatic goals and target audiences,

causing the actors to reconfigure Gnawa music and faith differently for regional, national, and

international audiences. These activities define the Gnawa to the rest of the Moroccan

population, often with a lack of regard for actual practices and theological positions.









By shifting to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fez's old city, I consider

how religious groups incorporate controversial Gnawa musical and ritual traditions into their

own practices. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and

'Aissawa Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Meknes, I show the poignant and effective strategies,

both musical and commercial, that they use to engage with each other, the Gnawa, and the

commercial opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music

scene. These changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these

behaviors evoke criticism from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the

intent and faith of these novel religious/commercial performances. Spiritual and moral authority

is up to debate, a debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The

conclusions gained through this work emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can and

should play in anthropological research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of musical

performance creates contested spaces for debates about the validity and authority of religious

tradition.









CHAPTER 1
THE COMMODIFICATION OF MOROCCAN SUFISM

Introduction

In every area of the world, people come together to create inclusive and exclusive

identities. The boundaries between these are formed around any number of "real" or symbolic

traits, and are constructed for various pragmatic and ideological reasons. The historical, political,

economic, religious, and ethnic variables that influence such constructions are complex. Analysis

of artistic expression, ceremonial practice, and the communal expectations of such activities can

help discern otherwise hidden elements of social identity. By examining the different values

present in performances in various settings and interrogating how history is constructed or

reconstructed through these performances and through the debates that surround them, we view

the effects of the above variables on the musical style, the people's identification, religious belief

and national identity.

In this thesis I will examine the shift of Morocco's Gnawa music from a local tradition

(marginalized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stages.

The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex-slaves whose religion

involves trance and possession by various spirits, personifications of significant Muslim figures.

Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly

saints, or are theyjnun (demons or evil spirits)? This theological concern, along with the

importation of sub-Saharan ritual and song, has historically rendered the group outside of

"acceptable" Islamic practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular

with the Moroccan public and international audiences, troubling more orthodox authorities

across the country.









Yet a "vertical" perspective, one that follows a specific group or tradition through a

continuum of settings varying from the household to the neighborhood through the regional and

national and beyond, is limited. The definition of acceptable "tradition," in this case a set of

conflated musical practices and religious beliefs, does not work within a vacuum, including only

one ethnic or religious group. I will thus follow the celebration and criticism of this musical and

cultural change from other political, social, and religious actors. The intense cultural scrutiny

surrounding the musical activities of the Gnawa and of other spiritual organizations in Morocco

who engage similar practices and beliefs vividly demonstrates the active and pragmatic creation

and redefinition of distinct borders around "Moroccan" and "Muslim" as either inclusive or

exclusive identities.

When we ignore these "horizontal" structures, interactions that conjoin one distinct group

to others, that embed the sound to its settings, we, as ethnomusicologists and anthropologists,

lose the "web" or "mesh" of the network that fleshes out and gives depth to the object of our

research (see Chapter 2). In this particular case, if we ignore the horizontal connections between

the Gnawa, the Tijaniyya, the 'Aissawa, the Hamadcha, and others, as described in Chapter 5, we

lose the neighborhood, the everyday life, and the city of Fez, the fieldwork setting for this study.

This thesis will join scholars (Asad 1986, El-Zein 1977, Gellner 1981, Gilsnenan 1982)

who have expressed concerns regarding the dismissal of the local in defining an essential or

idealized Islamic practice and theology. This work will also build upon the converse insights of

Guilbault (1993), who interrogates the power of the international community upon localized

traditions. But I also wish to extend such "vertical" analyses, those that primarily address the

relationship of this local-global nexus. Anthropological research on Islam has a long history of

overlooking "horizontal" relationships between actors in an effort to define specific paths for









authorities and organizations, like major festivals and recording studios, to bring singular

localized styles to regional and international audiences. This thesis will also highlight the

importance of locality (beyond pre-existing religious or musical ties) and discourse as I examine

the musical conversations between Sufis and reformers, Hamadchas and Tijaniyyas, between

Muslims and non-Muslims as they navigate the value-laden terrain, creating personal expression,

prayer, and musical entertainment in Fez, Morocco. Through a close reading of ethnographic

material on the Gnawa and other Sufi groups, this thesis outlines the importance of considering

both these vertical and horizontal relationships in the negotiation of musical products, communal

identity, and theological authority. The Gnawa and Sufi rituals discussed in the following

chapters fit firmly within this horizontal discourse of variation and authority in the practice of

Islam as it exists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Chapter 1 outlines the central theoretical directions for this thesis and lays out relevant

aspects of Moroccan history and religious culture. I introduce the idea of "Islam as Discourse,"

highlighting how this approach to the anthropology of Islam will prove useful in the study of

both the social position and sudden musical rise of the Gnawa and the ways in which religious

authorities in Fez claim and define boundaries based on Gnawa and other musical productions. I

then address Morocco's unique political history, emphasizing the importance of Sufism within

dynastic power structures, foreshadowing the importance of Sufi paths in modern religious

practice. Finally, I outline the intersections between race, language, and religion in defining what

has come to be known as "Moroccan Islam," identifying specific practices that will prove

important when describing the social acceptance or rejection of the Gnawa.

Chapter 2 reviews the development of the anthropological literature on Islam with a focus

on research in Morocco. By following how scholars have dealt with tradition in reference to









"great" and "little" manifestations of the religion, I demonstrate, here and in Chapter 5, the need

for new perspectives based on relationships between individuals and religious groups at the local

level. Through readings of Pierre Bourdieu and Edward Said, I highlight the importance of

noting and attempting to counteract the relational disparity between anthropologist and, in this

case, musician, or, in a greater sense, "East" and "West." Yet this is only one of the many

interactions that must be examined in order to understand how cultural structures manifest and

operate in a heterogeneous society. I use the work of Abdul Hamid el-Zein to find new directions

away from the polarizing characterizations of earlier anthropologists who focused primarily on

an exclusive duality between "great" and "little" traditions. El-Zein instead engages the

interactions between these different ritual practices and beliefs, outlining their mutual

interdependence, a framework that Talal Asad continued, as discussed in Chapter 5. This

discussion frames an investigation of Gnawa traditions (Chapters 3 and 4), and opens a space for

the arguments presented in Chapter 5.

Chapter 3 begins with a basic historical outline emphasizing the position of Morocco as the

Western frontier of the Islamic world. Morocco and Andalusia rose to a prominence that rivaled

Baghdad and Cairo, the Eastern centers of knowledge, even defying Ottoman rule. Yet, from an

Islamic-centered perspective, the region remains the "alien" and "exotic" edge, an ambiguous

hinge between Africa and the Middle East. The chapter then explores the hybridityy" often

attributed to the country's multi-ethnic population, by examining the Gnawa layla' ritual, its

participants, music, and theology in greater detail. I argue that in the layla, the Gnawa embody

this hybridity by fusing sub-Saharan and Islamic figures, ideals, and practices. I then explore the

creation of a commodified marketable version of the tradition by discussing transformations in


1 Literally "evening," this ceremony is also known as the derdeba.









the ritual music as it shifts into public market squares via traveling musicians and tourists. With a

close reading of the differences between the actual musical production in the layla and the

market goals, ritual/musical aims, instrumentations, etc. I intend to discern the disparate uses

of both an in group identity and the Gnawa self portrayal to external or commercial audiences. I

argue that commercial presentations accomplished two things: first, they popularized the Gnawa

sound to domestic and international tourists, opening up the economic links that would lead to

later commercial successes. Second, performances for domestic tourists provided economic

incentives for the Gnawa conceive of this music as a product for larger audiences and to remove

certain African-derived theological elements. Simultaneously, in those performances for foreign

tourists the Gnawa did the opposite, emphasizing those very same elements, demonstrating the

intentional negotiation of their art and tradition against other local and international perspectives

of what music and entertainment are and imply.

Chapter 4 will consider the Gnawa and their music at the national level, emphasizing the

dual processes of nationalism (an intentional national project) and cosmopolitanism (an

internationally aware reconstruction of cultural practices and symbols). The chapter begins by

outlining how these two forces work to commodity and make use of the spiritual connotations of

Gnawa music. A brief explanation of how the current and past kings of Morocco maintained

their power by fusing religious and political authority, demonstrating the importance of the

King's sacred influence, historically contextualizes the this religious national project.

The chapter then explores major music festivals within Morocco and investigates recording

artists who draw upon elements of Gnawa musical practice. A reading of Gnawa music in

festival situations illuminates an inclusive or multi-ethnic pan-Moroccan political and cultural

priority, highlighting the presentation of Morocco's cultural hybridity. Performers from foreign









traditions, American jazz artists or Malian griots, for example, join Gnawa groups on stage and

improvise for a period of time. I argue that these performances are treated as intentional emblems

of the potential of collaboration and minimize "African" spiritual elements of Gnawa

performances. Festival producers often marginalize the Islamic or sub-Saharan contextual

references by scheduling Gnawa performances featuring spiritual elements. The ways in which

the music of the festival presentations engage with the "national" Islamic and "international"

African spiritual values convey an idealized hybridityy" and provide insight into the complex

interactions involved in publically presenting ethic and religious identity. Simultaneously, as

internationally conceived groups utilized Gnawa sounds and instruments, the spiritual

connotations were both desirable and marketable to world music audiences. I argue that musical

priorities follow marketable values as different producers and labels highlight their own

philosophical and economic aims.

Chapter 5 shifts to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fez's old city to

consider how religious groups incorporate diverse musical and ritual traditions into their own

practices. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and 'Aissawa

Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Meknes, I show the poignant and effective strategies, both musical

and commercial, that they use to engage with each other, the Gnawa, and the commercial

opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music scene. These

changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these behaviors evoke

criticism from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the intent and faith of

these novel religious/commercial performances. Spiritual and moral authority is up to debate, a

debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The conclusions gained through

this work, especially in regards to Chapter 5, emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can









and should play in anthropological research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of

musical performance creates contested spaces for debates about the validity and authority of

religious tradition.

Islam as Discourse

Talal Asad, in The Idea of an Anthropology ofIslam, outlines the perspectives of many

key scholars. He critiques Gilsenan's Recognizing Islam (1982), noting that by taking Islam as

the beliefs of any particular Muslim, situating the religion only in local terms, one loses the

religion itself as an analytical object. He describes the paradox of accepting and isolating as

doctrine a single believer's perspective since, after all, their personal (or communal or local)

conception of Islam is, essentially, "a Muslim's beliefs about the beliefs and practices of others

... And like all such beliefs, they animate and are sustained by his social relations with others"

(Asad 1985: 382). However, such a detailed examination of local practice is valuable and

underutilized. A small number of authors are writing similar vertical ethnographies, works that

examine single groups in reference to the complexities of new global influences and innovations.

In the field of ethnomusicology, Deborah Kapchan's recent work with the Gnawa (2007) is one

example of this trend, although such deep analyses on Middle Eastern and North African topics

continue to be scarce.

These specifically vertical descriptions fail to address the horizontal relationships

between local brotherhoods that exist alongside links to larger regional, national, or international

organizational facets.2 Each individual group carries, teaches, and embodies a set of values, some






2 Cooke and Lawrence's From Hajj to Hip Hop (2005) is an example of the recent trends in literature emphasizing
these relationships, embodying the need to recognize the web of social interconnections described in Chapter 2.









of which are controversial, creating methodological and even theological differences.3 In this

sense, we must further examine Asad's theorization. He writes that

Islam as the object of anthropological understanding should be approached as a discursive
tradition that connects variously with the formation of moral selves, the manipulation of
populations (or resistance to it), and the production of appropriate knowledge. (Asad
1985: 388)

It is through multiple discourses (including music and the productions of knowledge) that people

create, inherit, and adapt beliefs and practices. Through performances (both religious and

secular) Islam is manifested in any given locality, influenced by vertical and horizontal

relationships.

I will examine two of these elements more thoroughly because of their importance to an

understanding of how Gnawa music operates within Moroccan society. First, spiritual meanings,

both explicit and implicit, give depth to the functional and aesthetic position of Gnawa music.

The performances and related rituals connote, to many, the integration between Islam, "African

Islam," and other African communal and spiritualist (or "traditional") religions. Past and current

influences of and debates between Sufism and reformist Islam unfold musically, allowing the

changes in Gnawa music and performance to lend insight into the interaction between these

cultural and theological perspectives. Second, the music of marginalized Gnawa people came to

the forefront of the Moroccan nation for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the

music's popularity with foreign artists and consumers. Through the linked processes of

commodification and performance, the sounds were presented on multiple stages and their

meanings were manipulated, allowing for identity creation to move the Gnawa from the outskirts





3 See Waugh 2005, Morocco's Mysical ( li.... I, for an in-depth look at the variations within different
manifestations of Sufi practice in Morocco. Chapter 5 approaches the discursive aspects of these debates.









of the southern mountains to the main stages of international festivals where they present what is

"truly Moroccan."

Sufism in Morocco

Islam's varying appearances in Africa form a contested space for each population, one that

works (and is worked) to align people with local, regional, and global identities and ideologies. It

was the Sufi travelers who oriented Islam to Africans on a local level (Brenner 2000, Villal6n

2001), revising the relationships between the local and the international (seen here as Islam)

during the period of expansion following the death of Mohammed. These Sufi conceptualizations

and hybridizations of Islam in Morocco prove important to identity and artistic expression.

Therefore, a brief discussion of Islam, Sufism, and interactions between local religions in Africa

and in Morocco will introduce the complex struggles between "African Islam" and "Islam in

Africa."

Since "Sufism shares many epistemological and practical features with non-Muslim

African religious practice," (Brenner 2000: 346) it easily took hold in local communities by

combining international Islamic principles with previously held traditional ceremonies. The

syncretic result is similar to Cuban Santeria or Brazilian Condomble as deities, saints, ancestors,

and other religious figures of differing traditions are mapped together and worshiped, contacted,

or honored. This African version of Sufism is separate from that of the Islamic intellectual elite

who maintain a more concrete theological and ideological connection with the Arabian

Peninsula. In Morocco, however, the historical relationship between local Sufism and the

prominent royal ulema (religious clerics) was much closer than in nearby regions. Here it will be

useful to explore more closely the characteristics of Moroccan Sufism's "traditional" and

"reformist" variations of Islam.

Munson, referencing Mannheim, describes "traditional" believers as









simply [taking] their religious beliefs for granted. They do not see them as being in need of
defense. They do not even see them as beliefs; they are simply the way the world is. But
when tradition is challenged by alternative conceptions of the world, some people leap to
its defense inevitably transforming it in the process. Tradition defended is never entirely
traditional" (1993: 78)

Sufi beliefs in Morocco include the five pillars and the texts and traditions central to Islam, but

they also add aspects of saint veneration and Sufi practices such as chanting. In past regional

dynasties, the ulema promoted or condoned these aspects, even when calling for a closer reading

of religious texts.4 Since they were most often Sufis themselves, there was no significant

disconnect between the educated and literate elite and the local "traditional" practitioners until

the spread of Salafist reformism in the mid-1900s.5

Instead of opposing the distinctly Sufi practice of visiting saints' tombs, for example,

members of the ulema worked to condemn the worship of "ostensibly sacred objects and

charlatans posing as saints" (Munson 1993: 83) and continued their own practice of visiting the

tombs of revered saints. The theological difference between the two was the understanding that

saints cannot impact worldly events, and those who claimed to do so were met with immediate

suspicion. They can, however, intercede, requesting the favor of God while also giving their own

baraka (blessings). As described in Munson's account, Al-Yusi's defense of this local practice

implies its negative connotation from other theological perspectives despite the "outright

condemnation of the veneration of saints ... [being] extremely rare in Morocco until the 1920s"

(Munson 1993: 84).


4 The thrust toward a more "pure" and true reading of the Islamic texts (the Qur'an and the Hadith) is not a recent
trend within Islamic debates. These arguments, however, should not be confused with contemporary political
movements around the Islamic world promoting a return to living as the first Muslims during the time of the
Prophet. These reformist movements, known as Salafi or Salafist movements, have been involved in struggles for
social and political power primarily since the end of colonialism.

5 After the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia (1930s), the economic power and religious authority possessed by that
country due to control of the Hajj allowed it to promote a reformist literal reading of Islam through education and
the funding of acceptable religious leaders throughout Africa.









From 1792 to 1822 the ruler Mulay Sulayman, a member of the Nasiriyya Sufi order,

began to condemn popular Sufi practices as bida' (heretical innovation). He criticized specific

orders for the practice of rhythmic clapping, mixing of men and women, and festivals for the

honor of saints. He did, however, maintain that the visiting of saints' tombs for intercession was

"not only permitted but recommended by Islamic law so long as people remembered that the

saints could not grant requests themselves but could only ask God to do so" (Munson 1993: 85).

Thus, the characterization of popular Islam in Morocco as "African Islam" or "Islam noir" and

against the state's formal, educated, and literate interpretations fails to include the proper

acknowledgement of debates within the region on multiple class and political levels.

These accepted forms of popular, illiterate, hierarchical, local Sufism, however, still

contain aspects of African traditions that earn it distaste from that same elite, such as the

clapping, loose gender roles, and the use of musical instruments. Whether these were

implemented by the African population or brought from Sufi practices closer to the Islam of

Arabia is difficult to say, but it is likely that the effective communion of these two populations

was facilitated by shared ritual characteristics. Thus, the Gnawa layla represents an example of

this syncretic and local combination of Africa and Islam, one that is related to the Sufism of the

Moroccan elite, but still remains outside of the intellectually accepted norm. Because of the vivid

African component, its position is also marginalized from the popular Moroccan Sufism. Many

Moroccans from different economic classes see the layla itself as specifically neither Arab nor

Islamic but because of the long collaborative and inclusive history of Sufism, it is still

appreciated, and now with the prevalence of the music, even venerated. Thus, Moroccan

Sufism's complex status does not create one simple boundary around "Islam" in Morocco, it









instead celebrates and condemns with a certain logic reminiscent of previous dealings with

controversial saint veneration.

Moroccan Islam(s)

Historically, the debate regarding identity in Morocco developed along two distinct axis.

The first point of contrast (and contention) is the religious pole of "proper" Islam6 opposing sub-

Saharan African racial and religious identity. The second is between the ethnic

conceptualizations of Tamazight (or Berber) and Arab. Both contested axes, one primarily

religious, the other centered on ethnicity, have been disputed since pre-colonial times. Their

importance within the current political conversation, however, is important. These two axes are

often superimposed upon each other, with one drawing force from gross assumptions based on

the other in a long and entangled set of discourses.

Political issues involving Tamazigh identification include language education, cultural and

artistic promotion, and a general recognition of the specifically Tamazight ethnic components of

Morocco by the French and Arab elite. Religious conversations between factions of Islamic

thought come into the realm of government as the two become linked under the King, who is

aligned as both the political ruler and the "leader of the faithful." These debates often revolve

around the concept of "Moroccan Islam," a local variation of the international religion based

upon the inclusion of some African rituals, a syncretic mapping together of shared saints and

spirits, and the practice of saint veneration. Such practices are not unique to Morocco, and are

instead common throughout North Africa due to the general trans-state characteristics of Sufism

itself (Brenner 2000; Eickelman 1976; Jankowsky 2006; Villal6n 2001). These traditions are also


6 This concept of "proper" Islam involves those movements attempting to move, or reform, the religious community
to an idealized central theology. Whether the proponents are elites educated in France or Saudi Arabia, a shared
characteristic important here is the attempted removal of local synchronizations and questionable practice (bida', or
"innovation") and is typically a response to either local Sufi practices or non-Islamic power structures.









not homogeneous within Morocco. In fact discourse about, "Moroccan Islam" simplifies a broad

range of religious practices and disparate sets of beliefs. Analytically, it is useful to refer to

localized mystical and African variations of Islamic practice as "Sufism" only until I outline

individual manifestations in the chapters that follow. After this point I will utilize the local

names of respective traditions including the Gnawa, 'Aissawa, Hamadcha, and Tijaniyya paths.

As the later chapters show, the term "Sufism" fails to recognize the wealth of theological and

ritual depth that exists between paths, each with its own history, leadership, and perspectives on

other groups. In short, it fails to draw upon the horizontal interactions between groups of

disparate religious, social, and political leanings. This broad term "Sufi," glossing all localized

forms of Islamic practice under a single umbrella label, closes the "mesh" of the social web,

(Redfield [1956] discussed in Chapter 2).

Controversy over the validity of Sufism and its spiritual and cultural manifestations is also

not unique to Morocco. Similar practices in Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, and elsewhere come under

the contention of reformist groups linked to the Salafi Islam of the Arabian Peninsula. It is also

in this trans-state context that the marginalized Moroccan Gnawa must be seen. Neither

Tamazight nor Arab, Gnawa are black Africans of a sub-Saharan origin. As a formerly enslaved

population, brought by past empires and tied to the trans-Saharan trade, the Gnawa people long

remained outside of Morocco's nationalist conversation, and in many ways remain outside today.

Their religious practices and beliefs are a syncretic combination of Islamic subject matter and

African ritual and performance practice. While the general mysticism of Sufism predominates,

the properties of the musical (and ritual) production are based within a sub-Saharan character.

Instruments, dances, the language of lyrics, and the theological focus on spirit possession

emphasize the African origins of these practices. Simultaneously, the Gnawa incorporate Islamic









texts, historical figures, the Arabic language, and Islamic prayers and rituals to various ends as

the performers appear in different performative7 spaces. It is how these geographic, cultural, and

religious aspects are created, manipulated, and interpreted by both musical producers and the

disparate audiences that illuminate the ways in which "Morocco" becomes a label for hybrid

identities that manifest in vastly different people.

Commodifying the Gnawa

The process that brought this marginalized religious practice to national-level consumption

initially removed some of these difficult "African" elements in order to align the music with both

the popular and intellectual religious sentiments. Moroccan Sufism may be willing to celebrate

the Gnawa heritage, but certain aspects associated with African traditions must be stripped away

in order for acceptance from the larger Moroccan population. Otherwise, the music would

remain solely within the realm of the marginalized "Gnawa cult." Through the continuous and

historical commodification of the sounds, first in the market squares and later by major festival

producers and record companies, the settings (and therefore the meanings of the music) could be

changed. This process, it must be noted, is seen in every area affected by globalization,

modernization or "Westernization," as those in power attempt to define their "nation" and its

cultural production.

As the location involved in the creation and consumption of Gnawa music expands from

the local to the regional and eventually to the national and international, the participants involved

in the latter markets take over, affecting style and meaning of the music. Producers in France and

maalems (Gnawa masters) in rural towns outside of Marrakech treat Gnawa sounds differently.

These differences can be seen in both the performance style and musical content. The music


7 See Chapter 4 for further discussion on these strategies and spaces.









industry also causes changes by removing much of the communal ritual and dance from the

musical whole through the very act of placing the sound onto a record made in a studio.

However, there is still an interaction between these extremes, and the specific manipulations of

the sound illuminate the implicit values used in creating a musical product. Whether the musical

style is a simple stratification of different styles or a fusion creating a new type of music, the

changes are initiated by a separation of sounds from the traditional layla.8

The complexities of these relationships are both confounded and expanded by the

existence of major festivals around Morocco celebrating not only Gnawa music, but also Gnawa

music placed within numerous contexts exploring fusions with jazz, rock, electronic, etc., and

the subsequent conceptual linking of the styles in the minds of both national and international

audiences. The fusion of Gnawa music in a French studio and the stratification common to the

summer festival have come to represent related commodified forms. The festivals found ways to

celebrate the spiritual within Islam, but without elements incompatible with educated discourse.

Simultaneously, the music industry managed to highlight the African spiritual character of

Sufism without attempting to present "Islamic" music to a Western audience.

This example of using music to manipulate, create, and promote specific forms of

identification will be further explored in Chapters 4 and 5. Anthropological and

ethnomusicological study on the discourse embedded within the debates surrounding Islamic

traditions often fail to recognize the importance of local interactions between disparate groups or

organizations. The aim of this thesis is to identify two of the basic levels where these musical

debates occur while highlighting the theological and ideological goals and criticisms that power

8 The forms of musical production discussed throughout this thesis include attempts at creating new sounds and
genres for a growing commercial audience either through musical fusion or stratification. The ethnographic
recordings of layla traditional performances for the sake of preservation are not involved except in that they
contribute to the creation of a presented identity as discussed in the second half of Chapter 3. They stand along street
performances and open, evening demonstrations of the layla as seen in the Essaouira Festival of World Music.









specific decisions. Issues discussed in Chapter 4 revolve around creation of national sentiment,

hybridity, and inclusiveness through stratified musical products on one hand and a "universal"

spirituality based upon sub-Saharan, rhythmic, and commercially accessible music through

fusions on the other. The debates in Chapter 5 are similarly economic, but the national issues

(based in Islamic theological concerns) apply on an organizational and theological level as Sufi

brotherhoods vie for greater publicity and membership, opening themselves to harsh critique on

Islamic grounds.









CHAPTER 2
THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

Introduction

The following chapter will outline the relevant literature in the anthropology of Islam. As a

specialized set of texts, this scholarship developed from firmly within the context of colonial and

post-colonial power structures. Over the past 50 years, however, anthropologists have recognized

the importance of interactions between individuals. They moved away from the boundaries and

the polarizing conceptions of "great" and "little" traditions, opting instead to highlight the

relationships between local forces to better comprehend how tradition, innovation, and discourse

create fluid social and religious dynamics. This chapter equates the advent of methodological

reflexivity with the efforts by authors to employ Islamic voices, opening a space for Muslims to

argue their positions in the literature. To close, I use the example of listening as a theoretical tool

to demonstrate how ethnomusicological research can forward the current trends in the

anthropology of Islamic societies, opening a space for the ethnographic material in Chapters 3, 4,

and 5.

Science and Orientalism

The relationship between anthropology and Islamic society is long and, as such, it is varied

and complex. Issues rise and fall just as attempts at anthropological explanations for behaviors,

cultural structures, and other phenomena gain and lose traction within academia. The status of

ethnographies and theories based within material from the "Islamic world" are firmly dependent

upon relationships between the studier and the studied, a concern of this genre throughout its

history, as described by Bourdieu (1977). Yet within research of the Middle East and North

Africa, this relationship is contested on grounds beyond those economic and social power

relationships between individuals that exist elsewhere. The history between the "East" and the









"West" is not a history of consistent domination of one over the other. It is a narrative of struggle

between two world powers attempting to gain access and influence over economically and

politically strategic locations. The current primacy of the colonizer over the colonized appears

perpetual only from a truncated perspective of history.

"Orientalism," as defined by Edward Said, is

a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in
European Western experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the
place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations
and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of
the other (Said 1978: 1)

He continues by stating, "the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its

contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. ... The Orient is an integral part of European

material civilization and culture" (Said 1978: 2). The anthropologist, or, even more importantly,

the student of anthropological history, must recognize this narrative of the Orient within the gaze

of the Occident if they are to realize the depth of this relationship. Moreover, this relational

approach to anthropology in general is both fruitful and, as I will show, fairly novel. It is also the

place where the field of ethnomusicology has the vast tools to contribute to a stronger analysis of

what is typically left to the anthropologist-proper.

The relationship, between Europe (and America) and the "East" (the Middle East, North

Africa, India, Asia, and the Far East) is simultaneously one of competition and mutual

dependence. This tightrope is part of both the history of the regions and the current state of

international affairs. Said writes above that "the Orient is also ... its [Europe's] cultural

contestant" (Said 1978: 1). This competition is rooted in military battles spanning centuries from

the early 8th century (Battles of Toulouse and Tours), through the 11th and 12th centuries (the









Crusades)1, the 16th and 17th centuries (Sieges on Vienna), and up to today with wars in Iraq and

global political issues centering around Iran, Palestine, Algeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, and

Southeastern Europe. As an example of this simultaneous competition and interdependence,

when recounting the two sieges on Vienna, "an English historian writing in the beginning of the

seventeenth century called the Ottoman Empire 'the present terror of the world"' (Gelvin 2008:

10). Yet it is the Abbasid Caliphate, centered in Baghdad between the 8th and 13th centuries, that

the European Renaissance must thank for the renewal of classical thought and the extension of

abstract mathematics. Our current economic dependence became all too vivid via the wars of the

last 20 years. Douglas Little writes, in reference to the first Gulf War, that "seventy years earlier

in the aftermath of the century's first great war, the Wilson administration had opened the door

for U.S. oil companies in the Middle East. In 1991 George Bush would wage the century's last

great war to prevent that door from slamming shut" (Little 2002: 45).

Through these historical notes I have hopefully emphasized the importance of relational

perspectives on dealing with the "anthropology of Islam." These comments, intended to incline

the reader toward the thin line between the "East" and the "West," open a discussion of the

needs, changes within, and shortcomings of anthropological thought toward this region of the

world. Examining the relational nature of society occurs on other levels of anthropological

analysis as well. This chapter has two goals. First, it follows the ways in which the anthropology

of Islam increased its focus on interactions between individuals, groups, and societies over the

last 50 years, resulting in a deeper understanding and analysis. These groups include those

studied, but also they do not ignore the fundamental relationship between the anthropologist and


1 See Amin Maalouf 's The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1984) for an account of the Crusades drawn from Arab
authors and historians. He outlines the internal struggles and power disputes leading to divisions and alliances that
opened avenues for the crusaders' successes. He also notes the impact of Europeans residing in major Arab cities,
how they assimilated into their new homes and brought various changes to their neighbors.









the people who inform the ethnography. Second, it demonstrates some ways in which

ethnomusicology lends developed tools for the study of these relational activities in reference to

musical participation and production, highlighting the usefulness of these tools in coming to

terms with Islamic societies. I make special note of authors who have successfully utilized these

techniques, developed in ethnomusicological circles, in a deep analysis of non-musical aspects of

the Islamic world. I conclude with my own thoughts on the importance of considering

relationships between groups and avoiding ethnographic accounts that enforce artificial barriers

that do not exist in practice, opening a space for the discussions that follow.

Concerns of the Anthropology of Islam

Historical Disciplinary Power Structures

Pierre Bourdieu begins his Outline of a Theory ofPractice with a chapter entitled "The

objective limits of objectivism." The first sentence of this chapter, and therefore of the book

itself, states that

the practical privilege in which all scientific activity arises never more subtly governs that
activity (insofar as science presupposes not only an epistemological break but also a social
separation) than when, unrecognized as privilege, it leads to an implicit theory of practice
which is the corollary of neglect of the social conditions in which science is possible.
(Bourdieu 1977: 1)

The social separation that precludes the "implicit theory of practice" Bourdieu means to

criticize is especially apparent in regards to anthropological production in the "East." While

Bourdieu wrote these words in 1972 (translated to English in 1977), he was setting up his study

of a population in Algeria, and his careful perspective, actively criticizing the methodological

assumptions in anthropologists who preceded him, foreshadow the work done by Edward Said 6

years later.

Said's concern in writing Orientalism was dependent upon a reading of Foucault's The

Archeology of Knowledge and Discipline and Punish. He writes that his









contention is that without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly
understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to
manage and even produce the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily,
ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period.
Moreover, so authoritative a position did Orientalism have that I believe no one writing,
thinking, or acting on the Orient could do so without taking account of the limitations on
thought and action imposed by Orientalism. (Said 1978: 3)

His fervent stance attempts to illuminate the vast ways in which the power of European

culture overtook, defining and redefining, control of the Orient. The systematic nature of this

limitation of thought "imposed by Orientalism" mirrors the systematic neglect extant in

anthropology at the time of Bourdieu's writing. The assumptions of the "science" of the

Enlightenment created an unequal dynamic between these two regions. Returning to Said, "the

relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of power, of domination, of varying

degrees of a complex hegemony..." (5). To further politicize Orientalism, Said defines as one of

his three aspects of contemporary reality, "the distinction between pure and political knowledge"

(9). Criticizing contemporary (and current) perspectives, Said emphasizes the distinctly political

nature of seemingly apolitical subject matter. "It must ... be true that for a European or

American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his

actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual

second" (11).

Similarly, for Bourdieu, the scientist must recognize the parallel actuality, that this

scientific perspective carries a number of fundamental beliefs, each of which must be accounted

for and, for an ideal ethnographic study devoid of internal bias, overcome.

... It is not sufficient for anthropology to break with native experience and the native
representation of that experience: it has to make a second break and question the
presuppositions inherent in the position of an outside observer, who, in his preoccupation
with interpreting practices, is inclined to introduce into the object the principles of his
relation to the object, as is attested by the special importance he assigns to communicative
functions (whether in language, myth, or marriage). (Bourdieu 1977: 2)










This last example, relating the tendency toward communicative analysis within

anthropology, references, among other things, the analysis of art from Saussurian perspectives,

forgetting that "artistic production is always also ... the product of an 'art,' 'pure practice

without theory,' as Durkheim says" (Husserl, quoted in Bourdieu 1977: 1-2). While it lies

outside the scope of this chapter, I believe that this is one specific intersection where

ethnomusicology provides insight into anthropological study.

The first step toward recognizing these discrepancies embedded within power

relationships, due to either the political power of the Occident over the Orient or the "social

separation" of the scientist and his research is to open up a space for voices from elsewhere.

Anthropologists constantly struggle to fine ways to present the "voice" of their interviewees,

undertaking methodological and presentational innovations and engaging within interdisciplinary

debates. Harry G. West, in his Kupilikula: Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique

encloses his chapters in long transcriptions of interview dialogue. His aesthetic and formal

decisions here attempt to recreate the need, expressed by Achille Mbembe, to allow emergent

"languages of power" from "the daily life of the people" (West 2005: 2). Similarly, debates

within Islam deserve study by anthropologists, historians, and other scholars. The discursive

traditions within Islamic society are strong, just as they are healthy.2 Translations are

occasionally scarce, but for specific topics (especially this relationship between Islam and the

West), they are more ample. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives, published in 2006, is a

volume containing polemics and analyses from Muslim (and atheist) authors about subjects



2For example, because one primary value of Islamic society is the existence of the umma (unified body of
believers), and there is not the same overall hierarchical structure that exists in other world religions such as
Catholicism, agreement is highly sought after. Thus, speeches and polemics are epitomize efforts to gain large
numbers of followers, and to attempt the ideal: unity in thought and deed.









ranging from socialism to democratic governance. These translations are slowly appearing, and

they are of utmost importance for scholars considering Muslim voices.

Great and Little Traditions-Robert Redfield

One anthropological debate that is representative of this need for Muslim voices is on

Islam itself. By following the 50-year trajectory of this confusion about "great" and "little," or

"true/essential/scriptural" and "popular" Islam, it is difficult to avoid the significance of two

specific authors: Abdul Hamid el-Zein and Talal Asad. After insertions these two made into the

conversation, it shifted from an esoteric discourse from dichotic anthropological assumptions to

useful renderings of Islamic society based upon more locally engaged and discursively aware

fieldwork, as described in the following section. In this section I will revisit the development of

this anthropological discussion, placing special emphasis on the interplay between

"anthropological" or "etic" perspectives and "indigenous" or "emic" ones.

Robert Redfield's Peasant Society and Culture notes that

in a civilization there is a great tradition of the reflective few, and there is a little tradition
of the largely unreflective many. The great tradition is cultivated in schools or temples; the
little tradition works itself out and keeps itself going in the lives of the unlettered in their
village communities. The tradition of the philosopher, theologian, and literary man is a
tradition consciously cultivated and handed down; that of the little people is for the most
part taken for granted and not submitted to much scrutiny or considered refinement and
improvement. (Redfield 1956: 70)

Here we have a dichotomous vision of two distinct "traditions": that of the philosopher et al., and

that of the "little people." Yet these two, despite the educational divide between those who are

"reflective" and "unreflective," are interdependent: "great and little tradition can be thought of as

two currents of thought and action, distinguishable, yet ever flowing into and out of each other"

(Redfield 1956: 72). He situates the existence of these disparate-yet-interdependent traditions

within the context of specialization. Within a social group where there is little specialization,

resulting in "no technical vocabulary," there is no great tradition. Everyone's conception of









religious duty is indistinct from that of everyone else's. Where there is a social stratification via

economics and education, there emerges superiority: "there are differences as between layman

and specialist in the understanding of the religion" (Redfield 1956: 73).

As he fleshes out his model of traditions in peasant (and stratified) societies, Redfield

moves more distinctly into specifics. Before discussing Islam he states that "where the

hypotheses of the great traditions are considered beliefs, the hypotheses of the little tradition will

be considered superstitions" (Redfield 1956: 84). This statement highlights the reliance of

anthropologists at this time (and later) on previous anthropologists, almost exclusively. Redfield

writes about his personal experiences in India, yet speaks broadly on materials ranging much

further than that Asian subcontinent. These assumptions regarding the consideration of

hypotheses fail to acknowledge those who may be doing the considering. That the sentence is in

the passive is telling. Who considers these hypotheses to be beliefs or superstitions?

Anthropologists and the educated elite, perhaps, who write history? While he recognizes the

concept of interdependency between the "great" and the "little," Redfield fails to recognize what

this actually means or produces.3 It is a trap in which many fall over the years following

Redfield's argument, one that continues for decades.

This polar/related differentation between a "great" and a "little" tradition also fails in a

second sense: it assumes the existence of a singular "little tradition," even if that assumption is

made implicitly. What Redfield and others consider to be little involve numerous local variations

that cover a wide swath of religious practice. Even within the same locality, these can be major

differences. Thus, instead of codifying these little traditions into one monolithic "little tradition"


3 What Redfield does highlight comes from G. von Grunebaum's work, noting the integration of local beliefs or
practices into orthodoxy. He gives the Prophet's precedent: "giving an Islamic meaning to the heathen pilgrimage
rites which he welded into the Muslim hajj to Mecca" and "the justification within the framework of orthodoxy of
the cult of the saints" (Grunebaum, quoted in Redfield 1956: 84-5).









that stands against and influences the one singular "great tradition," Redfield's work from an

earlier chapter in his book proves more useful.

He discusses Barnes' "social field," something beyond economic and local relationships,

yet related to them. In the given example, Norwegian fishermen did not just travel to make

transactions or work. They were simultaneously forging social relationships with others: other

fishermen, captains, traders, probably even frequenters of bars, lovers, and boarders. This, he

called the "network" (Redfield 1956: 50). Loosely conceived by nature, it comprises the whole

of personal and professional (which are, in essence, personal) links between individuals. Barnes

moves further to consider the "network" to be the remainder after the removal of the territorial

and industrial social fields. This idea of "network" collects what has previously been neglected.

Redfield's call to recognize these connections between people is valid and necessary. They

are "so significant as to demand description in their own right" (Redfield 1956: 53), and exist as

a field of relationships to be studied primarily by anthropologists. As such, the "network"

provides an important source of material, one forgotten by scholars up to Redfield's time (and

frequently since). Sadly, despite the fact that he builds his later ideas on this concept of

"network," Redfield never closes the gap between the "great" and "little" traditionss. By

returning to networks, he had the tools at hand deepen his analysis of how these beliefs and

practices interact, from an anthropological perspective. Many later authors approached the topic,

but none explicitly utilized this networked framework until Talal Asad in 1986, discussed further

in Chapter 5.

Responding to Anthropologists-Abdul Hamid el-Zein

Abdul Hamid el-Zein orients his article, "Beyond Ideology and Theology: The Search for

the Anthropology of Islam," with the following statement:









in all approaches, the meaning of religion as a universal form of human experience and of
Islam as a particular instance is presupposed, invariable, and incontestable. Consequently,
all claim to uncover a universal essence, the real Islam. (el-Zein 1977: 227)

His argument through this article draws out the implications of this consistent approach.

Expanding on a number of previous studies since, and indebted, to Redfield's work, he notes

how each "challenges the often subtle premise of the unity of religious meaning" (el-Zein 1977:

227). This critique of the contemporaneous anthropology of Islam is both novel and insightful.

He notes the contradictory nature of some "discoveries emergent within this framework" of a

unitary religious "essence" and, as such, steps back and reworks the most influential texts to that

point in the development of the field.

Most anthropology discussed in the article occupies itself with rejoining the "local" with

something larger, creating a "family tree" of sorts, where each local variant resembles a core,

noticeable through the analytical insight gained by science. When discussing Geertz's Islam

Observed (1968), el-Zein highlights the author's use of "science" as something objective, unlike

common sense or religion. He proceeds to emphasize that Geertz's "science" is yet another

interpretive realm, reorganizing history, tradition, and cultural symbols to create meaning just as

common sense and religion do. It simply has different points of departure and goals. The creation

of cultural symbols, like saints, to use Geertz's main example, is a process undertaken by, in this

case, religion. Science's attempts to reinterpret those symbols are identical to religion's attempts

to revise those created by common sense. Thus, Geertz's reading of Islam must be seen in this

interpretive light. This cultural symbolism by which Geertz uses anthropology, however,









succeeds greatly over those who flatten the nature of Islam by identifying it solely with one

social structure or another.4

By looking at the past as an interpreted symbol in its own right, el-Zein accentuates the

importance of the perspective. Just as Said oriented literature as a result of the gaze of the West

and Bourdieu problematized the objectivism of objectivism, so to speak, el-Zein identifies the

problematic nature of "science," placing it alongside religion and common sense on a continuum,

arguing that it is not, as most believe, something qualitatively different. Science, like religion and

common sense, looks at the past as symbolic, a fruitful source of mined meanings. To bring out

this use of the past, he examines Eickelman's Moroccan Islam (1976). Here the present is

current, and as such, it recreates and represents the past. The social web that creates present

meaning, and therefore culture, constantly incorporates and recreates the past according to its

own specific interpretive schema.

Thus, to look back at this historical dichotomy between local and elite forms of Islam is to

ignore the interpretive functions of scientific, or in this case historical, thought. el-Zein moves on

to outline issues inherent in the differentiation of "explicit" and "implicit" ideologies, those

traditions of the ulema and the local manifestations of some central Islam, respectively. His

general conclusion is that these conceptions (both explicit and implicit) of Islamic practice and

tradition as some form of essential, or core, belief with localized segments of a family tree

should be seen as yet another "diverse, culturally relative expression of a tradition" (el-Zein

1977: 246), a scientific tradition. This tradition comes with its own set of values, as many

reflexive anthropologists have since mused. The idea that folk and elite theologies are not



4 This criticism is leveled by el-Zein against the works of Bujra (1971) and Crapanzano (1973) who identify a closed
system of interpretation, unlike the malleable symbolism of Geertz. They limit the meanings of religion to
hierarchical social structures or ritual and psychological practices, respectively.









competitive, but are complimentary, is fruitful. Since each "defines and necessitates the other,"

the object of study, some discovery and illumination of a "real" Islam, can be avoided entirely,

leading to a more interesting and worthwhile ethnographic project. This new project would more

closely follow the situation, the relationship, as it plays out between these disparate poles of

Islamic belief. As el-Zein writes:

man does order his world through systems of meaning. Anthropologically, the problem
now is to find a means of understanding that order which reaches the desired level of
universality without diluting or destroying the significance of this diversity and the
richness of meaning in human experience. (el-Zein 1977: 250)

He continues by criticizing the selective practice of analysis that is so common to

anthropological writing:

each investigator selects from the multitude of possibly identifiable features and functions
of the saint one or two which are deemed distinctive and which, in the subsequent analysis,
are taken as the saint. Analysis based on such highly selective reading of ethnographic data
artificially collapses the complexity of the "saint" to a single dimension, leaving
unexplained many possible questions about the undeniable multiplicity of the cultural
construct "saint." (el-Zein 1977: 250)

This line of thought, of course, is not limited to the study of sainthood in Islamic contexts

and, I believe, it follows that the "saint" of this example can be replaced by any topic of

discussion. What el-Zein opens here is a recognition of the problematic nature of anthropological

research up to the late 1970s (and beyond). Instead he asks:

but what if each analysis of Islam treated here were to begin from the assumption that
"Islam," "economy," "history," "religion," and so on do not exist as things or entities with
meaning inherent in them, but rather as articulations of structural relations, and are the
outcome of these relations and not simply a set of positive terms from which we start our
studies? In this case, we have to start from the "native's" model of "Islam" and analyze the
relations which produce its meaning. (el-Zein 1977: 251)

Thus, he attempts to remove "autonomous entities" so that "each point within the system is

ultimately accessible from every other point" (el-Zein 1977: 252). This is not simply the logic of

another anthropological system, but, as the author argues, it is the logic of culture itself. By









undertaking such a step, the anthropologist and the native, he writes, will share a logic, one that

is embedded within the cultural system that already exists. In an effort to return to the above

discussions, el-Zein outlines a system that will, insha 'allah (God willing), remove the cloudy

field of subjectivity that exists between the subject and object, or Bourdieu's "social separation."

The paralyzing difficulty that remains, however, is the concrete, or methodological,

implementation of this quasi-philosophical approach. The interpretive and symbolic system

championed by el-Zein here relies heavily on Geertz, yet it is Geertz himself who is both

recognized as insightful and criticized. His interpretations, after all, are neither transparent nor

falsifiable, dependent upon his intuition and often lacking in justification. How, then, is this

proposed Geertzian system of cultural understanding to be reconfigured into an anthropological

approach that provides more information than fodder for perceptive discussion?

Moving toward an Anthropology of Islam

In any anthropological pursuit, there are specific goals and concerns. Some, such as the

social and institutional power discrepancy between the anthropologist and those with whom he

or she works, have been discussed above. The concerns of el-Zein also apply widely to the field

as a whole: anthropology must consider the depth of the concepts (symbols) and structures it

studies. Otherwise, it perpetuates misrepresentations instead of accomplishing its main goal,

which is precisely the opposite. Through ethnographic and historical data, the product of

research should contextualize those practices, structures, and symbols instead of flattening them

to single faceted objects of study. This is el-Zein's critique of Bujra and Crapanzano, and the

same could be leveled against much of the field's writing. Yet, writing an analysis from which

"each point within the system is ultimately accessible from every other point" is unwieldy,

impractical, and daunting.









Taking these concerns and adding to them those specific attributes that deserve recognition

when dealing with Islam, Islam's history, theology, and the relationship borne through conflict

and colonialism, an anthropological approach to this subject matter earns an extra layer beyond

the above daunting and impractical challenge. The search for new tools and methodologies

opened doors as scholars began to slowly work through the problematic nature of this research.

Many of these tools are nothing more than perspectives that were previously unknown to

anthropology. The come from sociology, linguistics, psychology, political science (loosely),

philosophy, women's studies, area studies, and elsewhere as interdisciplinary work increased

during the 1980s and 1990s.

One primary field where many of these perspectives and tools have found solid ground

from which to work is ethnomusicology, which, not surprisingly, is an entire field founded on the

premise of work around and amongst (betwixt and between?) scholarship that was, at the time,

held firmly within specific borders. This liminal field, to carry the Turner metaphor further, has

only been in its current state for 50 years. In the early 1950s a number of scholars came together

to discuss the benefits of using interdisciplinary methods to more closely examine music. Music,

no longer defined narrowly as a product or performance, engages entire societies through

practice. It claims space just as it creates borders, it articulates individuality while

simultaneously conserving community. It, interestingly, is constantly the subject of a type of

meta-musical discourse as participants passionately argue its status: is this sound blaring from

the window music, or is it raucous noise? It delineates nationhood and identity for some,

universality and divinity for others.

While it is, of course, not the only, or even the most effective, cultural symbol, music

offers a cultural formation that fits snugly within the same category as Geertz's saint it is a









complex and deep cultural symbol that provides the anthropologist with innumerable potential

linkages and relationships, most of which lead directly to those topics more commonly

associated with anthropological investigation: social structures, cultural habits, rituals, etc. It also

proves an evasive object of study, one that is similarly daunting to the uninitiated, and frustrating

for those who feel insecure in their knowledge or experience. Because of the inherent

interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicology's development, the tools developed for realizing

these relationships and linkages can be useful for searching deeper into the issues of Islamic

society, or any other cultural system. By looking at how authors approach these issues, in terms

of musical practice within Muslim and non-Muslim systems, I hope to illuminate a semblance of

this usefulness.

Music and Ethnomusicology

Gamal Abdel Nasr, Umm Kulthoum, and History as Anthropology

Before approaching the ways in which ethnomusicological theory and performance theory

can appropriately assist in the study of Islam, there is a more straightforward way in which music

and ethnomusicology can lend understanding. The following sections will highlight significant

ethnomusicological texts that have enriched the scholarship of Islam. The first is Virginia

Danielson's The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the

Ti einieit Century. Danielson's work is not significant only for its wealth of information

regarding the interconnections between musical and political history, it undertakes these

connections from an analytical framework that illuminates the functionality of the intertwined

Umm Kulthum and Gamal Abdel Nasr.

The relationship between these two figures embedded the cultural within the political in

the rise of Egyptian-led "Arab Nationalism." Just as the Middle East gathered to listen to Nasr's

speeches, they huddled around radios to consume the weekly broadcast concerts. As examined









below, Charles Hirschkind later recognizes these moments as the beginning of a national ear, a

sensory/political experience. The individual begins to embody the nation just as the nation

broadcasts itself, quite literally, onto its citizens. After all, Danielson quotes a "well-spoken,

richly bejeweled woman" who states that

it wasn't only her voice her character was the reason for her success. Egyptians not only
like her voice, we respect her... We look at her, we see fifty years of Egypt's history. She
is not only a singer. (Danielson 1998: 4)

Umm Kulthum and Nasr both epitomize personalities, representing their time and place. What

Danielson does, in The Voice ofEgypt, is reconnect these two legendary individuals without

forgetting the vast and complete power of recollection, or nostalgia. These two are not only

important for who they were, but for what they became, and perhaps more importantly, for what

they mean to their society. Danielson puts music into relief of politics, searching for a wider lens

with which she can better grasp contemporaneous Egyptian society.

At the same time, she avoids a simple representation of historical fact. Her chapters set

historical information about the period alongside stories about the singer, adding depth to both.

More importantly, however, she does not see history as static, and instead relies as heavily on

interviews, and therefore memories, as she does on documents. This form of history, as what is

remembered and carried with individuals in society, is fluid, and changes to fit specific times and

places. It is this variety of history that anthropology is only recently beginning to engage. History

as fact, text, or document can accurately identify elements of what happened, but to the present,

history is neither fact nor document, it is nostalgia, it is fluid, and it must be read by the scholar

as such.

Listening

Aside from drawing out these historical connections between cultural systems,

ethnomusicology provides more substantial theoretical frameworks. One example includes the









idea of listening. Listening, as a practice, has been largely neglected until the last two decades.

The act of listening is now recognized as one major plane upon which people define themselves

as participants in a cultural system, and the ways in which this active practice affects the

individual and the community is important fodder for analysis. Danielson introduces the topic as

such:

assuming that musical meaning is coproduced by listeners and that, as Middleton argues,
"acts of 'consumption' are essential, constitutive parts of the 'material circuits' through
which musical practice exists listening, too, must be considered a productive force."
(Danielson 1998: 6, quoting Middleton 1990: 92)


Richard Middleton, quoted here, does not rely on historical information: his analysis moves

deeper, into the theoretical realm of how music works within people's lives.

In Islamic terms, these reactions between listening and community are much more

important than popular music can imply, however the constructs provided by this popular music

research, in this case, recognizing listening as a "productive force" in a culture, sheds light onto

religious and social activity as a whole, as noted by Charles Hirschkind in Ethical Soundscapes

and Patrick D. Gaffney in The Prophet's Pulpit. These two writers use the ethnomusicological

literature to approach cassette and live sermons in Cairo and Minha, respectively. They do not

deal with music as such, but their interests line up directly with those who do.

Perspectives that begin with listening as the central cultural act provide agency to the

individual, taking the whole of cultural power from the khatib (preacher) or imam (leader of

prayers) and regulating it back to the individual listener or worshipper. Hirschkind states the

importance of this distinction directly.

As I will argue, the contribution of this aural media [the cassette sermon] to shaping the
contemporary moral aond political landscape of the Middle East lies not simply in its
capacity to disseminate ideas or instill religious ideologies but in its effect on the human
sensorium, on the affects, sensibilities, and perceptual habits of its vast audience.
(Hirschkind 2006: 2)









By noting that within the cassette sermon, the "diverse strands" of "the political, the ethical and

the aesthetic" (Hirschkind 2006: 5) are joined, Hirschkind, like Danielson before, re-integrates

parts of society that were previous separated by the academe. These elements have been at play,

working off of each other in a "web of meaning," to return to Geertz's phrase, yet anthropology

is only beginning to discern just how widely that web is cast.

Like Danielson above, Hirschkind equates Nasr and Umm Kulthum within Egyptian

history, although here, unlike the historical comparison above, he specifically highlights their

respective "media events." For Nasr, it is his "rousing speeches [that provided] Egyptians with

their first experience of a collective national audition" (Hirshkind 2006: 51).

Notably, as Nasser's successors were unable to match his unique rhetorical skills or rely
upon the revolutionary enthusiasm that accompanied Egypt's socialist experiment, they
gradually forfeited the ability to enlist the ear as the sense organ of a national imaginary.
Instead, hearing and the human voice were rapidly recuperated by an opposition movement
grounded in Islamic institutions and the traditions of oratory and ethical audition these
institutions embedded. A modern political discourse was, in this way, increasingly
incorporated within practices of ethical listening linked to the sermon. (Hirschkind 2009:
51)

Here, Nasr's "rousing" political oratory becomes the groundwork for the anti-secularist

movements that are to follow. It is, then, listening as participation that informs these political

movements.

Umm Kulthum, trained in Quranic recitation and folk performance, came to embody

the sensibilities of Egyptians in a way that other contemporary performers, lacking
experience in the Islamic traditions of vocal performance, could not. In many ways, her
vocal style, particularly in the early part of her career, foregrounded the same affective
dynamics that underlay the tradition of ethical-sermon audition. (Hirschkind 2006: 51)

Furthermore,

the social and ethical edifice of tarab and its actor/listener have, over the last thirty years,
broken away from the national public sphere articulated by the voices of Umm Kulthum
and Nasser and instead taken root within the Islamic Revival movement and the forms of
public sociability and political critique it has engendered. (Hirschkind 2006: 52)









Fusing the Sacred and the Profane

Gaffney, in The Prophet's Pulpit, adds depth to these relations between religion and its

society.

Religon must not ... be mistakenly reduced to the sacred as opposed to the profane (to
recall Durkheim's seminal dichotomy). Such a view fundamentally misrepresents the
"religious life" which was not a matter of pursuing the sacred to the exclusion of the
profane, but rather the generative fusion of both to produce the "elementary forms' of
collective consciousness, a moral order, and ultimately society itself. (Gaffney 1994: 28)

Listening, as described in the texts above, is a central pillar around which these two forms of

society, the sacred and the profane, are fused into one. Religious life, through the sermon,

through music, through the aural conquering of space, enters the "secular" world, sanctifying it.

Gaffney further conflates the two by emphasizes the Weberian ways in which religious

inwardness ("inner religious state") has been diminished in importance at the hands of

"responsibility," an external ethic and ideal forwarded by these public formations of an Islamic

society (Gaffney 1994: 38).

Religion, as such, provides a starting point for ethical action. These actions include

discussion and debate, as described in all three of these texts. Hirschkind quotes at length a

conversation he overheard in a taxi, Gaffney outlines the importance of media and community

interconnections and debates in Minha, while Danielson emphasizes the primacy of personal

communication in Cairo.

People talked to me readily, repeating, elaborating, and embellishing their tropes.
"Talking," an anthropologist friend observed, "is a national pastime in Egypt." All sorts of
topics are subject to detailed discussion, evaluation, and comment. Radio and television
broadcasts, for example, are not merely to be absorbed, they are to be discussed. They
provide a starting point for argumentation of views. (Danielson 1998: 5)

It is this discussion of ideas that anthropology as a field must recognize. And by using

listening as a theoretical tool, as these texts have they can more fully realize these debates within

their research. Simultaneously, listening begins to break down some of these barriers that so









effectively limit understanding, as described by both Bourdieu and Said above. It is through

listening as a theoretical tool and as a methodological priority that the field can move forward.

Listening in Moroccan Islam

The work of Hirschkind and Gaffney demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary theoretical

approaches to anthropological research. While listening itself is not a trope carried through this

thesis, its practical importance for the subject matter in the next three chapters cannot be denied.

It is instead the influential dialogue and debate that comes through and alongside musical and

spiritual production that fuels the present study. Yet listening is involved. In Chapter 3, listening

is the central engagement between the Gnawa adept and the spiritual world of the layla

ceremony. In Chapter 4, listening orients the listener toward either a nationalist project of

identity formation or a budding international aesthetic that utilizes the "African-ness" and

ambiguous spirituality present in popular forms of Gnawa music. Chapter 5 implicitly places

listening in a similar framework as adepts debate religious authority through their participation in

any number of musical rituals and commercial opportunities. It is listening that engages people

in produce discourse, and it is listening that incites the experiences described below, between this

world and the next.









CHAPTER 3
FROM THE LAYLA TO THE STREETS: GNAWA RITUAL AND THEOLOGY

In Arabic, Morocco's name refers to its distance from the center of the historic Arab

empires it is the place where the sun sets, the West. With the national project, the country's

leaders selected the name al-mamlakah al-maghrebiyya ("The Western Kingdom," more

commonly referred to as al-maghreb, "The West") to identify its land and people. Al-maghreb is

linguistically related to gharib, simultaneously meaning Western, odd, or foreign. In the 1950s,

the nationalists recognized within the new name the conception of Morocco as foreign to the

Arab world. In other words, Morocco was conceived as an Arabic "Other" from the perspectives

of Arabs across the Middle East. It is also significant that many of Morocco's most defining

elements come not from the Arab tradition, but instead from the impact of other interacting

cultures. Many of the country's musical and artistic characteristics, for example, originated in

Spain under the Spanish 'Umayyids and in West Africa before combining with Berber and Arab

styles to create Andalusian classical music and the various forms of folk music popular

throughout the nation. Even in the choice of hot beverages, Moroccans have become known for

their sweet mint tea, a rejection of the Turkish coffee spread by the Ottomans that is constantly

and ritualistically consumed by Egyptians and others across North Africa.

During the 11th and 12th centuries the Almoravid and Almohad empires ruled current day

Morocco and spread their power up through much of Spain and down toward the southern edges

of Mali. These empires held out against others coming from the East, leading to the pride and

royal authority of the Maghreb. Their distance from the center of the Islamic world, marked by

Mecca and Medina, became a point of strength. The intellectual centers of Fez and Cordoba,

similarly, equaled or outshone even the scholars of Al-Azhar in Cairo as a center of science and

learning. With this learning, Cordoba especially became known as a home of tolerance and









respect between religions and populations. Jews, Christians, and Muslims from Europe, the

Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa came together under intellectual pursuits.

While much has changed in the past 1000 years, the fact that these Berber empires, the

Almoravids and Almohads, captured and fostered such a civilization speaks to the power of the

hybridity that existed throughout the history of Morocco as a nation. The current monarch's

family is a lineage of Berbers. Many of the historic Sufi leaders to come through Fez continued

their travels, becoming influential in West Africa: Senegal, Mali, or Niger. Thus, Morocco has

maintained an important relationship with its past centers of culture and science as well as its

neighbors to both the north and to the south.

The Arab-Berber Racial Continuum

Despite this history of communication and tolerance, the question of racial identity is both

present and problematic. In distinguishing between Berber and Arab in current day Morocco,

often those of other ethnic or racial backgrounds are excluded. Many Moroccans of different

statuses in society claim, in sweeping statements, that all of their countrymen are either distinctly

Arab or Berber. This disagreement is linked to a desire to either pull Morocco into the Islamic

Arab Middle East or to maintain pride in local maghrebi uniqueness. The notion that Arabs live

in the imperial cities and commercial centers while Berbers live in the mountains provides a

second commonly used point of differentiation. Since these two racial categories share most

biological traits and "insofar as cultural practices and social style become markers, racial

constructs may blur with the concepts of 'class' or 'ethnicity' or both," (Turino 2000: 555) only

these other non-physical markers are left as useful. With educated travelers from countries to the

east (Egypt, Saudi Arabia) and areas to the north (Granada, Cordoba, etc.) studying and settling

in cities like Fez, known as intellectual and spiritual centers, this confluence of class and

ethnicity certainly holds true in Morocco. Claims to the Berber-ness or Arab-ness of the









population remain in the political spectrum today as educational policies continue to be a

contested plain for cultural promotion. This Moroccan discussion of race manipulated the

inherent biological and class-related signifiers over the recent past and left the Gnawa outside of

the continuum. With the foreign recognition and popularization of Gnawa music, discussed in

Chapter 4, the opportunity exists for visiting the Arab-Berber debates once again with a goal of

embracing that minority population's increasing international status.

The Gnawa and other groups of a more definite African biological phenotype were

therefore unable to break into the national dialogue. The emphasis of their "blackness" joined

with their syncretic Afro-Islamic renditions of their religion solidify this exclusion: from the

perspective of the urban, educated elite, it put them into a category linked to, but still beyond the

Berbers because of the social, religious, geographic and economic differences they were

specifically not Arab. Some go so far as to claim that they are not Muslim, an attack that comes

frequently in conversations with Muslims who claim authority such as the Tijaniyya, scholars,

or educators. The Berber could also see them as different, or lesser, because of color and their

migrant status to the region. The history of these black Moroccans is not known with certainty,

but the widely held belief is that they came from West Africa many cite Mali or Senegal -

through the slave trade under the Berber Empire (Charry 1996, Grame 1970). Therefore, the

Berber population uses this geographical dominance over the Gnawa. Through their music,

however, the Gnawa circumvented the national and entered the international scene where they

suddenly drew in a national attention.

These issues pertain to a new possible reading of Moroccan national identity. The

monarchy is forced into a paradoxical process. First it attempts to solidify itself as a strong

Islamic country, avoiding that label of "foreign" or gharib. Simultaneously it struggles to









maintain pride in the unique history and colorful cultural influences from Andalusia, Africa and

the Sahara. Morocco is Berber, Islamic, and Arab, but it is also African. Variations of these

influences, and therefore the multi-axis nature of the debate, manifest in the many styles of local

music. Most recently it has been the music of the Gnawa that transcends these boundaries,

folding local heritage into a hybrid, international sound. As recording technology and the

commodification of music allows for a separation from certain aspects of cultural meaning, the

Gnawa sound and its producers are reinterpreting the situation as presented and finding it

possible to create a revised and more holistic symbol for Morocco one that is simultaneously

Islamic and African, Western and Eastern, Berber and Arab. And all is done in a way that

remains distinctly Moroccan by championing the collaboration and combination of any number

of experiences.

As Kapchan argues, the process of cultural creolization is central to Morocco.

Although a creole language does not exist in Morocco, the process of cultural
creolization does; the nation of Morocco is composed of a plurality of ethnicities, histories,
and languages that together form conceptions of what it is to be Moroccan. (Kapchan
1996:6-7)

A primary example of the Moroccan creole culture, Gnawa music can be seen through an

analysis of the music in its local, national and international forms. Careful reworking of Gnawa

and Andalusian classical elements form intertwined, stylistic, and innovative sounds. These

exemplify the multi-faceted Moroccan national identity, drawing it away from the previous Arab

and Berber polarity. Chapter 4 enters into discussion regarding the processes and forces involved

in creating and controlling these innovative forms of music (and the values they foster). The

present chapter precedes this with narrative regarding the religious and ceremonial elements of

the Gnawa layla, and its constant syncretic interaction between Sub-Saharan roots and Islamic

beliefs. Later, as the musicians travel as performers to earn their livelihood, impacts of public









performance upon the knowledge and acceptance of the Gnawa in markets across the south

construct the foundation for the commercialization and nationalization of the music that is to

follow.

The Gnawa and the Layla

The few academic (and many incidental) sources on the Gnawa of Morocco attribute their

history to the Berber slave trades. This trans-Saharan forced migration caused uprooting of their

culture and forced the population to account for drastic events. Jankowsky (2006) discusses the

symbolic memory and representation of the move as it manifests itself within the music of the

Stambeli in Tunisia, and while that group is not specifically related to the Gnawa, many of his

observations hold true. By emphasizing "the Sahara as a barrier," common conceptions of the

south as the "land of the blacks" and the north as "the land of the whites" "deny the historical

role of the Sahara as a bridge." The travel impacted the memory of slavery in a way similar to

that of the ship's passage across the Atlantic (Jankowsky 2006: 380). A "continual flow" of ideas

circulated between the traders and the towns as well as amongst those in captivity. Jankowsky

also points to the sheer number of slaves traded, estimated at 9 million roughly equal to the

size of the Atlantic trade. The magnitude of people moved and the length of time in which the

trade existed (roughly 650 C.E. to 1900 C.E.) made the bridge and the barrier of the Sahara

significant in the memories of all involved populations.

Both the Stambeli and the Gnawa, as well as many others throughout Islamic sub-Saharan

Africa, claim their Islamic identity through the figure of Sidi Bilal. Bilal was the Prophet

Mohammed's muezzin, and was a black slave freed later in life. The Qur'anic figure's position

as a muezzin assists in this identification as, like the Gnawa maalem, the muezzin's primary

function is to prepare the people for payer, reflection, and other spiritual endeavor. Whereas the

Gnawa maalem does this through music and the layla ritual, the muezzin's responsibility is to









chant Qur'anic verse from the heights of the mosque's minarets, signaling each of the five daily

prayers. Through Sidi Bilal there exists a connection legitimizing the Gnawa ritual practice, and

the syncretic nature of the musical and religious pursuits: he is a prominent figure associated

with the Prophet himself, and one who carried out his obligations in a fashion that involves

musical chanting.

The rituals of Gnawa musicians carry many of their people's spiritual roots. Embedded

within the music is a memory, a cultural memory, of past times. The slave trade is revisited and

held central to the "Gnawa" way of life. The spiritual messages that permeate musical tradition,

however, are manipulated, or disappear altogether, as the musicians enter non-religious

performance spaces and situations. The differences between these stages and audiences impact

common beliefs, as the purpose for performance itself becomes economic. Simultaneously

performers constantly reinterpret their own tradition in front of an uninitiated group of domestic

and international casual listeners. As the audience reads these presented symbols of memory and

meaning, the course of musical nationalization advances. First, however, it is necessary to revisit

the ceremonial Gnawa music that sat well outside of national debates until its unintended

popularity of the 60s.

The Layla Ceremony

The ceremonies and rituals (laylat1) of Gnawa music involve the performance of music and

dancing to incite trance. While people are within a trance, various saints and spirits are called

upon through the use of specific rhythms, colors and smells. After the opening of communication

and the strengthening of relationships with the ceremonial hosts, the supernatural entities are

asked either for help or to cure any number of ailments. There are seven male and four female


1 Also translates literally as "evenings," the plural of layla, referring to the late nights and early mornings occupied
by the ritual performance.









figures. Other descriptions refer to them as saints, spirits, orjinn (plural: jnun, Arabic for spirit

and carrying an evil or mischievous connotation, also the likely source of the English word

"genie"). The seven males are collectively known as the Hausa (al-hawsawiyya), recognizing the

Sahelian origins of the Gnawa population. Many are syncretic figures from Qur'anic history such

as Sidi Musa (Moses), or Moulay Ibrahim (Abraham). The four female figures are revered

through the title lalla, or Lady, with the last, Lalla 'Aisha being one of the most prominent,

powerful, and common possessors. Each has its own personality and corresponding chants and

colors used in the event.

The actuality of what many call "possession" in Morocco is more akin to "ownership" than

it is to the connotations conjured by the term "possession." Each figure/spirit/saint/jinn is called

a mluk in Arabic. The word comes from the root "to own," making these figures literally the

"owner." The Gnawa differentiate this idea drastically from thejnun, who exist, but are demons

or spirits with negative intentions. The mluk are these eleven specific personalities. Those who

consider the Gnawa to be un-Islamic, or have general concerns with their practice and novel

beliefs (including Sufis or self-described reformists) conceptualize the mluk to simply be specific

jnun, they possess individuals and cause trouble for their lives. While the mluk is the owner, the

maskun is the possessed. Maskun shares a root with the verb "to live" or "to reside." The form of

the word is the passive form of the noun derived from the verb, and therefore carries the meaning

"one who is lived within" or "residence." A rented apartment is a maskun, just as a possessed

individual has an owner, a particular spirit who lives within the person. This owner/residee

relationship is, once it has begun, permanent. There is no exocism and there is no pleading for

the mluk to depart. The maskun must learn to work with the mluk in order to achieve a healthy,

and symbiotic, partnership. It is the layla and its associated sacrifices that most directly please a









mluk, and it is there that the mluk will present itself publicly. For the sake of clarity, I will use

"possessed" to describe the ecstatic state achieved by a maskun at a layla ceremony. "Owned"

will describe the general relationship between mluk and maskun.

The personality of the mluk appears in two ways during a layla ceremony. First, each is

known for his or her general character (Figure 3-1). Shurfa, a name derived from sharif is a

descendent of the Prophet Mohammed. He is therefore noble, wears white, and is the first to

appear in any layla ceremony. Many of the mluks also have specific behaviors and ritual

practices. Al-Kuhl (another name for Sidi Mimun), for example, wears black, is powerful, and

dangerous. When possessed, his adepts use a knife, cutting repeatedly at their forearms. Gaga, a

maalem in Fez, is owned by al-Kuhl, and held his arm in front of me to show the long series of

deep scars along the length of his forearm. Sidi Musa (Moses) enlisted the power of God to part

the Red Sea. His influence over water is what characterizes the behavior of his possessed adepts

during the layla. When under the ownership of Sidi Musa individuals dance wildly while

balancing a large bowl full of water on their heads. The love of water moves further as they

splash it on the ground, fall to the floor, and enact swimming motions. Lalla Malika (Arabic for

queen) loves to dance; her portion of the layla has an uplifting party atmosphere. This is the only

point where those who are not possessed join in, participating alongside those who are. The other

figures are similarly known by their characteristics and those behaviors of their adepts.

Recognizing the behaviors and fostering the presence of a spirit is one of the foremost

responsibilities of the muqaddama and the maalem, necessary for the proper unfolding of the

ceremony.

The colors manifest in the clothing worn by individuals who hope or intend to become

possessed over the course of the evening. They also match colored scarves provided by the









muqaddama as the event progresses. The musicians utilize specific rhythmic and melodic

portions of their repertoire to arouse each individual spirit or saint. The patterns and chants are

directly related to the instruments that have come to symbolize the Gnawa music and the people.

Along with the colorful dress and characteristic dance, the hajhuj and the quraqib, central

instruments described below and in Figure 3-3, persist throughout the healing practice. It is these

same instruments that appear in popular forms of world beat music referencing the Gnawa, and

therefore Morocco, where they are manipulated into new creative musical ideas.

Performers and Instruments

The maalem "directs" the ensemble and audience while playing the hajhuj, a three-stringed

semi-spiked lute with a hollowed out wooden body and camel neck membrane. A large group of

males continue with the quraqib, iron castanets, while dancing (see Figure 3-3 for instrument

descriptions). The maalem's responsibility includes choosing the chants for the crowd; a decision

that also implies control over which spirits or saints become involved in the spiritual connection.

By carefully watching the ceremony's audience and looking for any hints of possession to

promote musically, the maalem can steer the ritual practice via song choice. The music is

formally call-and-response, with this elder musician singing the lead role.

His Arabic title implies this position of understanding and experience, as the structure of

the word "maalem" points to religious learning and knowledge. The root is shared with 'ulema,

the name of the learned clerics and scholars who hold a responsibility to make decisions and

statements regarding the Islamic faith. This is in contrast to the imam, the head of a

congregation, whose title literally means "in front of' and implies his leadership in prayer.

Despite the presence of a specific imam in a mosque, any member of a mosque community who

knows the prayers is able to step forward and lead the service. Thus it is not the maalem's









direction of an ensemble, but his spirituality and knowledge of Gnawa and Islamic traditions that

give him the respected role.

As the learned and experienced leader of the ensemble, the maalem performs on the hajhuj

(Figure 3-4). Since the remainder of the Gnawa musicians and audience participate through the

quraqib, clapping, and dancing, it is the hajhuj alone that lends an instrumental melody. The

instrument's deep tone, reminiscent of an upright bass, and particular playing technique

contribute to the identifiable sound necessary for the creation of a greater symbol. The

instrument also implies the history of the Gnawa as African, nesting it within a continental

musical tradition. Coolen (1984) and Charry (1996) describe the similarities in instrument

construction between the hajhuj (also called the gimbri and the sintir) and instruments in West

Africa. Figure 3-2, from Charry's article, demonstrates the structural similarities between these

different instruments. It also links them to particular ethnic groups, something that the Gnawa do

by directly stating the Hausa origins of certain spirits or by describing lyrics as Fulani, despite

the fact that many cannot understand Fulani and do not know the meanings of these texts. The

construction of the hajhuj holds symbolic value for the Gnawa beyond these ethnic linkages.

Much respect is reserved for those who play the instrument, and while it is a popular choice for

younger aspiring Moroccans on the streets just outside festival grounds, experience and tradition

sustain an important role in professional performance. This applies whether the music is sacred

or profane. There is, however, one exception slowly developing as Gnawa-influenced bands

bring together Moroccan, Berber, French, and American influences to create a "world beat" form

of popular music. With that change in focus, purpose, and audience, the instrument comes to

symbolize not the specifically Gnawa people and heritage, but a broader pan-Moroccan cultural

identity.









Three portions of the hajhuj's construction remind the layla audience of their history of

slavery. First, the long and deep wooden body is said to represent the boats used to bring a

number of slaves around West Africa and to Morocco by water. The skin along the face of the

instrument, similar to that of the drumhead on a banjo, cites the large kettle drums that

commanded the slaves to row. Lastly, the leather chords typically seen along the instrument's

neck for tightening and tuning the strings denote bindings used for enslavement.

The quraqib (Figures 3-5 and 3-6) hold a place of respect in the eyes of the participants

and dancers.

They [quraqib] are so important to the Gnawa that the musicians swear their oaths by
them. That they are made of iron is especially interesting in view of the fact that the lower-
caste occupation of blacksmith is one that is much practiced by Moroccan Negroes."
(Grame 1970: 79)

These handheld percussive instruments, similar to and often called castanets, audibly remind the

knowledgeable listeners of past slavery. The constant sound, the rhythmic core of the Gnawa

performance, creates an aural symbol of the metallic shackles used to hold the black population

captive during their long trek across the Sahara. The instrument's name, frequently transliterated

as krakeb, is from the Arabic root Q-R-B, meaning "to come near," or "nearby." This insinuation

of slavery and slave relates to the difficult past, but also to the status of a pious man searching

out the nearness of God. Thus, echoes of memory and reverence remain as new musicians as

young as 4 or 5 years old begin to learn the quraqib and assist elders in setting the mystical stage

for trance to occur.

Lyrics of layla songs and traditions simultaneously make pleas to Allah and Mohammad

while inciting the saints and spirits of local traditions. This effort to find spiritual assistance is

seen by many Muslims related to jahalia practices of idol worship, making it grossly un-Islamic.

Musically, poetically and culturally, the ceremony is based within the contradictions between









Islamic and African spiritual roots. This marginalizes the population on a religious basis that

underlies other complications of race. The biological aspects of the race discussion were

combined with the economic distinctions between the Gnawa and the Berber, creating "negroid

lower classes" and further solidifying the Gnawa outside of a national identity. Grame wrote, for

example, in 1970 that:

If the Gnawa preserve their "negroid" appearances it is because, as Carleton Coon puts it,

"wherever or however they live, the Berbers refuse to mate with the Negroid lower classes...

[despite their symbiotic relationship]" In other words, the members of the Gnawa cult belong to

what might reasonably be termed a scheduled caste, and indeed this can be said of most itinerant

Moroccan musicians, white or black (Grame 1970: 77-9).

Because of the slave trade under the Berber empire and the color differences between the

Berbers and the black Gnawa, segregation continued until recent times. Since they could not

share a racial identity with the Berbers or the Arabs due to their constructed race, class and

geographic history, it was not until the Gnawa cultural commodification earned the respect of the

foreign audience that they entered the Moroccan national debate. After the advent of recording

technologies and the opening up of the unique music to the rest of Moroccan society, the

negative resonances of the "Gnawa cult" were removed and the group's prominence began to

present its ability to artistically represent the changing image of Morocco. There was, however,

an intermediary step. Public street performances introduced much of Morocco to the music and

culture of this subaltern population and while the dances and songs were an effort to gain more

clients in need of a layla ceremony, the singing and drumming provided spectacle and

entertainment for domestic tourists and market-goers as they spent their days shopping on the

square.









Taking Music to the Streets

Gnawa musicians historically made a living as traveling performers, moving from city to

city around southern Morocco. Marrakech's Jma' al-Fna remains a popular example, and a major

hub, for these activities. Within this market square there is always a colorful inundation of music,

storytelling, and snake charmers intended for domestic and international tourists alike (Figure 3-

7). Philip Schuyler describes the circles, or haqli, of listeners in the Jma' al-Fna as a space to

"attract all sorts of entertainers ... acrobats, magicians, fortune tellers, gamblers, and so forth."

He writes that "[Jma'] al-Fna is a place of mediation and transition, where rural Morocco

becomes urban, and where North Africa meets Europe" (1979: 32). This reading of the

performance spaces carved out of the market square have not changed in the 30 years since

Schuyler wrote these words, and the processes that he describes for the rwais, Berber musicians,

mirror those of the Gnawa. The Gnawa popularity grew through these market performances over

time and, while the layla still exists, they are the most public endeavor aimed toward visitors to

the city, yet the process of transformation for the Gnawa moved beyond the market squares, as

Chapter 4 outlines below. The street acts involve the dress, dancing, and some of the musical

instrumentation and chanting from the rituals (Figure 3-8). These can be found continuously,

every day in multiple spots around large markets, keeping the Gnawa visible, and therefore in the

minds of the Moroccan population.

The focus of the music seen in the markets is not upon a spiritual transcendence. Instead

the priority is economic, as is demonstrated by the hats immediately and aggressively held open

anytime a tourist photographs the ensemble. The chants are not the same as those used to incite

possession and trance, and instead the colorful dance and costumes are of primary importance.

The dance involves leaping up and down, bending at the knees in an acrobatic fashion, while

continuing a beat on the quraqib. Along with the dancers, other musicians beat a pulse on the









tbal, a large drum of Berber origin carried by a shoulder strap (Figures 3-9 and 3-10). The tbal is

used in the layla ceremony, but only in the opening entrance to the house (the dakhla) and the

preliminary blessing of the space. Because of these two functions, it is primarily considered to be

an outdoor instrument. The hajhuj is not present and while the music is not sacred, trance is often

"acted out" as entertainment, much to the dismay of layla maalems.

The Essaouira Gnawa people claim that this is an example of the current problems,
especially in Marrakesh, where the trance is often debased even "acted out" as mere
entertainment when it should be preserved in its ancient role as a medium strictly for
healing (Rosenzveig and Wetherbee 1994: 2).

It is on the streets of major markets where the music is presented and traditions revisited or

manipulated. The resulting music is not necessarily identical to that of the layla, and the

performers control the active process of commodifying their population's musical identity. They

remove, or reinterpret, the spiritual tradition and present it to a new audience that is unaware of

the deeper involved meanings.

The effect of the "frozen" nature of this performance is an "agenda ... [to] ensure

maintenance of cultural integrity" (Dunbar-Hall 2006: 63). These street performances are not

part of an overall goal to increase cultural tourism and there is no government body

implementing specific activities. Yet, despite these informalities, the open venue of the town

square provides an opportunity for Gnawa musicians and dancers to reinterpret their musical and

spiritual performances. While walking in the Jma' al-Fna one summer evening I happened upon

a group of younger musicians reclining against a line of mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters as

they sang loudly. One member, who was playing the hajhuj (the ma'alem), invited me to sit and

join them. The audience that formed consisted of friends, sitting and chatting with the musicians,

joining in the singing, and occasionally picking up a set of quraqeb. They were dressed in jeans

and t-shirts, rarely soliciting money from passing Moroccans (by this time, most tourists have









found restaurants or retired to their rooms). Yet the young ma'alem had a business card and

informed me that his group was going to one of the nearby music festivals. The implication was

that they planned on sitting and performing in the street, much in the same way that they were in

the square that evening. The music, in this case, was removed from ritual implications and the

economic was played down (although it was still important). Here Gnawa musical practice

became entertainment, both a call for friends to gather and a reason to do so. This ritual-

tradition-turned-economic-opportunity was being revised once more through the values of this

younger generation. Their social event was secular, only mildly (or optimistically) commercial,

and very public. This presentational approach is neither fully public nor private, yet can be

considered as either. This reflects a characteristic of the layla ceremony itself: hosted in a home

for invited family and special guests, the layla takes place with open doors as neighbors and

strangers wander in and out. Children are able to enter, watch the ritual, and retreat to the street

where they play soccer, to the entertainment of adults sitting on chairs and curbs smoking

cigarettes.

This manipulation of tradition is part of the long history of cultural tourism in Morocco.

This tourism is not only referencing foreign visitors. When speaking to families in Fez, younger

members are often dismayed that they have yet to visit the cultural glory that exemplifies

Marrakech. Domestic tourism is a big business, especially in the southern areas of the country.

Gnawa performances in Marrakech, and elsewhere, are not aimed solely at foreigners, and it is

this domestic tourism that spread knowledge of the Gnawa musical traditions (and others) across

the country. The understanding acquired by travelers, however, is dependent on the

performances given by these public performers. It is at this intersection where we see the

significance of Dunbar-Hall's note regarding the "frozen nature" of touristic performance. The









values expressed by the performers in a public setting do not match those that are relevant in

ritual. The impact of cultural tourism in Bali is similar to Morocco's situation, and is explained

further here.

The cultural tourism presented here is one in which the roles of tourists are set by culture
bearers, and are controlled in figurative sites of levels of access to experiences of Balinese
performing arts. In most situations, the participation of tourists as the audiences at these
events is a superficial interaction, a sampling of music and dance in condensed
representations and bounded by momentariness. Often the sample is presented as a
museum exhibit, "frozen" in a traditional past, which is emphasized by contrast with the
surrounding day-to-day business of ongoing contemporary culture. In actuality, tourists at
these events are unwitting witnesses to a range of cultural agendas and practices, and are
present at synchronic moments in the diachrony of a living culture. In this way, they are
collaborators in, and at times the instigators of, cultural change and development. (Dunbar-
Hall 2006: 56)

This procedure shows the Gnawa in a museum-like state. It also placed a border around the

music, enclosing it. The traveling musicians remove the dance and music from the ritual

atmosphere and place it in a public stage for non-traditional audiences. Since the trance is

"faked," it moves away from a center of the performance experience and becomes entertainment.

This form of musical commodification is an integral part of the Gnawa population's historical

narrative, highlighting cultural differences and the active creation of the self as "Other" within

Morocco. It also furthers the progression of the music into the country's consciousness by taking

the first steps toward enabling a national reconfiguration of the music's meanings.

Moving toward a National and World Music

In the case of Gnawa music, production and marketing decisions cause a change in musical

and religious meaning by creating something more palatable for both the international market

and the Islamic nationalistic appetites. As Swedenburg writes,

world music hype about these "traditional" Arab musicians tends to erase their Islamic
context and make them artificially exotic. Publicity on Gnawa music generally focuses on
its African roots, downplaying the fact that the lilas the healing/trance rituals which are
the main occasion for Gnawa music consistently invoke Allah, the prophet Muhammad,
his companions and family, and prominent Muslim saints, as well as spirits of West









African origin. World music discourse stresses the African side of Gnawa culture,
representing it as a Moroccan outpost of the African diaspora, in an effort to sell a cultural
commonality with which world music fans can identify. At the same time, this publicity
covers over the fact that Gnawa beliefs constitute a syncretic melange involving the
propitiation of Arab/Berber Muslim saints and West African spirits. (Swedenburg 2001:
38)

Outside of the south, the nation's population recognizes the Africanized "Moroccan

Islam," but it causes yet another contradiction one solved through the appreciation of the

Berber and Gnawa beliefs from a safe distance for orthodox Muslims. It is also one impacted by

political and economic powers effectively positioning the music into a social, national, and

international conversation between the population, the government, opposing religious

authorities, and the international markets. Those within Morocco begin to promote the music as a

national identifier because of its Islamic lyrics and belief, downplaying portions of the "African"

spirituality. In international markets, however, it is that very "African-ness" that catches the

interests of listeners outside of the Islamic world. This manipulation of meanings, the subject of

Chapter 4, occurs because of the long history of street performers who brought elements of the

layla tradition out of the courtyards and into a public space. With the creation of these new

renditions of Gnawa music, Muslims from throughout Morocco can identify with some of the

popular, unique sounds coming from within their own country.












Mluk Color Description
Al-Hawsawiyya (_J_ _.1)
Shurfa ( 8jty) White Noble, descendent of the Prophet
Al-Kuhl (J S9l) Black Powerful, self-mutilating during layla
Sidi Musa ( -*4 -) Blue Moses, use of water during possession
Sidi Hamu (jA -l .) Red The maskun passes around a red drink after trancing
Al-Buhala (V.A-I) Green Crazy
Mulay Ibrahim (~ ..l iL) Multicolored Abraham, quilted clothing of many colors together
Al-Ghabi (.idl) Brown Stupid or slow, holds candles close to face and clothing


Al-nsa'(Women) ( ll.1)
Lalla Malika (Z5L4- ,) Purple (from China) Loves to dance
Lalla Rqiya (;J 4ll- ) Brown
Lalla Mira (L-$,a ) Yellow
Lalla 'Aisha (-4a .211l) Black Powerful

Figure 3-1. A table presenting the Gnawa mluks as described by Abd ar-Rzaq, a maalem in Fez.










Countries 13 Ghana
1 Mauitania 14 Too
2Mai 15 Benin
3 Niger 16 Nigeria
4 Chad 17 Cameroun
5 Senegal 18 Morocco
6 The Gambta
7 Guinea Bissau IG
8 Guinea
9 Sierra Leone
10 Lberia
11 Ivory Coast
12 Burkina Faso


19 Algena
20 Tunisia
21 Ubya


19 ,,.




1 wooden trough resonator "
C j calabash resonator
() usual number of strings
) fan-shaped brdge "

S cylinder-shaped bridge 4


0 .


"IMol,-m(_ .





. -*y! ?ID ^

/ -/I

fi


10

Ethnic Groups
B Banbara
Bu Bussance/
Bisa
D Diawara
DJ Djerma
F Fulbe/
Tukulo
Tukulor


G Gnawa
Gw Gwar
1 1 .11:


* ITal ~g'Ad,dan


2


1 (wIAHlk~, k ..j4.

-A ^'
*' ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ H .<.-^ --^/ *-^ ____ *


13 ei- .p
,3 I' is


I?


*1I


S Soninkc
Sg Songhai
T Teda
Ta Tamashek/


Figure 3-2. Distribution of plucked lutes in West and Northwest Africa (Charry 1996: 8).


4 .,


1.r W,


I,,, ) mr,,n iJ, f,,Lt. '"
-, .
























Figure 3-3. Table of Gnawa instruments.


Figure 3-4. Abderrahim ar-Rzaq, a maalem in Fez, demonstrating the hajhuj.


Name Description Images
Hajhuj (also Three-stringed semi-spiked lute with a Figure 3-4
Ginbri, Sintir) hollowed body and a camel neck membrane.
Similar to the banjo with one string shorter
than the other two and a membrane instead of a
sound board.
Quraqib Two iron places tied together on one end with a Figures 3-5, 3-6 and 3-9
small strap of leather. Performed with one set
in each hand.
Tbal Large military-style drum carried by a strap Figures 3-9 and 3-10
over the shoulder and played with one straight
and one curved stick.
































Figure 3-5. Abderrahim Abd ar-Rzaq and others performing on the quraqib during the opening
(dakhla) portion of a layla ritual in Fez.


Figure 3-6. A closer view of the quraqib.

































Figure 3-7. Street performers, musicians, and showmen in Marrakech's Jma' al-Fna.


Figure 3-8. Gnawa performers encircled by a crowd in Marrakech.
































Figure 3-9. Maalem Gaga (left) demonstrating the tbal in a Gnawa household as other members
of his group play the quraqib.


Figure 3-10. Maalem Gaga (right) playing the tbal during the entrance (dakhla) of a layla
ceremony in Fez.









CHAPTER 4
STRATIFICATION AND FUSION: GNAWA MUSIC ON NATIONAL AND
INTERNATIONAL STAGES

Introduction

The following chapter examines how nationalism and cosmopolitanism interact to create

the often-cited "creole" or "hybrid" Moroccan culture. Where cosmopolitanism values a

recognition and use of cultural elements from across the globe, allowing aspects of expression to

cooperate and perform in a unique situation, nationalization uses them toward an intended end.

In this case, that end is a common Moroccan identity and religious authority determined by the

national project. The relationship between cosmopolitanism and nationalization is subtly

interwoven, and the two are far from opposing poles. Instead they intercede frequently, with

cosmopolitanism leading to nationalization while that created identity simultaneously provides a

stage for a cosmopolitan statement. In Morocco, popular expressions of Gnawa music show both

processes: celebratory music festivals highlight collaborative presentations of a definitively

Moroccan and "welcoming" culture while bands within the recording industry demonstrate a

deeper musical and cultural fusion.

The musical output itself uses the source elements in two ways: through a stratification of

distinct performance styles or through a fusion of the source materials with the intention of

creating a new, separate, style of music. This chapter's discussion follows the performative

spaces and presented values for these two types of musical interaction. The stratification

common to short-term projects and performances exemplifies a value of cooperation while long-

term, or even permanent, groups create a fusion that emphasizes a new singular voice, not

differences between the source elements. This voice becomes representative of the involved

group (or population).









Cosmopolitanism and nationalization also point to a significant difference between

versions of a local music. Just as the streets of Marrakech actively changed the values of local

Gnawa music through its specific performative setting, these processes have a great effect on

musical meaning through the manipulation of symbols, both embedded and added. National

powers and international record companies impact the sounds with their immense influence. The

King promotes Gnawa music as "Moroccan" despite its previous racial marginalization under a

different ideological national project. In doing so, the Islamic lyrics and content come to the fore

of the presentation. The music then assists in working to create and maintain authority by

manipulating national identity through the utilization of religious solidarity. The "world music"

industry, however, highlights the African and syncretic elements in an attempt to strip Islamic

content from the otherwise marketable spirituality of a groovy musical product (Swedenburg

2001). Each of these events nationalistic utilization of music, globalized marketing,

cosmopolitanism, and internalization are feasible because of the vast effects of

commodification. What began in the streets continued within the attention of national forces and

global marketplaces. It is therefore necessary to discuss these larger impacts of commodification

before entering into conversation about the King's power, the Essaouira festival, and Gnawa

Diffusion.

The Globalization and Commodification of Musical Spirituality in Morocco

The globalization and industrialization of world music has increased the palate of ideas

available to artists, placing them into a worldwide (cosmopolitan) community. Artists and

audiences are able to utilize the sounds and meanings of music that was previously unknown or

inaccessible to them. And as particular artistic communities partake in this process, they enter

into an industry that removes the music from "its proper place." This decontextualized separation

results in commodification with varied and lasting effects on both the music makers and the









listeners. Globalization's largest feat, however, may be its impressive redefinition of consumers

and creators, separating the two and creating new identities in between.

Schizophonic commodification (Feld 1994, Bishop 2002), the removal of the sound from

its setting via recent technology, allows for previously unknown or unusable music to be

consumed in new contexts. Religious, social and class-related distinctions are distanced and

otherwise inapproachable consumer audiences not only find themselves able to listen to these

music, but they are able to place them into newly constructed symbolic situations. Post quotes

McCann, describing this aspect of commodification,

the study of enclosure is the study of attitudes and dispositions, in particular, commodifying
attitudes and dispositions" [...] it is "what happens when we engage in strategies of
'closure' and 'separation' in the way that we make sense of our experience. We close
'things' off, ring 'things' round, make distinctions between 'us' and 'them', identify,
isolate, eliminate variables, and thereby separate, distance, things from other things,
people-as-things from other people-as-things, separate ourselves from acknowledgement of
many of the realities of our own experience. (cited in Post 2006: 5)

By closing things off and making distinctions and distances between them, commodification

facilitates the process of redefinition seen across global and musical boundaries. There is a wider

reach for the musicians and accompanying benefits from the promotion and attention, but the

coexisting complexities quickly surface.

The procedure applies to current trends in Morocco as the music of the Gnawa suddenly

finds itself with the attention of the nation as symbol of its identity. Previously, the population

and its expressive culture were restricted to local and regional spaces, popularly recognized as a

commodified "folkloric" gesture or as a curious part of a community. This was the music's

common resonance to the elite classes under the Kingdom's early project the promotion of

Arab-Andalusian music discussed later. Much of this had to do with the "Afro" portions of their

Afro-Islamic beliefs and practices spirit communication, possession rituals, musical trance

settings were not communicable with mainstream Islam that left the Gnawa on the skirts of a









Moroccan national identity, but firmly solidified in local contexts. This local level of social

organization overlapped with the more populous Berber groups and while the Berbers remain a

part of the perceived national racial continuum, the Gnawa were outside of that simplistic and

dialectic discourse.

One often ignored agent of change has been the communion between many Sufi and

Gnawa religious beliefs. The importance of the experiential, and therefore the music's religious

implications and trance-inciting abilities, link the two closely together. As the Islamic world

began to revere the mysticism of Sufi tradition, often though a similar process of musical

commodification and international exaltation in the global market, the related elements of Gnawa

music lost some of their exoticism in the eyes of the greater Islamic population. The association

of concepts of African and blackness, however, still hindered national integration of the Gnawa

until cultural commodification opened an opportunity to de-emphasize those segments,

expanding some symbolic meanings while limiting others. For example, international audiences

could take the "spiritual" in the Gnawa local identity in a neo-mystical sense. Europeans,

Africans and Americans make the trip to major festivals to experience the spirituality as it is

embodied or invoked in musical performance. Festival and regional organizers do not highlight

the Islamic elements of performance, although the musicians themselves rarely move far from

the Muslim (or Afro-Muslim) subject matter, often singing prayers or evocations and Islamic

texts. At the same time, however, both groups go to great efforts pointing out the "universal"

spirituality the music invokes and communicates to a prepared international audience.

Nationalistic Uses of Commodification

The idea of Moroccan national identity conceived of Gnawa music by prominently

displaying the Islamic nature of the texts and beliefs while downplaying African spirituality.

Thus, there is maintenance of the mystical nature of the music without the Gnawa ritualistic and









historical implications. By de-emphasizing the African vis-a-vis the spiritual, and since Gnawa

spirituality is linked to African identity, the door was opened for the Gnawa to become a part of

the national community. The Islamic side of the artistic expression such as texts, the festival

performance appropriations of Arab classical and popular instruments (the 'ud, flutes,

keyboards) and Moroccan linguistic characteristics were highlighted, making connections

between the Gnawa and the Arab/Berber cultural tradition.

With this, the creation of a tangible musical product devoid of and no longer implicitly

connected to an African racialized identity became feasible due to the commodification by

performance and recording. In mediated formats, it is possible to take the recorded sound and

interpret it from a number of possible perspectives. The cultural meanings of this new aural-

specific performance context can be reunited with the sound, manipulated in any number of

fashions or left out as human creativity takes over, opting instead for something aurally and

conceptually new. This process's political usefulness in defining and presenting "Moroccan" and

"Moroccan Islam," described more fully below, is a primary factor in the actual narrative of

popular music's trajectory since independence (Baldassarre 2003). The connections between

power and cultural expression are of utmost importance in realizing the potential impacts of

commodification.

Because of the presentation of "hybridization" as a national value, the element of "Gnawa"

can be added to the concept of "Moroccan" and provide a political tool for the King's attempts at

creating an identity. This is despite the uncertain Gnawa genealogy that places the group

biologically and historically outside the national discourse and instead emphasizes a (new)

cultural connection. Historically, the Gnawa were not conceptualized as Moroccan; they were

marginalized as slaves and descendants of slaves with religious beliefs that, at best, were on the









fringe of Islam. Then, with the manipulation of material and musical symbols available after

musical commodification and the expansion of the locality of consumers, the opportunity came

to deem the music distinctly Moroccan and specifically not Algerian, West African, or anything

else. Gnawa music could be reinterpreted as part of the national culture

As Gnawa music entered the music industry it began to lose its exclusive link to a locally

defined community and was distanced from local and regional participants. Today, the musicians

who play this music come from anywhere around Morocco, North or West Africa, France,

Germany, or the world as a whole. What they play is not necessarily "authentic" to the Gnawa

people of rural southern Morocco, but it will instead represent any number of consumers globally

who have come to understand world music in a postmodern context. As Feld states,

what rhetorically sets world beat apart is often the assertion of a new, postmodern species
of "authenticity," one constituted not in isolation or difference but in creolization proper,
an authenticity precisely guaranteed by its obvious blendings, its synthesis and syncretism.
(1994: 266)

This "postmodern species of 'authenticity'" and "creolization proper" occur not just in the

international realm, but also within the national and local experience.

It is the recognition of the international in local contexts that completes the cycle in this

case and permits the national consumer, previously unable to participate in Gnawa music

production or consumption, to see this no-longer marginalized commodity as part of the

Moroccan national identity. But in a kingdom such as Morocco, the concept of national music

falls under the influence of governmental powers attempting to maintain their authority in this

case through a distinct creation of a national Islamic space. The ways in which the King uses his

power to develop and sustain authority illuminate the later promotion of a specific national

identity, and it is here that Arab-Andalusian and Gnawa music became important tools.









Censorship and the Need for a Created Religious Authority, or "Moroccan Islam"

Article 19 of the Moroccan constitution defines, or "enshrines" the King as the

"Commander of the Faithful" (Economist 2006), a term that assists only in creating both

contradiction and conflict throughout the nation. The government often employs this religious

opportunity of contextualization in an effort to control both the reformist1 and the intellectualized

"secularist" opposition. Contributing to the effectiveness of these abilities is the influence of the

government-run media. Through the use of news stations and popular entertainment outlets, the

King's agenda can portray any Islamically rooted opposition as an extremist threat, thereby

taking advantage of the resulting negative meanings in the popular press. Likewise, any member

of the French-speaking educated elite, Muslim or not, can easily be converted, in popular

perception, into an imposing secularist working to destroy the national morality.

Just as his position as the defender of "Moroccan Islam" helps against various forms of

opposition, it grants the King license over cultural expression. The ways in which the

government promotes and represses international and indigenous music through festivals and

events illuminates the attempts to create national identity. Frequently these use religious rhetoric

that defends and upholds the ideal of a "Moroccan Islam." Beyond the ideal of"Moroccan

Islam," however, little is stated regarding what the religious practice is, aside from the apparent

popular traditions and the fact that they are observed within the nation's borders. Thus, its

ideological propagation seems to solely serve a political agenda of cultural manipulation.

Occurrences of these processes are historical and yet appear within current events; samples of the

King wielding and reinforcing his political-via-religious authority appear in international popular

1 "Reformist" readings of Islamic theological and political thought situate themselves alongside a literal
interpretation of the Qur'an. While most variations of this policy (including the Justice and Charity party, banned in
Morocco) advocate a peaceful protest against authoritarian power, they are often smeared by claims of terrorist
activity. This practice will likely increase with the growth of the recently renamed "Al-Qaeda Organization of the
Islamic Maghreb" stretching across North Africa.









news sources and the intentional Islamic ideal deserves discussion. This creation and

manipulation is subsequently applied to the nationalization and internationalization of Gnawa

music.

This state-run media portrays the kingship in religious terms. Hassan II appeared with a

Qur'an on major religious holidays in a show of legitimization through ritual, although his actual

presence in the Islamic life of Moroccans as defined by Munson is negligible:

... the crucial point is that the king and the monarchy are at best of marginal significance
in the popular celebrations of the Prophet's birthday in twentieth-century Morocco. ...
[O]ne should not confuse the religious significance attributed to the king by Morocco's
government-controlled media with the religious significance attributed to him by ordinary
Moroccans. (Munson 1993: 124)

These and similar attempts at the creation of religious authority not only allow for the repressive

control of Islamist groups, they also help control secular opposition under the mantle of

defending the integrity of Morocco's specific form of the religion. As Kramer writes in The New

Yorker,

his dynastic title as the twenty-second Alawite king was Commander of the Faithful, which
gave him a kind of papal authority over Moroccan Muslims and meant that he could keep
both the Islamist extremists and the Marxist republicans at bay by eliminating, in the name
of a specifically Moroccan Islam, anyone who challenged his authority. (Kramer 2006)

It remains, however, that the King must create this ideal of a "specifically Moroccan

Islam" and do so in a way that includes the majority of the nation's population, improving the

"religious significance attributed to him by ordinary Moroccans." Otherwise, his religious status

would erode while he is seen as not a defender of the (national?) religion, but a repressor of

freedoms. In order to achieve this end, censorship and government media act as mechanisms to

portray official policies and actions in religious language and rhetoric. In one particular case, an

educated Muslim economist and journalist, Aboubakr Jamal, impeded too closely upon the three









taboo subjects in the Moroccan "free press:" attacking the person of the king, undermining

"Islam as the state religion," and protesting the occupation of the Western Sahara ibidd.: 6).

One politically interesting case was a piece in Le Journal written by Jamal entitled "The

Prophet Muhammad, the Symbol, the Passions" regarding the heated Muslim response to Danish

cartoons featuring images of the Prophet Mohammad. Jamal was offended by the foreign paper's

drawings, however he also staunchly opposed the censorship and blasphemy laws common in his

area of the world. He instead supported each Moroccan's right to be offended, or not. His

publisher included what was described as a miniscule photo of a man holding the Danish paper,

and after deciding not to take that risk, Jamal attempted to ink the copies before it hit

newsstands. Inevitably, a few snuck through. The protest against Le Journal that followed was

orchestrated by government news stations portraying the paper as a force "making Moroccans

lose respect for the sacred values of their country." Soon a number of city vans had brought

angry protesters from the interior market areas to call for holy war, most of whom Jamal believes

thought that they were protesting in front of the Danish Consulate. The intentional use of

illiterate protesters for the sake of creating a media-induced anti-"secularist" sentiment through

appeals to religious language demonstrates this created monarchical authority. As Kramer writes,

"given that Mohammed VI has no affection at all for his country's Islamists, it proved to Jamal

that the state was now willing to use its own enemies to destroy him" ibidd.: 5).

The population's respect for the King's religious authority comes more from his status as

sharif(descendant of the Prophet, in this case via 'Ali) than his political role as caliph (Munson

1993: 128). His baraka, or "blessing," holds weight, and many believe that rule under such a

man, however repressive or unjust, is better than the alternative. Hassan II, when asked by

Amnesty International about his alleged human rights violations, responded that, "Every head of









state has his secret garden" (The Economist 1990). Despite such authoritarian policies and

practices, people continue to follow his ideas creating religious and social tradition, often times

with visible zeal. The behavior falls in line with a common understanding of

classical themes of Islamic political theory, notably the idea that those who hold power are
typically unjust and brutal, but even an unjust and brutal king is better than the disorder
that occurs in the absence of a strong ruler... If fear of Hassan II's secret garden is a key
source of his power, so is the fear of the chaos that might ensue if he were overthrown.
(Munson 1993: 143)

Nationalistic Musical Promotion and the Essouira Festival of World Music

In a more specifically musical sense, these same efforts working for a controlled

"Moroccan Islam" affect the public portrayals of culture. Just after independence in 1956, the

"high music" was the nuba, an Arab-Andalusian song form highlighting Spanish influences and

an Classical Arabic style2 a highly cosmopolitan music. The state run Radio Nationale

Morocaine and the Orchestre Nationale promoted the nuba as Morocco's "classical" music

(Baldassarre 2003: 82). These tools also presented other music from Egypt and the Near East,

such as the 'asri, and Egyptian modern song style. The mass production of these sounds

influenced Moroccan appetites as well as the musicians themselves. There were, however, other

performers working with the distinct local

rhythms, timbres, and sarcastic lyrics peculiar to the music of the Marrakech area, thus
shaping a kind of vaudeville that expressed very precisely and even with a humorous vein
the desires, frustrations, and hopes of the lay population. ibidd.: 83)

These forms of popular music in the 1960s did not follow the same ideological path promoted by

the political powers. While the King's goal was "the consolidation of a national cultural identity,

whose musical manifestation was represented by the Moroccan classical music tradition

2 The Classical style referenced originated in Baghdad during the height of the Abassyd empire. The music was
focused on the 'ud, qanun, nay, and riqq, later adding the Kaman (violin). The more recent versions of this style that
are still heavily influential came from Cairo during the height of the Egyptian film industry in the 1940s and 50s. A
small Western orchestral string section was added and the sound was embodied by the famous Umm Kulthum. See
Racy 2003 and Danielson 1997 for more information on Egyptian popular music style.









preserved in the National Music Conservatory," ibidd.) this other form of music instead identified

with the population as a whole.

Even more than the classical music of the conservatory, the government promoted "the

patriotic song" (oughnya al wataniya) as an emblem of the national sentiment. With simple lyric

rhetoric and style, the genre served a definitive purpose of"channeling the imagination and

creativity of the masses toward expressive forms strictly useful to the lines of political power"

ibidd.: 84). Arabic utilizes the term watan to mean "homeland," a word commonly seen in

current Palestinian discourse. With the recent push to satisfy democratic foreign states, Morocco

now labels its subjects muwatanun, or those who belong to the homeland, homelanders. The term

is new and most Moroccans ignore it, instead keeping with the term "subjects," or "those who

belong to the King." That the patriotic song was presented through popular media outlets

demonstrates an early tendency for the Kingdom to create an ideal cultural Morocco. This is

despite the fact that the song style was, as Baldassarre writes, "a degenerate outcome derived

from the centuries-old tradition of panegyrical chant in tribal Morocco ... void of artistic

content" (ibid.). The specific goal here was to promote a "monolithic, clear-cut, and reassuring

image of the newly born State of Morocco," in contrast to the previous French conceptualization

of the area.

Over time, with the increased fame attributed to Gnawa, Berber, and other musicians

unique to Morocco3, the national attitude toward these "folkloric" styles changed dramatically.

Even though these forms of music were experiencing the creative effects of globalization, the

source material and core identity was based within the local community. Social taste was not

necessarily aligned with the types of expression held aloft by those in power, and instead it

3 Similar localized styles of music were active in Algeria during the same time with ral as the primary example. The
political significance of these sounds differ, reacting to a vastly different set of governmental circumstances.









congregated around more localized and familiar sounds. After noticing that Arab-Andalusian

music was failing to connect with a large portion of the citizenry, the government (and others

economically tied to the success of either a "national" sound or musical identity) began to

address the gap. While Arab and Arab-Andalusian music still maintained an elite status, these

other forms found themselves promoted in a wider popular context.

In the 1960s, groups like Nass al-Ghaiwan and others brought an awareness of rock music

and cultural movements to Morocco. As their restylings of local forms incorporated foreign

musical and extra-musical elements from instruments to commentary, their popularity grew

throughout the country. The influences from the distant London studios worked in conjunction

with British and American rock and jazz artists who came to the country for meditation,

inspiration, and a novel experience. The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page,

Ornette Coleman, Pharoah Saunders, and others made excursions that gave birth to later

collaborative projects projects that helped these artists to find their own personal voices, but

that also left an imprint on the aesthetic of the local communities. Public performances with

these visitors, as well as the general rumors and awareness that the music was valued by these

figures, began to incite communal excitement around Gnawa and Berber artistic tradition.

As the internationalized versions of Gnawa and Berber music rose in popularity, the

governing forces saw that their country-wide presentations of Arab-Andalusian music only

engaged specific audiences those who either identified with the sounds because of their

(northern) geographic location and Arab or Spanish heritages, or because of their elite economic

class. The vast majority of Moroccans, being of a lower class and less inclined to situate

themselves as "Arabs," largely ignored the "art music," instead opting for music that drew upon

their local traditions. This remains the case with the "globalized" fusions produced in Casablanca









and France that still reference Gnawa or Berber instruments, vocal styles, or musical forms. To

account for this disparity between the attempted national ideal and the reality, the promotional

goals had to shift. The government began to emphasize the fact that Gnawa music and many

other Berber forms are lyrically Islamic through major events celebrating the local (and

increasingly international) sound. This is in contrast to the practices of the Fez Festival of Sacred

Music, another annual event, where the highlight was on Arab (and occasionally Spanish)

musicians of the classical Islamic genre.

In the 1990s, the Essaouira Festival of World Music began, using a small beach town

outside Marrakech. This and similar events of a smaller scale present a new perspective on the

reconfigurations of Gnawa music. They not only "celebrate friendships" between musicians, but

they also facilitate and inspire new directions within the music itself. The program of the 2006

festival, for example presents the philosophy as the following:

the 2006 program affirms more than ever the original philosophy of the Festival, which
consists in inviting the best international artists of the moment and confronting them with
the music of the Gnawa masters. Then, let the magic work and you get intense moments of
musical improvisation. Mixing all styles of music, the Essaouira Festival leaves the artists
and audience with unique musical emotions, special moments of sharing through the magic
of music. Keeping this incredible experience close to their hearts, the artists will never
forget the City of Wind, which is now presented as a "neo-Woodstock", an inspiring place
where they can come and create new sounds. (http://www.festival-gnaoua.co.ma)

The space provided on this popular stage allows for a worldwide musical collaboration

where the previously inherent inconvenient connotations can be left aside. The primary goal of

the event remains the combination of previous musical styles, a cosmopolitan reinterpretation of

tradition. The organizers explain this point further as they mention recent changes in the

festival's content:

with the experience of the 8 past years, the 9th edition of the Festival marks a turning point
and turns to new sources of inspiration, such as electro, proving that it can find new ways
to move on with its times. For it is out of the confrontation of different artistic universes
that the magic of the Festival arises, transforming Essaouira into a musical lab, an open-air









studio where the musicians come and share their passion... Essaouira offers to those who
look for spirituality, a true music and timeless references, the opportunity to meet and be
enriched with words, sounds and feelings. (http://www.festival-gnaoua.co.ma)

The "open-air studio" where musicians and consumers search for "spirituality" and

"timeless references" does create a "neo-Woodstock," but one that presents intended Moroccan

values. The spirituality found by most tourists at the festival is far from the transcendental saint

and spirit connection of the layla. While general ideas of trance and heightened states of

awareness may exist in the festivals, especially in the late evening performances where dancing

engulfs the smaller town squares, specific Gnawa ideas of spirit possession and jinn

communication are largely absent.

Significantly, groups singing Islamic songs, or presenting Islamic ideas while working

with American jazz artists are placed at the forefront, often opening for larger international stars.

These maalems and their ensembles then perform with the stars, overlaying their two disparate

music. This example of the cosmopolitan values, expressed by the festival organizers (and

therefore the governmental directives), emphasizes the open and cooperative Moroccan aesthetic.

The musical aesthetic here is one of stratification, where the two groups are on stage performing

simultaneously. Most commonly, the maalem and his troupe will begin a song, allowing the

groove to settle. Then, the foreign jazz musician will play over the beat, often improvising.

Despite the fact that the entire foreign ensemble may perform, there is little actual musical

interaction between the two groups as the Gnawa ensemble continues with the same groove,

creating a characteristic bed of sound. These layered performances are desirable because of their

simplicity, and there is an exchange of creative energy. They do not, however, typically foster

the long-term cooperation depicted by the festivities, despite the few isolated collaborative

recording sessions since the 1960s.









The African and even Sufi aspects of this spirituality, the trance, and the Gnawa music in a

form closest to that of the layla, however, only appear after the concerts conclude at 2 or 3AM.

The locations of these stages are buried within the city, occupying a small market square instead

of the massive main stages. One pragmatic outcome of this venue chance is the creation of a

more intimate space, crowded and full of dancing patrons. Another result is the marginalization

of the practice due to its syncretic combination of Sufi Islam and African performance tradition.

Thus, when Gnawa music portrays the values linked with the national hopes of collaborative and

Islamic identity, it receives a prominence rare for such a population. But when it reverts back to

its historical roots in African spirituality, trance, and spirit possession even if these are just

symbolized through ecstatic dance it is hidden, though still available, mirroring the overnight

nature of the ritual itself.

Just as Dunbar-Hall (2006) described earlier in reference to Bali market squares, and as

was applicable to Marrakech's Jma al-Fna, local music here becomes "world music" by

redefining itself through a new context (Guilbault 2006: 139-40). These younger performers

listen to Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and popular Gnawa "bands" instead of exclusively following

the carriers of "past tradition." They participate in national festivals and with international

recording artists, manipulating the sound of the local Gnawa scene by expanding it into a

national and international phenomenon. Also, because of differences between the values and

ends of these reorganizations, there is a symbolic difference between the national and

international stages. Each separately turns back to redefine the local music, but the focus is not

the same as one works for authority through identification and the other promotes a product for a

market. The end result, however, is a newly born importance for the Gnawa people in both

theoretic spaces. Their music, religious spirituality, and cultural impact in the Moroccan dialogue









is recognized through a new set of semantic meanings where Gnawa images, instruments,

grooves and identity associate not as a marginalized community, but as one firmly within the

conversation of Moroccan nationalism.

International Fusion and Diffusion

The previous stages highlight the cosmopolitan ideals presented by Moroccan musicians,

the government, and the people themselves. Individuals and groups of various backgrounds come

together to work on projects that combine their talents to engage in a new vision. The end result

is frequently a collaborative effort overlapping distinct styles, with some lasting influences

sifting through. Pharoah Sanders's work with Maleem Mahmoud Ghania, or Robert Plant and

Jimmy Page's album No Quarter exemplify the available recordings of this stratification. The

foreign musicians come, experience, and work with set Gnawa maalems, but in the end product,

the Moroccans begin and end their songs just as they would, had the visitors not been present.

The portion of the recording that creates new interest for the international audience is the

saxophone, vocal, or guitar lines placed atop the previous composition.

This form of musicality differs greatly from the fusion seen in groups more akin to Gnawa

Diffusion or with the work of Hassan Hakmoun. Here the influences go into a sound distinct

from the source materials, interwoven in both the creative process and product. These groups

frequently fall into categories of "world beat" and they often bring an active global commentary.

Whereas the cosmopolitan sounds from Morocco's festivals celebrated the collaborative

strengths, these integrated versions of Moroccan music fall more in line with a Bob Marley-

influenced African universalism. While the artists do not deny their Islamic beliefs or traditions,

they hold the spiritual portions of the African, Gnawa, and Sufi beliefs above any specific

religious connotations through their music.









Although the commodification of the layla and other local Moroccan traditions works here

in much the same way as the nationalizing recontextualization, the difference in the end result

shows the impact of the process. Artists such as the members of Gnawa Diffusion, for example,

interact directly with various forms of popular, sacred, and traditional music. Members may

come from disparate situations economically, geographically, even nationally, but because the

periods of collaboration are longer, even permanent, the created band is not a layering of

separate entities, but instead it is the combination of parts and experiences into one unified and

integrated whole. Meanings held deep within the individual influences are pieced together to

make complex musical and lyric statements, often inducing heated political or social

commentary. Just as was the case in the nationalistically charged festivals, however, it is the

commodification of musical styles through recording and performance over time that allows the

new performance styles.

Within the music itself there are two main characteristics dominated by non-local, sounds:

melody and groove. It is here that the combinatory effects of the music industry are most easily

heard. It is also here that the Gnawa sound maintains its presence, but after the inclusion of hip-

hop, reggae and funk beats, it is more a character than a structural necessity. A certain degree of

familiarity with the unique instruments and styles linked to the Gnawa is required to discern

specific traits and meanings for international audiences. Gnawa Diffusion, for example, holds its

Gnawa identity close to its sound, referencing it both abstractly and directly. But while on tour

from Paris to Tokyo, it is no doubt their "world beat" aspects that keep the audience dancing. At

multiple old city CD stalls in Marrakech, Gnawa Diffusion's newest album, Souk System (Figure

4-1), was the offering of choice when I would ask the owner for a recommendation. However,

the songs are far from the nearby street performer acts and they have little in common with the









styles heard at a layla. Gnawa Diffusion's popularity in Fez, an imperial city in the mountains of

the north most commonly associated with Arab-Andalusian music, demonstrates the impact of a

nationalistic character based upon the Gnawa's expanded locality.

The songs on Souk System, and those of other prominent Gnawa-oriented bands from

Morocco, Algeria, France, Germany and elsewhere, re-orient the sounds of northern Morocco's

Andalusian and Islamic history with southern Morocco's African and Saharan past by

manipulating western song forms to include local melodic and rhythmic color. Another scope of

fruitful research could easily be conducted to include the complex linguistic content and

symbolism as musicians code-switch between French, English, Berber and Arabic dialects, each

with its own social and political implications. The references made through the instrumental and

vocal channels of production retain their significance with the national audience as well as with

the large Moroccan and North African diaspora across Europe. Thus a national element is strong

and expands internationally with the participation of a national emigrant audience outside of the

country.

In Gnawa Diffusion's combination of styles and genres, instrumentation becomes

important for the retention of symbolic and musical content. The use of the 'ud as a melodic

instrument alongside the electric guitar, the hajhuj in conjunction with the electric bass in an

overlaid groove, and the quraqib blended with a drum set's hi-hat mesh the sounds into

something cohesive. It remains necessary, however, to highlight each Moroccan instrument

during specific times in order to keep them from being "lost in the mix." Through a thick

analysis of musical integration, it becomes possible to examine the deeper interactions between

local and international sounds.









Gnawa Diffusion uses musical expectations and insinuations to highlight their use of

Arabic, sub-Saharan, and international techniques. Middle Eastern colors come to the fore

through the use of extended melodic phrases and the instrumentation from the classical Egyptian

takht ensemble. By sonically importing, first, the instruments from early- and mid-20th century

popular music, notably the 'ud (plucked fretless lute), violin, riqq (small tambourine), and

darbouka (hourglass shaped drum), and, second, the characteristics of the maqam system of

melodic construction, the listener finds something either unmistakably recognizable or exotic,

depending on their background. Similarly, the fact that the group's standard instrumentation,

harmonic structure, lyrical content, and visual image is not far from that of reggae or another

diasporic genre brings the groups sound to an international audience.

Figure 4-2 shows the melodic introduction of"Itchak al-Baz" using the 'ud and the guitar

together. The sound of the electric guitar's sustain over the 'ud's tremolo on the quarter notes of

the second repetition is unique, with both instruments playing a melody that would be as

comfortable in a classical Arabic setting as it is here. The modal nature of the E minor passage

manages to stay within a classical character even while following a "western" harmonic

progression (E-A-B-E, I-IV-V-I). The focus is instead on the guitar/'ud orchestration. The bass

part plays a role here, as it avoids an outright statement of the harmonic rhythm and instead

accents a polyphonic and rhythmically active forward motion. While polyphony is not common

in the Andalusian or Islamic music of northern Morocco, this particular passage accentuates the

polyphonic syncopated character of a typical hajhuj line (Figure 4-7, discussed later), referencing

the more recent trend of playing 'ud, flute or other melodic instruments (including guitar) over

the hajhuj a practice of linking sub-Saharan and Arabic styles seen in the stratified

presentations of previously discussed projects.









Later in the chorus of same song, the solo 'ud takes over from the vocals. Figure 4-3 shows

the instrument used in a way stylistically and idiomatically standard for Arabic classical music,

however, the major pentatonic arpeggiations mirror the chordal outlines later in Figure 4-4, and

both are far from the classical modality employed with the solo 'ud. The pattern continues in the

bridge where the 'ud simply moves down the arpeggios while using more classical rhythmic

material, fitting the sound into the harmonic and melodic "Western" scheme.

In "Barakat," Gnawa Diffusion aligns itself with the traditional Gnawa sound by staying

within scales typical to the hajhuj (D-E-G-Ab-C-D) for the entirety of the song and adding the

quraqib and hajhuj. The quraqib here play articulated 16th-notes, whereas within the layla setting

the rhythmic drive of the music comes from the subtle interplay between an 8th-note triplet figure

with an added 16th-note (Figure 4-5) and 16th-notes. "Barakat" removes the fluid motion between

these two rhythms in order to solidify the groove, setting the quraqib into the predetermined

"evened out" rhythmic positions of the reggae infused drum set.

The same procedure of "evening out" affects the hajhuj rhythm. The soloistic character of

the hajhuj remains, especially in the opening (Figure 4-6), but the difference between the hajhuj

line in "Barakat" and the one in the live Essaouira performance of"Bhar el-Wafa" by Maalem

Mohamed Kouyou (Figure 4-7), for example, is the prevalence of the 16th/8th/16th-note pattern in

the groove of the latter. This rhythmic motive shifts, like the quraqib, between a duple (16th-note

based) feel and a loose triplet throughout, although Kouyou actually does use a distinct triplet

figure to end the phrase. The looseness of rhythm in the hajhuj and quraqib, not dissimilar from

other African-diaspora music like the Brazilian samba, is missing from "Barakat" since the

figure is de-emphasized as the Moroccan instruments are placed into a new context with their

foreign counterparts. The ornamentations and melodic progression characterize instruments used









in much popular Moroccan music, like the 'ud and synthesizer, and the entire song itself is in the

key of D minor, but with a flat-5. Because of the A-flat, there is no dominant harmony and the

instrumental passages embellish the mode with their distinctive turns, tremolos and sound.

Comparing Figures 4-6 and 4-7 show that the bass does not follow what a hajhuj would typically

play, and instead it holds together the song's groove. Moroccan-ness is utilized, even

championed, but it is no longer the core of the musical product. It is instead a part of the overall

sound, shifted to fit into a new song form.

The presence of the bass and drum set affect the use of the hajhuj and quraqib in the

internationalized settings and it is how all of these instruments are reconfigured that creates a

new style. Looking back at the live Mohamed Kouyou hajhuj line, the syncopated nature of the

rhythm pervades, especially in reference to the 16th/8th/16th-note figure. To continue the forward

motion, the second half of the main figure leaves off the first 16th-note and what remains carries

close ties to the bass lines heard in James Brown's "Sex Machine" and other representative

examples of his style of funk. The Gnawa Diffusion bass player, therefore, does not have to shift

far from a Western musical style in order to compliment the Gnawa groove. In Figure 4-2 the

bass leaves off the downbeat, instead accenting the 16th-note syncopations. Later in the chorus of

the same song, however, Figure 4-3 demonstrates a return to a more downbeat-heavy playing

style, although the structural notes, usually roots of chords, are on 2 and 4 and line up with the

guitar's reggae pattern. The harmony is now major, and even the 'ud is playing in pentatonic,

lending its timbre and momentarily ignoring its modal tradition.

These passages illuminate the techniques used by Gnawa Diffusion to separate each sound

from its past uses, either from the Gnawa layla or those of Arabic classical music. They depict

examples of musical fusion, taking the cosmopolitan experiences of band members further into









the creation of a unique sound. Where the festival setting supports a primacy of cooperation,

allowing opportunities for efforts in combining existing styles in a symbolic expression of

idealized diversity, these groups create their own voice, fashioned from the popular and

traditional sounds available to the musicians. Both processes are within the commonly

mentioned "hybrid" quality of Moroccan society, but they remain distinctly separate and their

specifics elude most descriptions.







































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CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION: DISCUSSING SUFISM AND RELIGIOUS FUSION IN LOCAL CONTEXTS

Explaining the difference between Sufi traditions in Fez, Abderrahim al-Marrakechi told

me: there is one source of water, the inspiration and knowledge of Allah, which pours itself

down into the garden. What it waters, however, is a bed of beautiful flowers, each with its own

distinctive color. Different people are attracted to different flowers, and he, Abderrahim, loves

all of the colors. Therefore, he dedicates his life not only to the music and religious traditions of

the Hamadcha, but to learning and performing the chants and songs of all Moroccan Sufi

brotherhoods.

Abderrahim's position as a main stage festival performer gives him some liberty unknown

to many other Sufi chanters. His musical innovations, combining and refiguring traditions in

large, public settings, draw criticism from members of these other Islamic orientations. One

Gnawa maalem echoed a common sentiment when he discards al-Marrakechi as a businessman,

only concerned about making money. He takes no interest in hearing Abderrahim's perspectives

on Gnawa music because "he is not Gnawa."

Chapter 3 outlined ceremonial and historical elements of Gnawa practice and belief.

Chapter 4 began to examine how pieces of this cultural system became ideological symbols for

both a nationalistic project and a burgeoning Moroccan presence in the international music

industry. These vertical relationships between the Gnawa and the nation and beyond are

important for redefining the social space occupied by the musicians and believers, yet few

maalems perform in the major festivals and even fewer earn reputations in France or beyond. It

is, therefore, necessary to inspect how the effects of commodification of Gnawa music and

spirituality manipulate the social position of Gnawi in more localized settings. These social

positions are not dependent only on the Gnawa themselves. The religious, ritual, and









performance communities of Morocco's cities are diverse and interconnected. The Gnawa work

alongside and against different Sufi groups to earn popularity, recognition, and spiritual or moral

influence, and the interactions between these groups is of utmost importance in understanding

urban realities.

Moroccan Islam, Revisited

As mentioned in Chapter 1, Sufism in Morocco is often depicted in monolithic terms.

Ethnographies that detail local manifestations of "popular" Islam or Sufism carry titles like

"Moroccan Islam" or "Moroccan Sufism." They often take one of two directions: first, sets of

local religious behaviors such as saint veneration are conceived as central pillars in a

homogenous Sufism. In the second view, one local manifestation is subject to a singular deep

ethnography. Many of these depictions neglect the discursive traditions that, over time, have

created multiple identifications of Islam. Only recently have authors, Earle H. Waugh, for

example, begun to account for long-standing and novel differences and interactions between

multiple brotherhoods. The degree of sacredness for ritual performance comprises a focal point

for productive cooperation between brotherhoods, but it also supplies contesting organizations

with grounds for critique.

In this chapter I will first outline some of the strengths of viewing interactions between

local and international facets of Islam, each with a competing purpose. Ethnomusicology can

provide a fruitful perspective on the creation of these relationships because of the importance of

commodified musical production and dissemination. The Sufi dhikr, a personal or communal act

of remembrance, central to all forms of Sufism, is practiced in a number of fashions depending

on the specific group. Discourse about dhikr helps to shape the relationships within and between

religious adepts and organizations. Therefore, this chapter will be dedicated to contextualizing

some of these specific differences between dhikr traditions and the innovations undertaken by









the Tijaniyya, 'Aissawa, and Gnawa brotherhoods in Fez, Morocco. The final portion of this

chapter will discuss how debates surrounding these religious practices expand into claims

regarding the validity of these paths. Contention between brotherhoods combines with

representations in the press to create complex and fluid conceptions of how a group is or is not

appropriate, or even to be considered Sufi.

As a point of clarification, I use "path" or the Arabic tariqa, in order to refer to the set of

beliefs, traditions, history, and to the extended community of Tijaniyya or 'Aissawa believers,

for example. While the status of each group is contested by various critics (each other included),

I will use parallel terms, highlighting the structural similarities and variations between them. The

word "brotherhood" is reserved for local manifestations of these organizations. The brotherhood

will be the Tijaniyya or 'Aissawa adepts who gather together for prayers on any given day, or the

Gnawa who perform under the same maalem.

Private and Public Religious Performances

Tijaniyya Claims to Spiritual Authority

One of the many significant practices in Sufism is the dhikr. The term in Arabic means

recollection, remembrance, or memory. While it is central to many Muslims, dhikr takes various

forms in each Sufi brotherhood. This physical and communal practice of religion provides a

space for both the declaration of religious identity and a distinct statement of borders, either

forbidding or including others. As a point of departure, two of these groups, the Tijaniyya and

the 'Aissawa, consider themselves Sufis. The Gnawa, conversely, do not. A description of

relevant characteristics and contexts for dhikr practice in these three paths illuminates how such

practices translate into fodder for both cooperative engagement between brotherhoods and debate

challenging the validity of religious beliefs and ritual traditions.









Spiritual authority and exclusivity, based on claims to a closeness to the Prophet via

Ahmed Tijani, define the Tijaniyya practice and beliefs. The Tijaniyya brotherhood holds a daily

communal dhikr. Therefore, of the specific prayer cycles that any Tijani must complete during a

day, one is at a prescribed place and time chosen to foster the brotherhood's unity. After the

Friday prayers, the congregation of Tijanis will perform a much longer dhikr that, among other

things, celebrates the brotherhood's collective, and exclusive, relationship with the Prophet

(Abun-Nasr 1965). The prayers are for God, and God alone. They, therefore, are harsh critics of

more public groups, as described below. Because of Ahmed Tijani's insistence on having met the

Prophet in the desert centuries after his death, this path is itself attacked as heretical. It has

historically been a socially and politically powerful tariqa and as such, it is a target of reformist

groups across the Middle East and Africa.

The 'Aissawa Public Performances and the Commodification of Dhikr

In contrast to the stark exclusivity of the Tijaniyya brotherhood, the 'Aissawa see

themselves as performers. While in Fez this summer an instructor at the University of Florida

asked if I could assemble a short Moroccan segment for her study abroad group. Since the

'Aissawas performs dhikr at weddings and other major events, I had no problem finding a group

that would welcome this class of 30 students into their ritual. The 'Aissawa dhikr is typically

public rather than private; in other words the door is always open, allowing neighbors and

strangers in.

When this group came to perform for the students, their ceremony culminated in the

blessing of candles given to students for a small donation. They had two large ones as well,

reserved for the heads of the household. These were given to the instructor and to myself, two

non-Muslims, who arranged the evening. The baraka (blessing) held within these candles

transcended the brotherhood, the path, and even Islam. These could be analyzed as economic and









folkloric gestures and our inclusion in the dhikr ceremony would be construed as heresy in the

eyes of many other groups. The words of a second 'Aissawa muqaddem (leader) helped to

explain the situation. While visiting Mohammed Ben Guaddane in Meknes, he stated that the

intention of any person participating in their ritual is not a concern. "Everyone has a different

mind, taking the music as they want.... Everyone has the vision to see what they want in this

tradition. It is folklore or it is Sufi."

Furthermore, Ben Guaddane uses the word "musiqi" to describe 'Aissawa performances.

This is unlike members of the Tijaniyya, and many non-Sufi Muslims who reserve that term for

secular entertainment. Referring back to "popular, secular, or folkloric" performances he says

that, "the 'Aissawa want to be between the popular and the Sufi." The commodification of the

'Aissawa dhikr is apparent: brotherhoods disseminate their popular music through recordings

and, more recently, the internet. Mohammed Ben Guaddane's MySpace page (Figure 5-1)

demonstrates artistic associations that stretch beyond the tariqa. Folkloric performance is not

only an economic option, it is a primary performance context.

Many of the images and videos on Ben Guaddane's MySpace page show him next to

Abderrahim al-Marrakechi, whose quote about water and flowers opened this chapter. Al-

Marrakechi has two MySpace pages: the first is for his Hamadcha performers (Figure 5-2), but

the more recent one outlines his new project, Barakasoul (Figure 5-3). As the site states:

"Barakasoul is a project initiated and lead by Abderrahim Amrani Marrakechi to give a new

expression to folk and mystic music of North Africa: Gnawa, Aissawa, Hamadcha, Jilala, Ahl

Touat." Here al-Marrakechi is not only dispersing the music of these ritual traditions into a

secular context, but he is intentionally creating a popular genre, and by linking them together he

creates a national or even regional association of equivalence among them. Unlike other similar









projects in Morocco, this musical development maintains its religious connections. The

relationships between these individuals and local brotherhoods create a network and a musical

genre based upon an ambiguous idea of"Sufism." Dhikr, under the guise of musiqi, expands

their cooperative spiritual and musical message.

Furthermore, the use of the internet is not a static and limited technique used only

intermittently. After a short (45 minute) conversation with Marrakechi over tea in the Fez's old

city, he brought me to one of the many inexpensive nearby internet cafes. Here we sat for over an

hour as he began with his MySpace page and pointed me toward each of his listed "friends."

Marrakechi makes use of his internet home multiple times per week in order to maintain contact

with fellow musicians, both sacred and secular, popular and folkloric. This computer age form of

communication assists him in the discovery of new talent and in the extension of his musical

influence.

The Gnawa, Defined by their Music

With the Gnawa, issues of discourse move beyond the layla ceremony itself. As

descendents of an enslaved population, the Gnawa were historically marginalized. After it was

popularized by American and European musicians, Gnawa music rose to a status that reached

well beyond its practitioners and helped to establish major festivals around Morocco, including

the immensely popular Festival of Gnawa and World Music.

Publications about this festival highlight the uniqueness of the Gnawa and their history of

marginalization, yet in contemporary Morocco, Gnawa musicians interact freely with and are

respected by members of other Sufi paths. When I walked through the old city of Fez with my

hajhuj slung over my shoulder people would begin to sing Gnawa songs to me. When these

songs come over the radio, people, regardless of religious affiliation, would sing along.

Similarly, when I spoke with members of the Hamadcha or 'Aissawa, even the exclusive









Tijaniyya, people would express an aesthetic love of Gnawa music. 'Aissawa and Hamadcha

muqaddems (band leaders) I met not only attended Gnawa ceremonies, but they incorporated the

same musical repertory into their own performances. Some members went so far as to perform in

'Aissawa and Gnawa ceremonies. These behaviors certainly question the strict polarity implied

by much scholarship on Islam.

Claiming Sufism (for Others)

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this inter-Sufi conversation arises from a discussion

of Sufism itself. When I asked Si Ahmed, a Tijani in Fez, about the Gnawa, 'Aissawa, and

Hamadcha who live and work nearby, he explained that they were not Sufis because the Tijanis

use their devotions to honor Allah, while these other groups have economic objectives.

Therefore, in Si Ahmed's view, they gave themselves distractions. The implication here is not

just that the performances are secular, but that commodified performance pulls the members

away from their spiritual purpose. The public and economic nature of their dhikr, which Si

Ahmed called al-musiqi despite its religious content, is detrimental to their spiritual journey.

Similarly, when I spoke with a Gnawa maalem about Abderrahim al-Marrekechi's recent pan-

Sufi musical projects, he was quick to respond that, "a Gnawa is a Gnawa, a Hamadcha is a

Hamadcha, an 'Aissawa is an 'Aissawa. Otherwise [he is in it] for the money."

Adding to the complexities of these debates are the simplified representations of tariqas

coming from the press. TelQuel, a local Francophone weekly, referred to the Gnawa as Sufis

while promoting the upcoming Essaouira Festival of Gnawa and World Music this summer. The

Gnawa share some characteristics of Sufism: they have a ritual, the layla, in which they sing

praises to Allah, they form small groups that could be construed as brotherhoods, and they pray

through chant. Their differences are significant, however. Throughout the layla, one or more

saints or spirits, possess adepts. These figures are not only Islamic (Moses, Abraham, and









'Aisha, for example), they are also African. Many of the possessing identities are categorized as

al-hawsawiyya, those from Hausaland. The local organizations can only be crudely identified as

"brotherhoods" in the Sufi sense. While I doubt this observation can be unquestioningly

extrapolated to account for all of the nation's Gnawa, the maalems I worked with in Fez dealt

with their group members primarily in terms of employment. As such, the "brotherhoods" are

functionally different than those of the Tijaniyya.

The final common argument against the Gnawa's Sufism is that they have no zawiya, yet

this statement fails to recognize recent developments. The zawiya is a place of gathering,

worship, and refuge for a Sufi, a sort of lodge. It provides a distinct meeting place, and can show

impressive wealth or status for a worldwide brotherhood like the Tijaniyya. The Gnawa have no

such central locations. Their layla is performed in various households, where an adept requests

and pays for the ceremony and sacrifice. Complicating the matter is the recent work in Essaouira

creating a Gnawa Zawiya, a project undertaken by the Association of the 1200th Anniversary of

the Founding of Fez. This space is a "meeting place for the Gnawa of Morocco, a legacy part of

the oral heritage of the country through the ages" (Casafree.com 2008). According to the director

of the project, the second floor will soon become a museum of Gnawa history in Morocco. It was

here that Mahmoud Guanya began a Gnawa "school" decades ago, spreading the music and

spirituality throughout the country. The building of a new zawiya illuminates the fluid status of

the Gnawa population and the imprecise boundaries around Sufism itself.

When asked if the Gnawa were Sufis, Abd ar-Rzaq, a Gnawa maalem, definitively replied,

"no." Yet popular conception, via the press, the music industry, and members of other Sufi

tariqas continue this debate, disregarding statements such as his and highlighting the power of

discourse between the religious of Morocco.









What is Moroccan Islam?

The only people I met who discounted the Gnawa as magicians, crazy, or possessed by

demons were those who simultaneously discredited Sufis for their bida', innovation. From their

perspectives, the differences between the Gnawa, who were majnun (possessed by demons), the

'Aissawa, who allowed themselves distractions, or the Tijaniyya, who distorted texts and added

many doctrinal "innovations" to Islam are not so important, and these three groups are placed, by

critics and by many academics, into a monolithic stack, translated by past scholars as "Moroccan

Islam." The danger inherent within this view, Sufis vs. Reformists, or Mystics vs. Textualists, is

the neglect of complex relationships and interactions between local, national, and international

organizations and individuals, horizontal relationships. It is these discourses that create public

opinion and appeal, just as it is these debates that define Sufism.

It is this same debate, public and musical, that confounds the understanding of the Gnawa.

Their ability to categorize themselves outside of the Sufi traditions, despite their close

relationship to those very practices, is hampered by their musical productions in local, national,

and international terms. The ritual tradition of the layla is, as discussed in Chapter 3, central to

the Gnawa theology and cosmology. Yet this musical practice shares little with parallel Sufi

dhikr gatherings. While the function of the layla involves a specific relationship with a number

of mluks, appeasing them and honoring their assistance and blessings for easing everyday life,

the practices of the Tijaniyya and other Sufi groups from throughout the Middle East and North

Africa are more closely aligned with the meaning of dhikr they serve to foster the

remembrance and embodiment of Allah's presence. Hamadcha traditions, as discussed by

Crapanzano (1973), appear somewhere between these two possibilities, implying a continuum

along which various Sufi and non-Sufi musico-ritual performances lie. This variation between









Muslims is far removed from the implications of a categorical Sufism, as implied by media and

major events.

It is the national and international influence that muddles this distinction. The national

press and the tourist-inclined festival circuit promote Gnawa performances as Sufi rituals, slated

after long days of popular music acts and artists. In the Fez Festival of Sacred Music, for

example, a festival devoted to displaying spiritual music from around the Middle East and the

world, there were nearly as many secular performances in 2008 as sacred ones. Pop stars from

Tunisia or Egypt were featured alongside flamenco dancers from Spain. Yet the introductions

and descriptions of these performances successfully placed them within a sense of pan-

spirituality, coherent within the frame of the festival. This is a fluid spirituality. The definition

and categorization of music within and outside of an appropriate spiritual, or Muslim aesthetic

carries pragmatic benefits and costs. These decisions and consequences inform the placement of

each form of musical or ritual production, guiding artists and religious leaders at all levels of

society from the 1200 year old neighborhoods of the Fez medina to the concert stages of Fez and

Essaouira, even to the studios of Casablanca, Paris, Marseilles, New York City, and elsewhere.

What is Moroccan Islam? To venture an answer to the central question that lies in the first

half of this thesis' title, it is simplest to begin by defining through negation. Moroccan Islam is

not a singular, distinct, and unchanging set of rituals. As Eickelmann (1976) noted and el-Zein

(1977) emphasized, it has changed through time. It is also not identical to religious belief

elsewhere. The unique relationship between the early ulema and the dynastic power in the region

forged an interaction between spiritual authorities, mystics, and political leaders. Occasionally a

single figure could even embody all of these roles while in power.









Moroccan Islam as a term fails to properly account for the activities that occur even within

one single tradition, let alone throughout the innumerable variations of faith and practice that

exist within the nation. As Chapters 3 and 4 described, the commercial, national, and spiritual

influences pressing against maalems and other members of the Gnawa guide their practices

toward different ends. This has a profound effect on how the group defines itself, includes or

excludes others, and operates in reference to the rest of the nation and world. It is these forces,

from both within and outside of the religious organization, that shape the construction in

individual and group identity.

The same forces, local and beyond, apply to the Sufi brotherhoods discussed above. They

actively and intentionally redefine their boundaries. More so, they outline the boundaries of

others, arguing their validity as "Sufi," even "Muslim." Moroccan Islam is contrary to the

categorical explanations seen in past anthropological work. It is an important and discursive

element of any Moroccan Muslim's self-awareness. It is a collection of disparate beliefs and

practices that exemplify this notion of hybridity, of "Creole" society, to return to Deborah

Kapchan's phrase. It is a malleable umbrella of a term, and when understood as such, it

elucidates the complexities of religious practice, not just in Morocco, but with any heterogeneous

society.

To return to al-Marrakechi's statement, there may be one source of water for these

different colored flowers, and each may be attractive to some people. It is, however, the sheer

quantity and diversity of these colors that makes Morocco an interesting place. While the

religious authority technically falls to the King, the Commander of the Faithful, his people

actively struggle to find the true path. And while these Islamic and Sufi debates erupt and









subside in the social, economic, political, and religious landscapes, it is helpful to remember a

Moroccan proverb: "the ways to God are as numerous as the souls of men" (Debbarh 2008).













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'Aissawa


'Asri


Berber

Baraka


Bida'

Blida


Dakhla


Derdeba

Dhikr


Gharib


Hajhuj


Hamadcha



Al-Hawsawiyya


Imam


Insha'allah


APPENDIX
GLOSSARY OF ARABIC TERMS

A Sufi brotherhood from the area around Meknes based on the teachings
of Sidi ben 'Aissa and Sheikh al-Kamal.

An Egyptian popular song style during the second half of the 20th century
that influenced musical styles across the region.

See Tamazight

Blessings accessible through the proximity to a holy man (saint) or place
(usually a saint's tomb).

Heretical innovation to Islamic tradition.

Region in the center of Fez's old city near the tanneries, Derb Taouil, and
close to the religious center (Al-Qarawiyin mosque)

Meaning "entrance," the name of the opening sections of the Gnawa layla
as well as many Sufi rituals.

See layla

Meaning "rememberance," remembering Allah through the repetition of
texts or other practices, depending on Sufi orientation.

Literally "Western," also used for "foreign."

Central Gnawa instrument, a 3-stringed semi-spike lute with a hollowed
out body and a camel neck membrane. Also goes by the names "ginbri"
and "sintir."

Sufi brotherhood from the area around Meknes based on the teachings of
Sidi 'Ali. The Hamadsha are closely related to the 'Aissawa and borrow
portions of their ritual and music from the Gnawa.

The group of male mluks in the Gnawa pantheon. They are said to be from
Hausaland, but many are syncretically fused with Islamic figures.

Leader of prayers. Any Muslim can lead prayers, but typically the role of
imam and khatib are fused into one official who heads the particular
mosque. This thesis deals only with Sunni Islam and this should not be
confused with the Shi'a meaning of the term.

By the will of God. A phrase with a range of meanings implying that all
that happens depends on the fate decided by Allah and is out of human
control.









Jahalia


Jinn (jnun)

Khatib


Lalla

Layla


Maalem


Majnun

Maskun


Mluk

Muezzin

Muqaddama

Muwatanun

Nuba

Oughnya al-wataniya

Qanun

Quraqib

Riqq


Salafi



Sharif


Term for the period before the advent of Islam in the Arabian desert, often
conceived of as a period of unbelief or paganism.

The word used in the Qur'an for spirit, typically referring to demons.

Preacher, the man who stands in front of a congregation at Friday prayers
and gives a sermon.

Respectful address for women in Morocco.

Literally "night." A layla is ritual Gnawa possession ceremony. See
Chapter 3.

Gnawa ritual leader. Leads the layla ceremony and typically plays the
hajhuj.

From "jinn," an adjective meaning "possessed" or "crazy."

"Lived within," the word used to identify a person who is possessed by a
mluk.

A Gnawa saint who is able to possess an individual.

The person who has the roll of reciting the call to prayer from the mosque.

Woman hired to prepare a layla ceremony.

Citizen, from the word "watan," or "homeland."

Suite of music in the Andalusian tradition.

Nationalistic or patriotic song.

Lap zither used in classical Islamic music and Egyptian popular song.

Iron castinets used by the Gnawa in the layla ritual.

Small, but heavy, tambourine used as the central percussion instrument in
classical Islamic music and Egytpian popular song.

Describes recent political movements that foster a social return to life as it
was lived during the time of the Prophet. Salafism often includes a strict
interpretation of religious texts.

Title for a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed.









Sufi






Tamazight

Tariqa


Tbal


Tijaniyya

'Ud

Ulema


Umma

Watan

Zawiya


Commonly referred to as Islamic mysticism, Sufi practice emphasizes a
personal connection between the adept and Allah and often utilizes
musical and ritual elements unique to a particular brotherhood. The word
"Sufi" is an umbrella term for a number of very different and occasionally
mutually exclusive theological perspectives. Literally, the word means
"wool" and identifies the acetic nature of early followers. See Chapter 5.

Adjective of Amazight, proper name of the Berber ethnic group.

"Path," here used to designate a Sufi path such as the Hamadsha or
Tijaniyya tariqas.

Large drum used by the Gnawa during the dakhla before the layla
ceremony.

Sufi path based on the teachings of Sidi Ahmed Tijani.

Plucked lute used in Islamic classical music and Egyptian popular song.

Religious elite, most frequently either judges who rule on interpretations
of Islamic law or scholars of history and theology.

The body of followers of Islam.

Homeland

Sufi lodge, place of worship and gathering for local brotherhoods.









LIST OF REFERENCES

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Town. Oxford: Clarendon.

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Charry, Eric. 1996. "Plucked Lutes in West Africa: An Historical Overview." The Galpin Society
Journal 49: 3-37.

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Coolen, Michael Theodore. 1984. "Senegambian Archetypes for the American Folk Banjo."
Western Folklore 43(2): 117-32.

Crapanzano, Vincent. 1973. The Hamadsha: A Study in Moroccan Eihiiip),l, hid ll.. The
University of California Press.

Danielson, Virginia. 1998. The Voice ofEgypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian
Society in the Ti eintieith Century. The University of Chicago Press.

Debbarh, El-Hassane. 2008. "Dar-Sirr: Portal to Moroccan Sufism." Electronic document,
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Donohue, John J. and John L. 2006. Esposito, eds. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Eickelman, Dale F. 1976. Moroccan Islam: Tradition and Society in a Pilgrimage Center. Austin
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El-Zein, Abdul Hamid. 1977. "Beyond Ideology and Theology: The Search for the Anthropology
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Feld, Steven. 1994. "From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis: On the Discourses and
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Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Random House Publishing.

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Professional Musicians from Southwestern Morocco." PhD dissertation, University of
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Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader, edited by Jennifer C. Post, 17-32. New York:
Taylor & Francis Group.

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Thompson, John B. 1990. Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical Social Theory in the Era of
Mass Communication. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.









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Racial Imagination, edited by Houston A. Baker, 554-84. Chicago: University of Chicago
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University of Chicago Press.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Christopher Witulski is an Alumni Fellow and PhD student in the ethnomusicology

program at the University of Florida. He was awarded his Master of Music in Music History and

Literature in the fall of 2009. He also holds a Bachelor of Music in musical studies with a minor

in jazz studies and a Master of Music in music theory from State University of New York

College at Potsdam. His research involves Islam and issues of spirituality and commodification

in the Gnawa and Sufi music of Morocco. He is an active violist, bassist, and fiddler in Florida

and Georgia.





PAGE 1

1 DEFINING AND REVISING THE GNAWA AND THEIR MUSIC THROUGH COMMODIFICATION IN LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS By CHRISTOPHER JAMES WITULSKI A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTI AL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009

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2 2009 Christopher James Witulski

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3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project is the culmination of efforts offered by many people and the final product bears their distinct imprints. Funding for research was provided by the Department of Musicology, via the Alumni Grant Program at the University of Florida. The Center for African Studies at UF made three fieldwork trips to Morocco possible through Foreign Language and Area Studies and Pre-Dissertation summer research grants. I am indebted to the assistance of a number of individuals in Fez, whose sheer generosity defines Moroccan hospitality, especially Hejji Karim, Mohammed Boujma, Saida, Si Ah med, and Maati Manjib. Abderrahim Abd Ar -Rzaq, Muqaddem Adil, Abderrahim al -Marrakeshi, and Abdullah Yaqoubi offered me days of their time in order to explain their musical and religious traditions and allowed me to enter their personal and spiritual lives for those months that I spent in Fez. At the University of Florida I have been blessed with the guidance of teachers and scholars who have taken their time to discuss my ideas and carefully read and reread portions of this document including Welson Tremu ra, Roman Loimeier, and Fiona McGlaughlin. I am especially thankful to Larry Crook for his advising, insights, and direction since my time here in Florida began. The true support from the course of my life, however, comes from family and friends, those who have been with me for years. It was my parents who supported me through lifes struggles, personally and professionally, and through each of the decisions, no matter how unexpected, that I have made. And finally, my wife has offered me her patience and encouragement, listening to my innumerable ideas (knowing that the vast majority would simply be discarded) and sharing in my frustrations. It is her love that has made the last years, since we met in Fez, remarkable.

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ...............................................................................................................3 LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................6 ABSTRACT .....................................................................................................................................7 CHAPTER 1 THE COMMODIFICATION OF MOROCCAN SUFISM .....................................................9 Introduct ion ...............................................................................................................................9 Islam as Discourse ..................................................................................................................15 Sufism in Morocco .................................................................................................................17 Moroccan Islam(s) ..................................................................................................................20 Commodifying the Gnawa ......................................................................................................22 2 THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ETHNOMUSICOLOGY ................................25 Introduction .............................................................................................................................25 Science and Orientalism .........................................................................................................25 Concerns of the Anthropology of Islam .................................................................................28 Historical Disciplinary Power Structures ........................................................................28 Great and Little Traditions Robert Redfield .................................................................31 Responding to Anthropologists Abdul Hamid el -Zein .................................................33 Moving toward an Anthropology of Islam .............................................................................37 Music and Ethnomusicology ..................................................................................................39 Gamal Abdel Nasr, Umm Kulthoum, and History as Anthropology ..............................39 Listening ..........................................................................................................................40 Fusing the Sacred and the Profane ..................................................................................43 Listening in Moroccan Islam ..................................................................................................44 3 FROM THE LAYLA TO THE STREETS: GNAWA RITUAL AND THEOLOGY ...........45 The Arab-Berber Racial Continuum .......................................................................................46 The Gnawa and the Layla .......................................................................................................49 The Layla Ceremony .......................................................................................................50 Performers and Instruments .............................................................................................53 Taking Music to the Streets ....................................................................................................57 Moving toward a National and World Music .........................................................................60

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5 4 STRATIFICATION AND FUSION: GNAWA MUSIC ON NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL STAGES ................................................................................................68 Introduction .............................................................................................................................68 The Globalization and Commodification of Musical Spirituality in Morocco .......................69 Nationalistic Uses of Commodification ..................................................................................71 Censorship and the Need for a Created Religious Authority, or Moroccan Islam .............74 National istic Musical Promotion and the Essouira Festival of World Music ........................77 International Fusion and Diffusion .........................................................................................83 5 CONCLUSION: DISCUSSING SUFISM AND RELIGIOUS FUSION IN LOCAL CONTEXTS ...........................................................................................................................93 Moroccan Islam, Revisited .....................................................................................................94 Private and Public Religious Performances ............................................................................95 Tijaniyya Claims to Spiritual Authority ..........................................................................95 The Aissawa Public Performances an d the Commodification of Dhikr ........................96 The Gnawa, Defined by their Music ...............................................................................98 Claiming Sufism (for Others) .................................................................................................99 What is Moroccan Islam? .....................................................................................................101 APPENDIX: GLOSSARY OF ARABIC TERMS ......................................................................108 LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................111 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................115

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6 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 A table presenting the Gnawa mluks as described by Abd ar -Rzaq, a maalem in Fez. .....62 3-2 Distribution of plucked lutes in West and Northwest Africa. ............................................63 3-3 Table of Gnawa instruments. .............................................................................................64 3-4 Abderrahim ar -Rzaq, a maalem in Fez, demonstrating the hajhuj. ...................................64 3-5 Abderrahim Abd ar-Rzaq and others performing on the quraqib. .....................................65 3-6 A closer view of the quraqib. .............................................................................................65 3-7 Street performers, musicians, and showmen in Marrakechs Jma al -Fna. .......................66 3-8 Gnawa performers encircled by a crowd in Marrakech. ....................................................66 3-9 Maalem Gaga (left) demonstratin g the tbal in a Gnawa household. .................................67 3-10 Maalem Gaga (right) playing the tbal. ...............................................................................67 4-1 Souk System album cover ...................................................................................................90 4-2 Itchak al -Baz: ud/electric guitar and electric b ass ............................................................91 4-3 Itchak al -Baz: ud and electric bass ...................................................................................91 4-4 Itchak al -Baz: ud ...............................................................................................................91 4-5 Baraket: quraqib .................................................................................................................91 4-6 Baraket: electric guitar (2nd time only) and hajhuj .............................................................92 4-7 Bhar el -Wafa: hajhuj ..........................................................................................................92 5-1 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Mohammed Ben Guaddanes Aissawa group. ...............................................................................................................................105 5-2 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al -Marrakechis Hamadcha group. ...............................................................................................................................106 5-3 Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al -Marrakechis most recent project, Barakasoul. .........................................................................................................107

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7 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music DEFINING AND REVISING THE GN AWA AND THEIR MUSIC THROUGH COMMODIFICATION IN LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND GLOBAL CONTEXTS By Christopher James Witulski December 2009 Chair: Larry Crook Major: Music In this thesis I examine the shift of Morocco s Gnawa music from a local tradition (marginal ized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stage s. The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex -slaves whose religion involves trance and possession by various spirits, personifications of signifi cant Muslim figures. Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly saints, or manipulative demons? This theological concern, along with the importation of sub Saharan ritual and song, has historically re ndered the group outside of acceptable Islamic practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular with the Moroccan public and international audiences, troubling more orthodox authorities across the country. By contextualizing Su fism and non-Orthodox practice within Moroccos social and political history, I interrogate the strategies that festivals and the international record industry use in promoting and defining Gnawa music. The ways in which these groups portray the Islamic and sub-Saharan elements directly coincides with their pragmatic goals and target audiences, causing the actors to reconfigure Gnawa music and faith differently for regional, national, and international audiences. These activities define the Gnawa to the res t of the Moroccan population, often with a lack of regard for actual practices and theological positions.

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8 By shifting to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fezs old city, I consider how religious groups incorporate controversial Gnawa musical and ritual traditions into their own practice s. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and Aissawa Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Mekns, I show the poignant and effective strategies, both musical and commercial, that they u se to engage with each other, the Gnawa and the commercial opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music scene. These changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these behaviors evoke criticis m from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the intent and faith of these novel religious/commercial performances. Spiritual and moral authority is up to debate, a debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The conclusions gained through this work emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can and should play in anthropolo gical research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of musical performance creates contested space s for debates about the validity and authority of religious tradition.

PAGE 9

9 CHAPTER 1 THE COMMODIFICATION OF MOROCCAN SUFISM Introduction In every area of the world, people come together to create inclusive and exclusive identities. The boundaries between these are formed around any number of real or symbolic traits, and are constructed for various pragmatic and ideological reasons. The historical, political, economic, religious, and ethnic variables that influence such constructions are complex. Analysis of artistic expression, ceremonial pra ctice, and the communal expectations of such activities can help discern otherwise hidden elements of social identity By examining the different values present in performances in various settings and interrogating how history is constructed or reconstruct ed through these performances and through the debates that surround them we view the effects of the above variables on the musical style, the peoples identification, religious belief and national identity. In this thesis I will examine the shift of Moro ccos Gnawa music from a local tradition (marginalized nationally) to one of commercial prominence on national and international stage s. The Gnawa are a population in Morocco commonly presented as black ex -slaves whose religion involves trance and possessi on by various spirits, personifications of significant Muslim figures. Religious debate surrounds the groups and centers on the ontology of these spirits: are they truly saints, or are they jnun (demons or evil spirits)? This theological concern, along wit h the importation of sub-Saharan ritual and song, has historically rendered the group outside of acceptable Islamic practice. Yet, since the 1960s, their music has become increasingly popular with the Moroccan public and international audiences, troublin g more orthodox authorities across the country.

PAGE 10

10 Yet a vertical perspective, one that follows a specific group or tradition through a continuum of settings varying from the household to the neighborhood through the regional and national and beyond is lim ited. The definition of acceptable tradition, in this case a set of conflated musical practices and religious beliefs, does not work within a vacuum, including only one ethnic or religious group I will thus follow the celebration and criticism of this m usical and cultural change from other political, social, and religious actors. The intense cultural scrutiny surrounding the musical activities of the Gnawa and of other spiritual organizations in Morocco who engage similar practices and beliefs vividly de monstrates the active and pragmatic creation and redefinition of distinct borders around Moroccan and Muslim as either inclusive or exclusive identities. When we ignore these horizontal structures, interactions that conjoin one distinct group to others, that embed the sound to its settings, we, as ethnomusicologists and anthropologists, lose the web or mesh of the network that fleshes out and give s depth to the object of our research (see Chapter 2). In this particular case, if we ignore the hori zontal connections between the Gnawa, the Tijaniyya, the Aissawa, the Hamadcha, and others, as described in Chapter 5, we lose the neighborhood, the everyday life, and the city of Fez, the fieldwork setting for this study. This thesis will join scholars (Asad 1986, El-Zein 1977, Gellner 1981, Gilsnenan 1982) who have expressed concerns regarding the dismissal of the local in defining an essential or idealized Islamic practice and theology. This work will also build upon the c onverse insights of Guilbault (1993), who interrogate s the power of the international community upon localized traditions. But I also wish to extend such vertical analyses, those that primarily address the relationship of this local -global nexus Anthropological research on Islam has a long history of overlooking horizontal relationships between actors in an effort to define specific paths for

PAGE 11

11 authorities and organizations, like major festivals and recording studios, to bring singular localized styles to regional and international au diences. This thesis will also highlight the importance of locality (beyond pre -existing religious or musical ties) and discourse as I examine the musical conversations between Sufis and reformers, Hamadchas and Tijaniyyas, between Muslims and non-Muslims as they navigate the value -laden terrain, creating personal expression, prayer, and musical entertainment in Fez, Morocco. Through a close reading of ethnographic material on the Gnawa and other Sufi groups, this thesis outlines the importance of consideri ng both these vertical and horizontal relationships in the negotiation of musical products, communal identity, and theological authority. The Gnawa and Sufi rituals discussed in the following chapters fit firmly within this horizontal discourse of variatio n and authority in the practice of Islam as it exists locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally Chapter 1 outlines the central theoretical directions for this thesis and lays out relevant aspects of Moroccan history and religious culture I introduce the idea of Islam as Discourse, highlighting how this approach to the anthropology of Islam will prove useful in the study of both the social position and sudden musical rise of the Gnawa and the ways in which religious authorities in Fez claim an d define boundaries based on Gnawa and other musical productions. I then address Moroccos unique political history, emphasizing the importance of Sufism within dynastic power structures, foreshadowing the importance of Sufi paths in modern religious pract ice. Finally, I outline the intersections between race, language, and religion in defining what has come to be known as Moroccan Islam, identifying specific practices that will prove important when describing the social acceptance or rejection of the Gna wa. Chapter 2 reviews the development of the anthropological literature on Islam with a focus on research in Morocco. By following how scholars have dealt with tradition in reference to

PAGE 12

12 great and little manifestations of the religion, I demonstrate, h ere and in Chapter 5, the need for new perspectives based on relationships between individuals and religious groups at the local level. Through readings of Pierre Bourdieu and Edward Said, I highlight the importance of noting and attempting to counteract t he relational disparity between anthropologist and, in this case, musician, or, in a greater sense, East and West. Yet this is only one of the many interactions that must be examined in order to understand how cultural structures manifest and operate i n a heterogeneous society I use the work of Abdul Hamid el-Zein to find new directions away from the polarizing characterizations of earlier anthropologists who focused primarily on an exclusive duality between great and little traditions. El-Zein ins tead engages the interactions between these different ritual practices and beliefs, outlining their mutual interdependence a framework that Talal Asad continued, as discussed in Chapter 5 This discussion frames an investigation of Gnawa traditions (Chapters 3 and 4), and opens a space for the arguments presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 3 begins with a basic historical outline emphasizing the position of Morocco as the Western frontier of the Islamic world. Morocco and Andalusia rose to a prominence that ri valed Baghdad and Cairo, the Eastern centers of knowledge, even defying Ottoman rule. Yet from an Islamic -centered perspective, the region remains the alien and exotic edge, an ambiguous hinge between Africa and the Middle East. The chapter then explores the hybridity often attributed to the countrys multi -ethnic population, by examining the Gnawa layla1 ritual, its participants, music, and theology in greater detail I argue that i n the layla the Gnawa embody this hybridity by fusing sub-Saharan a nd Islamic figures, ideals, and practices. I then explore the creation of a commodified marketable version of the tradition by discussing transformations in 1 Literally evening, this ceremony is also known as the derdeba

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13 the ritual music as it shifts into public market squares via traveling mu sicians and tourists With a close reading of the differences between the actual musical production in the layla and the market goals, ritual/musical aims, instrumentations, etc. I intend to discern the disparate uses of both an in group identity and the Gnawa self portrayal to external or commercial audiences. I argue that commercial presentations accomplished two things: first, they popularized the Gnawa sound to domestic and international tourists, opening up the economic links that would lead to later commercial successes. S econd, performances for domestic tourists provided economic incentives for the Gnawa conceive of this music as a product for larger audiences and to remove certain African-derived theological elements. Simultaneously, in those performances for foreign tourists the Gnawa did the opposite, emphasizing those very same elements, demonstrating the intentional negotiation of their art and tradition against other local and international perspectives of what music and entertainment are and imply Chapter 4 will con sider the Gnawa and their music at the national level, emphasizing the dual processes of nationalism (an intentional national project) and cosmopolitanism (an internationally aware reconstruction of cultural practices and symbols). The chapter begins by outlining how these two forces work to commodify and make use of the spiritual connotations of Gnawa music. A brief explanation of how the current and past kings of Morocco maintained their power by fusing religious and political authority, demonstrating the importance of the Kings sacred influence, historically contextualizes the this religious national project. The chapter then explores major music festivals within Morocco and investigates recording artists who draw upon elements of Gnawa musical practice A reading of Gnawa music in festival situations illuminates an inclusive or multi -ethnic pan -Moroccan political and cultural priority, highlighting the presentation of Moroccos cultural hybridity. Performers from foreign

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14 traditions, American jazz artist s or Malian griots, for example, join Gnawa groups on stage and improvise for a period of time. I argue that these performances are treated as intentional emblems of the potential of collaboration and minimize African spiritual elements of Gnawa performances. Festival producers often marginalize the Islamic or sub -Saharan contextual references by scheduling Gnawa performances featuring spiritual element s. The ways in which the music of the festival presentations engage with the national Islamic and international African spiritual values convey an idealized hybridity and provide insight into the complex interactions involved in publically presenting ethic and religious identity. Simultaneously, as internationally conceived groups utilized Gnawa sounds and instruments, the spiritual connotations were both desirable and marketable to world music audiences. I argue that m usical priorities follow marketable values as different producers and labels highlight their own philosophical and economic aims. Chapter 5 shifts to the neighborhood setting of Blida, in the heart of Fezs old city to consider how religious groups incorporate diverse musical and ritual traditions into their own practice s. By analyzing oral testimony of members of the Hamadcha, Tijaniyya, and Aissawa Sufi brotherhoods in Fez and Mekns, I show the poignant and effective strategies, both musical and commercial, that they use to engage with each other, the Gnawa and the commercial opportunities that exist through Moroccan festivals and in the wider local music scene. These changes and negotiations do not come without a social price, as many of these behaviors evoke criticism from other organizations, the press, and Muslims who question the intent and faith of these novel religious/commercia l performances. Spiritual and moral authority is up to debate, a debate that is frequently both about, and argued through, music. The conclusions gained through this work, especially in regards to Chapter 5 emphasize the potential role ethnomusicology can

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15 and should play in anthropolo gical research on Islam and argues that the discursive nature of musical performance creates contested space s for debates about the validity and authority of religious tradition. Islam as Discourse Talal Asad, in The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam outlines the perspectives of many key scholars. He critiques Gilsenans Recognizing Islam (1982), noting that by taking Islam as the beliefs of any particular Muslim, situating the religion only in local terms, one loses the relig ion itself as an analytical object. He describes the paradox of accepting and isolating as doctrine a single believers perspective since, after all, their personal (or communal or local) conception of Islam is, essentially, a Muslims beliefs about the b eliefs and practices of others And like all such beliefs, they animate and are sustained by his social relations with others (Asad 1985: 382). However, such a detailed examination of local practice is valuable and underutilized. A small number of author s are writing similar vertical ethnographies, works that examine single groups in reference to the complexities of new global influences and innovations. In the field of ethnomusicology, Deborah Kapchans recent work with the Gnawa (2007) is one example of this trend, although such deep analyses on Middle Eastern and North African topics continue to be scarce. These specifically vertical descriptions fail to address the horizontal relationships between local brotherhoods that exist alongside links to large r regional, national, or international organizational facets.2 Each individual group carries, teaches, and embodies a set of values, some 2 Cooke and Lawrence s From Hajj to Hip Hop ( 2005) is an example of the recent trends in literature emphasizing these relationships, embodying the need to recognize the web of social inter connections described in Chapter 2.

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16 of which are controversial, creating methodological and even theological differences.3 In this sense, we must further examine Asads theorization. He writes that Islam as the object of anthropological understanding should be approached as a discursive tradition that connects variously with the formation of moral selves, the manipulation of populations (or resistance to it ), and the production of appropriate knowledges. (Asad 1985: 388) It is through multiple discourses (including music and the productions of knowledge) that people create, inherit, and adapt beliefs and practices. Through performances (both religious and secular) Islam is manifested in any given locality, influenced by vertical and horizontal relationships. I will examine two of these elements more thoroughly because of their importance to an understanding of how Gnawa music operates within Moroccan society First, spiritual meanings, both explicit and implicit, give depth to the functional and aesthetic position of Gnawa music. The performances and related rituals connote, to many, the integrations between Islam, African Islam, and other African communal and spiritualist (or traditional) religions. Past and current influences of and debates between Sufism and reformist Islam unfold musically, allowing the changes in Gnawa music and performance to lend insight into the interaction between these cultural a nd theological perspectives. Second, the music of marginalized Gnawa people came to the forefront of the Moroccan nation for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the musics popularity with foreign artists and consumers. Through the linked pro cesses of commodification and performance, the sounds were presented on multiple stages and their meanings were manipulated, allowing for identity creation to move the Gnawa from the outskirts 3 See Waugh 2005, Moroccos Mysical Chanters for an in depth look at the variations within different manifestations of Sufi practice in Morocco. Chapter 5 approaches the discursive aspects of these debates.

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17 of the southern mountains to the main stages of international f estivals where they present what is truly Moroccan. Sufism in Morocco Islams varying appearances in Africa form a contested space for each population, one that works (and is worked) to align people with local, regional, and global identities and ideolog ies. It was the Sufi travelers who oriented Islam to Africans on a local level (Brenner 2000, Villaln 2001), revising the relationships between the local and the international (seen here as Islam) during the period of expansion following the death of Moha mmed. These Sufi conceptualizations and hybridizations of Islam in Morocco prove important to identity and artistic expression. Therefore, a brief discussion of Islam, Sufism, and interactions between local religions in Africa and in Morocco will introduce the complex struggles between African Islam and Islam in Africa. Since Sufism shares many epistemological and practical features with non -Muslim African religious practice, (Brenner 2000: 346) it easily took hold in local communities by combining i nternational Islamic principles with previously held traditional ceremonies. The syncretic result is similar to Cuban Santera or Brazilian Condombl as deities, saints, ancestors, and other religious figures of differing traditions are mapped together and worshiped, contacted, or honored. This African version of Sufism is separate from that of the Islamic intellectual elite who maintain a more concrete theological and ideological connection with the Arabian Peninsula. In Morocco, however, the historical relationship between local Sufism and the prominent royal ulema (religious clerics) was much closer than in nearby regions. Here it will be useful to explore more closely the characteristics of Moroccan Sufisms traditional and reformist variations of Islam. Munson, referencing Mannheim, describes traditional believers as

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18 simply [taking] their religious beliefs for granted. They do not see them as being in need of defense. They do not even see them as beliefs; they are simply the way the world is. But when tradition is challenged by alternative conceptions of the world, some people leap to its defense inevitably transforming it in the process. Tradition defended is never entirely traditional (1993: 78) Sufi beliefs in Morocco include the five pillars and the texts and traditions central to Islam, but they also add aspects of saint veneration and Sufi practic es such as chanting. I n past regional dynasties, the ulema promoted or condoned these aspects, even when calling for a closer reading of religious texts.4 Since they were most often Sufis themselves, there was no significant disconnect between the educated and literate elite and the local traditional practitioners until the spread of Salafist reformism in the mid -1900s.5 Instead of opposing the distinctly Sufi practice of visiting saints tombs, for example, members of the ulema worked to condemn the worship of ostensibly sacred objects and charlatans posing as saints (Munson 1993: 83) and continued their own practice of visiting the tombs of revered saints. The theological difference between the two was the understanding that saints cannot impact worldly events, and those who claimed to do so were met with immediate suspicion. They can, however, intercede, requesting the favor of God while also g iving their own baraka (blessings). As described in Munsons account, Al-Yusis defense of this local practice implies its negative connotation from other theological perspectives despite the outright condemnation of the veneration of saints [being] ext remely rare in Morocco until the 1920s (Munson 1993: 84). 4 The thrust toward a more pure and true reading of the Islamic texts (the Quran and the Hadith) is not a recent trend within Islamic debates. These arguments, however, should not be confused with contemporary political movements around the Islamic world promoting a return to living as the first Muslims during the time of the Prophet. These reformist movements, known as Salafi or Salafist movements, have been involved in struggles for social and political power primarily since the end of colonialism. 5 After the dis covery of oil in Saudi Arabia (1930s), the economic power and religious authority possessed by that country due to control of the Hajj allowed it to promote a reformist literal reading of Islam through education and the funding of acceptable religious lead ers throughout Africa.

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19 From 1792 to 1822 the ruler Mulay Sulayman, a member of the Nasiriyya Sufi order, began to condemn popular Sufi practices as bida (heretical innovation). He criticized specific orders for the practice of rhythmic clapping, mixing of men and women, and festivals for the honor of saints. He did, however, maintain that the visiting of saints tombs for intercession was not only permitted but recommended by Islamic law so long as people remembered t hat the saints could not grant requests themselves but could only ask God to do so (Munson 1993: 85). Thus, the characterization of popular Islam in Morocco as African Islam or Islam noir and against the states formal, educated, and literate interpre tations fails to include the proper acknowledgement of debates within the region on multiple class and political levels. These accepted forms of popular, illiterate, hierarchical, local Sufism, however, still contain aspects of African traditions that ea rn it distaste from that same elite, such as the clapping, loose gender roles, and the use of musical instruments. Whether these were implemented by the African population or brought from Sufi practices closer to the Islam of Arabia is difficult to say, but it is likely that the effective communion of these two populations was facilitated by shared ritual characteristics. Thus, the Gnawa layla represents an example of this syncretic and local combination of Africa and Islam, one that is related to the Sufis m of the Moroccan elite, but still remains outside of the intellectually accepted norm. Because of the vivid African component, its position is also marginalized from the popular Moroccan Sufism. Many Moroccans from different economic classes see the layla itself as specifically neither Arab nor Islamic but because of the long collaborative and inclusive history of Sufism, it is still appreciated, and now with the prevalence of the music, even venerated. Thus, Moroccan Sufisms complex status does not cre ate one simple boundary around Islam in Morocco, it

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20 instead celebrates and condemns with a certain logic reminiscent of previous dealings with controversial saint veneration. Moroccan Islam(s) Historically, the debate regarding identity in Morocco develo ped along two distinct axis. The first point of contrast (and contention) is the religious pole of proper Islam6 opposing subSaharan African racial and religious identity. The second is between the ethnic conceptualizations of Tamazight (or Berber) and Arab. Both contested axes, one primarily religious the other centered on ethnicity, have been disputed since pre -colonial times. Their importance within the current political conversation, however, is important. These two axes are often superimposed upon each other, with one drawing force from gross assumptions based on the other in a long and entangled set of discourses. Political issues involving Tamazigh identification include language education, cultural and artistic promotion, and a general recogniti on of the specifically Tamazight ethnic components of Morocco by the French and Arab elite. Religious conversations between factions of Islamic thought come into the realm of government as the two become linked under the King, who is aligned as both the po litical ruler and the leader of the faithful. These debates often revolve around the concept of Moroccan Islam, a local variation of the international religion based upon the inclusion of some African rituals, a syncretic mapping together of shared sai nts and spirits, and the practice of saint veneration. Such practices are not unique to Morocco, and are instead common throughout North Africa due to the general trans-state characteristics of Sufism itself (Brenner 2000; Eickelman 1976; Jankowsky 2006; V illaln 2001). These traditions are also 6 This concept of proper Islam involves those movements attempting to move, or reform, the religious community to an idealized central theology. Whether the proponents are elites educated in France or Saudi Arabia, a shared charact eristic important here is the attempted removal of local synchronizations and questionable practice ( bida or innovation) and is typically a response to either local Sufi practices or non Islamic power structures.

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21 not homogeneous within Morocco. In fact discourse about, Moroccan Islam simplifies a broad range of religious practices and disparate sets of beliefs. Analytically, it is useful to refer to localized mystical and African variations of Islamic practice as Sufism only until I outline individual manifestations in the chapters that follow. After this point I will utilize the local names of respective traditions including the Gnawa, Aissawa, Hamadcha, and Tijaniyya p aths. As the later chapters show, the term Sufism fails to recognize the wealth of theological and ritual depth that exists between paths, each with its own history, leadership, and perspectives on other groups. In short, it fails to draw upon the horizo ntal interactions between groups of disparate religious, social, and political leanings. This broad term Sufi glossing all localized forms of Islamic practice under a single umbrella label, closes the mesh of the social web (Redfield [1956] discussed in Chapter 2) Controversy over the validity of Sufism and its spiritual and cultural manifestations is also not unique to Morocco. Similar practices in Nigeria, Senegal, Niger, and elsewhere come under the contention of reformist groups linked to the Salafi Islam of the Arabian Peninsula. It is also in this trans-state context that the marginalized Moroccan Gnawa must be seen. Neither Tamazight nor Arab, Gnawa are black Africans of a sub -Saharan origin. As a formerly enslaved population, brought by past empires and tied to the trans -Saharan trade, the Gnawa people long remained outside of Moroccos national ist conversation, and in many ways remain outside today. Their religious practices and beliefs are a syncretic combination of Islamic subject matter an d African ritual and performance practice. While the general mysticism of Sufism predominates, the properties of the musical (and ritual) production are based within a sub -Saharan character. Instruments, dances, the language of lyrics, and the theological focus on spirit possession emphasize the African origins of these practices Simultaneously, the Gnawa incorporate Islamic

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22 texts, historical figures, the Arabic language, and Islamic prayers and rituals to various ends as the performers appear in different performative7 spaces. It is how these geographic, cultural, and religious aspects are created, manipulated, and interpreted by both musical producers and the disparate audiences that illuminate the ways in which Morocco becomes a label for hybrid identi ties that manif est in vastly different people. Commodifying the Gnawa The process that brought this marginalized religious practice to national -level consumption initially remove d some of these difficult African elements in order to align the music with both the popular and intellectual religious sentiments. Moroccan Sufism may be willing to celebrate the Gnawa heritage, but certain aspects associated with African traditions must be stripped away in order for acceptance from the larger Moroccan population Otherwise, the music would remain solely within the realm of the marginalized Gnawa cult. Through the continuous and historical commodification of the sounds, first in the market squares and later by major festival producers and record companies, the s ettings (and therefore the meanings of the music) could be changed. This process, it must be noted, is seen in every area affected by globalization, modernization or Westernization, as those in power attempt to define their nation and its cultural prod uction. As the location involved in the creation and consumption of Gnawa music expands from the local to the regional and eventually to the national and international, the participants involved in the latter markets take over, affecting style and meaning of the music. Producers in France and maalems (Gnawa masters) in rural towns outside of Marrakech treat Gnawa sounds differently. These differences can be seen in both the performance style and musical content. The music 7 See Chapter 4 for further discussion on these strategies and spaces.

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23 industry also causes changes by re moving much of the communal ritual and dance from the musical whole through the very act of placing the sound onto a record made in a studio. However, there is still an interaction between these extremes, and the specific manipulations of the sound illumin ate the implicit values used in creating a musical product. Whether the musical style is a simple stratification of different styles or a fusion creating a new type of music, the changes are initiated by a separation of sounds from the traditional layla.8 The complexities of these relationships are both confounded and expanded by the existence of major festivals around Morocco celebrating not only Gnawa music, but also Gnawa music placed within numerous contexts exploring fusions with jazz, rock, electronic a, etc., and the subsequent conceptual li nking of the styles in the minds of both national and international audiences. The fusion of Gnawa music in a French studio and the stratification common to the summer festival have come to represent related commodi fied forms. The festivals found ways to celebrate the spiritual within Islam, but without elements incompatible with educated discourse. Simultaneously, the music industry managed to highlight the African spiritual character of Sufism without attempting to present Islamic music to a Western audience. This example of using music to manipulate, create, and promote specific forms of identification will be further explored in Chapters 4 and 5 Anthropological and ethnomusicological study on the discourse embe dded within the debates surrounding Islamic traditions often fail to recognize the importance of local interactions between disparate groups or organizations. The aim of this thesis is to identify two of the basic levels where these musical debates occur w hile highlighting the theological and ideological goals and criticisms that power 8 The forms of musical production discussed throughout this thesis include attempts at creating new sounds and genres for a growing commercial audience either through musical fusion or stratification. The ethnographic record ings of layla traditional performances for the sake of preservation are not involved except in that they contribute to the creation of a presented identity as discussed in the second half of Chapter 3. They stand along street performances and open, evening demonstrations of the layla as seen in the Essaouira Festival of World Music.

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24 specific decisions. Issues discussed in Chapter 4 revolve around creation of national sentiment, hybridity, and inclusiveness through stratified musical products on o ne hand and a universal spirituality based upon sub -Saharan, rhythmic, and commercially accessible music through fusions on the other. The debates in Chapter 5 are similarly economic, but the national issues (based in Islamic theological concerns) apply on an or ganizational and theological level as Sufi brotherhoods vie for greater publicity and membership, opening themselves to harsh critique on Islamic grounds.

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25 CHAPTER 2 THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF ISLAM AND ETHNOMUSICOLOGY Introduction The following chapter will outl ine the relevant literature in the anthropology of Islam. As a specialized set of texts, this scholarship developed from firmly within the context of colonial and post-colonial power structures. Over the past 50 years, however, anthropologists have recogni zed the importance of interactions between individuals. They moved away from the boundaries and the polarizing conceptions of great and little traditions, opting instead to highlight the relationships between local forces to better comprehend how tradi tion, innovation, and discourse create fluid social and religious dynamics. This chapter equates the advent of methodological reflexivity with the efforts by authors to employ Islamic voices, opening a space for Muslims to argue their positions in the lite rature. To close, I use the example of listening as a theoretical tool to demonstrate how ethnomusicological research can forward the current trends in the anthropology of Islamic societies, opening a space for the ethnographic material in Chapters 3, 4, and 5. Science and Orientalism The relationship between anthropology and Islamic society is long and, as such, it is varied and complex. Issues rise and fall just as attempts at anthropological explanations for behaviors, cultural structures, and other phen omena gain and lose traction within academia. The status of ethnographies and theories based within material from the Islamic world are firmly dependent upon relationships between the studier and the studied, a concern of this genre throughout its history, as described by Bourdieu (1977). Yet within research of the Middle East and North Africa, this relationship is contested on grounds beyond those economic and social power relationships between individuals that exist elsewhere. The history between the E ast and the

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26 West is not a history of consistent domination of one over the other. It is a narrative of struggle between two world powers attempting to gain access and influence over economic ally and political ly strategic locations The current primacy o f the colonizer over the colonized appears perpetual only from a truncated perspective of history. Orientalism, as defined by Edward Said, is a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orients special place in European Western experi ence. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europes greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the othe r (Said 1978: 1) He continues by stating, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture (Said 1978: 2). The ant hropologist, or, even more importantly, the student of anthropological history, must recognize this narrative of the Orient within the gaze of the Occident if they are to realize the depth of this relationship. Moreover, this relational approach to anthrop ology in general is both fruitful and, as I will show, fairly novel. It is also the place where the field of ethnomusicology has the vast tools to contribute to a stronger analysis of what is typically left to the anthropologist -proper. The relationship, b etween Europe (and America) and the East (the Middle East, North Africa, India, Asia, and the Far East) is simultaneously one of competition and mutual dependence. This tightrope is part of both the history of the regions and the current state of interna tional affairs. Said writes above that the Orient is also its [Europes] cultural contestant (Said 1978: 1). This competition is rooted in military battles spanning centuries from the early 8th century (Battles of Toulouse and Tours), through the 11th and 12th centuries (the

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27 Crusades)1, the 16th and 17th centuries (Sieges on Vienna), and up to today with wars in Iraq and global political issues centering around Iran, Palestine, Algeria, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Southeastern Europe. As an example of this simultaneous competition and interdependence, when recounting the two sieges on Vienna, an English historian writing in the beginning of the seventeenth century called the Ottoman Empire the present terror of the world (Gelvin 2008: 10). Yet it is the A bbasid Caliphate, centered in Baghdad between the 8th and 13th centuries, that the European Renaissance must thank for the renewal of classical thought and the extension of abstract mathematics. Our current economic dependence became all to o vivid via the wars of the last 20 years. Douglas Little writes, in reference to the first Gulf War, that seventy years earlier in the aftermath of the centurys first great war, the Wilson administration had opened the door for U.S. oil companies in the Middle East. In 1991 George Bush would wage the centurys last great war to prevent that door from slamming shut (Little 2002: 45). Through these historical notes I have hopefully emphasized the importance of relational perspectives on dealing with the anthropology of Islam. These comments, intended to incline the reader to ward the thin line between the East and the West, open a discussion of the needs, changes within, and shortcomings of anthropological thought to ward this region of the world. Examining the relat ional nature of society occurs on other levels of anthropological analysis as well. This chapter has two goals. F irst, it follows the ways in which the anthropology of Islam increased its focus on interactions between individuals, groups, and societies ove r the last 50 years, resulting in a deeper understanding and analysis These groups include those studied, but also they do not ignore the fundamental relationship between the anthropologist and 1 See Amin Maalouf s The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1984) for an account of the Crusades drawn from Arab authors and historians. He outlines the internal struggles and power d isputes leading to divisions and alliances that opened avenues for the crusaders successes. He also notes the impact of Europeans residing in major Arab cities, how they assimilated into their new homes and brought various changes to their neighbors.

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28 the people who inform the ethnography. Second, it demonstrate s some ways in which ethnomusicology lends developed tools for the study of these relational activities in reference to musical participation and production, highlighting the usefulness of these tools in coming to terms with Islamic societies. I make speci al note of authors who have successfully utilized these techniques, developed in ethnomusicological circles, in a deep analysis of non-musical aspects of the Islamic world. I conclude with my own thoughts on the importance of considering relationships betw een groups and avoiding ethnographic accounts that enforce artificial barriers that do not exist in practice opening a space for the discussions that follow Concerns of the Anthropology of Islam Historical Disciplinary Power Structures Pierre Bourdieu be gins his Outline of a Theory of Practice with a chapter entitled The objective limits of objectivism. The first sentence of this chapter, a nd therefore of the book itself, states that the practical privilege in which all scientific activity arises never more subtly governs that activity (insofar as science presupposes not only an epistemological break but also a social separation) than when, unrecognized as privilege, it leads to an implicit theory of practice which is the corollary of neglect of the soci al conditions in which science is possible. (Bourdieu 1977: 1) The social separation that precludes the implicit theory of practice Bourdieu means to criticize is especially apparent in regards to anthropological production in the East. While Bourdieu wrote these words in 1972 (translated to English in 1977), he was setting up his study of a population in Algeria, and his careful perspective, actively criticizing the methodological assumptions in anthropologists who preceded him, foreshadow the work done by Edward Said 6 years later. Saids concern in writing Orientalism was dependent upon a reading of Foucaults The Archeology of Knowledge and Discipline and Punish He writes that his

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29 contention is that without examining Orientalism as a discourse one cannot possibly understand the enormously systematic discipline by which European culture was able to manage and even produce the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post -Enlighten ment period. Moreover, so authoritative a position did Orientalism have that I believe no one writing, thinking, or acting on the Orient could do so without taking account of the limitations on thought and action imposed by Orientalism. (Said 1978: 3) His fervent stance attempts to illuminate the vast ways in which the power of European culture overtook, defining and redefining, control of the Orient. The systematic nature of this limitation of thought imposed by Orientalism mirrors the systematic neglec t extant in anthropology at the time of Bourdieus writing. The assumptions of the science of the Enlightenment created an unequal dynamic between these two regions. Returning to Said, the relationship between Occident and Orient is a relationship of po wer, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony (5). To further politicize Orientalism, Said defines as one of his three asp ects of contemporary reality, t he distinction between pure and political knowledge (9). Criticizing contemporary (a nd current) perspectives, Said emphasizes the distinctly political nature of seemingly apolitical subject matter. It must be true that for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: th at he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second (11). Similarly, for Bourdieu, the scientist must recognize the parallel actuality, that this scientific perspective carries a number of fundamental beliefs, each of which must be accounted for and, for an ideal ethnographic study devoid of internal bias, overcome. It is not sufficient for anthropology to break with native experience and the native representation of that experience: it has to make a second break a nd question the presuppositions inherent in the position of an outside observer, who, in his preoccupation with interpreting practices, is inclined to introduce into the object the principles of his relation to the object, as is attested by the special imp ortance he assigns to communicative functions (whether in language, myth, or marriage). (Bourdieu 1977: 2)

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30 This last example, relating the tendency to ward communicative analysis within anthropology, references, among other things, the analysis of art from Saussurian perspectives, forgetting that artistic production is always also the product of an art, pure practice without theory, as Durkheim says (Husserl, quoted in Bourdieu 1977: 1 -2). While it lies outside the scope of this chapter, I believe t hat this is one specific intersection where ethnomusicology provides insight into anthropological study. The first step toward recognizing these discrepancies embedded within power relationships, due to either the political power of the Occident over the Orient or the social separation of the scientist and his research is to open up a space for voices from elsewhere. Anthropologists constantly struggle to fine ways to present the voice of their interviewees, undertaking methodological and presentationa l innovations and engaging within interdisciplinary debates. Harry G. West, in his Kupilikula: Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique encloses his chapters in long transcriptions of interview dialogue. His aesthetic and formal decisions here a ttempt to recreate the need, expressed by Achille Mbembe, to allow emergent languages of power from the daily life of the people (West 2005: 2). Similarly, debates within Islam deserve study by anthropologists, historians, and other scholars. The discu rsive traditions within Islamic society are strong, just as they are healthy.2 Translations are occasionally scarce, but for specific topics (especially this relationship between Islam and the West), they are more ample. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives published in 2006, is a volume containing polemics and analyses from Muslim (and atheist) authors about subjects 2 F or example, because one primary value of Islamic society is the existence of the umma (unified body of believers), and there is not the same overall hierarchical structure that exists in other world religions such as Catholicism, agreement is highly sought after. Thus, speeches and polemics are epitomize efforts to gain large numbers of followers, and to attempt the ideal: unity in thought and deed.

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31 ranging from socialism to democratic governance. These translations are slowly appearing, and they are of utmost importance for scholars considering Muslim voices. Great and Little Traditions Robert Redfield One anthropological debate that is representative of this need for Muslim voices is on Islam itself. By following the 50 -year trajectory of this confusion about great and little, or true/essential/scriptural and popular Islam, it is difficult to avoid the significance of two specific authors: Abdul Hamid el -Zein and Talal Asad. After insertions these two made into the conversation, it shifted from an esoteric discourse from dic hotic anthropological assumptions to useful renderings of Islamic society based upon more locally engaged and discursively aware fieldwork, as described in the following section In this section I will revisit the development of this anthropological discus sion, placing special emphasis on the interplay between anthropological or etic perspectives and indigenous or emic ones. Robert Redfields Peasant Society and Culture notes that in a civilization there is a great tradition of the reflective few, and there is a little tradition of the largely unreflective many. The great tradition is cultivated in schools or temples; the little tradition works itself out and keeps itself going in the lives of the unlettered in their village communities. The traditi on of the philosopher, theologian, and literary man is a tradition consciously cultivated and handed down; that of the little people is for the most part taken for granted and not submitted to much scrutiny or considered refinement and improvement. (Redfie ld 1956: 70) Here we have a dichotomous vision of two distinct traditions: that of the philosopher et al., and that of the little people. Yet these two, despite the educational divide between those who are reflective and unreflective, are interdepe ndent: great and little tradition can be thought of as two currents of thought and action, distinguishable, yet ever flowing into and out of each other (Redfield 1956: 72). He situates the existence of these disparate -yet-interdependent traditions within the context of specialization. Within a social group where there is little specialization, resulting in no technical vocabulary, there is no great tradition. Everyones conception of

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32 religious duty is indistinct from that of everyone elses. Where there is a social stratification via economics and educatio n, there emerges superiority: t here are differences as between layman and specialist in the understanding of the religion (Redfield 1956: 73). As he fleshes out his model of traditions in peasant (and stratified) societies, Redfield moves more distinctly into specifics. Before di scussing Islam he states that w here the hypotheses of the great traditions are considered beliefs, the hypotheses of the little tradition will be considered superstitions (Re dfield 1956: 84). This statement highlights the reliance of anthropologists at this time (and later) on previous anthropologists, almost exclusively. Redfield writes about his personal experiences in India, yet speaks broadly on materials ranging much further than that Asian subcontinent. These assumptions regarding the consideration of hypotheses fail to acknowledge those who may be doing the considering. That the sentence is in the passive is telling. Who considers these hypotheses to be beliefs or supers titions? Anthropologists and the educated elite, perhaps, who write history? While he recognizes the concept of interdependency between the great and the little, Redfield fails to recognize what this actually means or produces.3 It is a trap in which m any fall over the years following Redfields argument, one that continues for decades. This polar/related differentation between a great and a little tradition also fails in a second sense: it assumes the existence of a singular little tradition, eve n if that assumption is made implicitly. What Redfield and others consider to be little involve numerous local variations that cover a wide swath of religious practice. Even within the same locality, these can be major differences. Thus, instead of codifying these little traditions into one monolithic little tradition 3 What Redfield does highlight comes from G. von Grunebaums work, noting the integration of local beliefs or practices into orthodoxy. He gives the Prophets precedent: giving an Islamic meaning to the heathen pilgrimage rites which he welded into the Muslim hajj to Mecca and the justification within the framework of orthodoxy of the cult of the saints (Grun ebaum, quoted in Redfield 1956: 84 5).

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33 that stands against and influences the one singular great tradition, Redfields work from an earlier chapter in his book proves more useful. He discusses Barnes social field, something beyond economic and local relationships, yet related to them. In the given example, Norwegian fishermen did not just travel to make transactions or work. They were simultaneously forging social relationships with others: other fishermen, captains, traders, probably even frequenters of bars, lovers, and boarders. This, he called the network (Redfield 1956: 50). Loosely conceived by nature, it comprises the whole of personal and professional (which are, in essence, personal) links between individuals. Barne s moves further to consider the network to be the remainder after the removal of the territorial and industrial social fields. This idea of network collects what has previously been neglected Redfields call to recognize these connections between peo ple is valid and necessary. They are so significant as to demand description in their own right (Redfield 1956: 53), and exist as a field of relationships to be studied primarily by anthropologists. As such, the network provides an important source of material, one forgotten by scholars up to Redfields time (and frequently since). Sadly, despite the fact that he builds his later ideas on this concept of network, Redfield never closes the gap between the great and little tradition(s). By returning to networks, he had the tools at hand deepen his analysis of how these beliefs and practices interact, from an anthropological perspective. Many later authors approached the topic, but none explicitly utilized this networked framework until Talal Asad in 1986, discussed further in Chapter 5 Responding to Anthropologists Abdul Hamid el-Zein Abdul Hamid el -Zein orients his article, Beyond Ideology and Theology: The Search for the Anthropology of Islam, with the following statement:

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34 in all approaches, the meaning of religion as a universal form of human experience and of Islam as a particular instance is presupposed, invariable, and incontestable. Consequently, all claim to uncover a universal essence, the real Islam. (el -Zein 1977: 227) His argument throug h this article draws out the implications of this consistent approach. Expanding on a number of previous studies since, and indebted, to Redfields work he notes how each challenges the often subtle premise of the unity of religious meaning (el -Zein 197 7: 227). This critique of the contemporaneous anthropology of Islam is both novel and insightful. He notes the contradictory nature of some discoveries emergent within this framework of a unitary religious essence and, as such, steps back and rework s the most influential texts to that point in the development of the field. Most anthropology discussed in the article occupies itself with rejoining the local with something larger, creating a family tree of sorts, where each local variant resembles a co re, noticeable through the analytical insight gained by science. When discussing Geertzs Islam Observed (1968), el-Zein highlights the authors use of science as something objective, unlike common sense or religion. He proceeds to emphasize that Geertz s science is yet another interpretive realm, reorganizing history, tradition, and cultural symbols to create meaning just as common sense and religion do. It simply has different points of departure and goals. The creation of cultural symbols, like saint s, to use Geertzs main example, is a process undertaken by, in this case, religion. Sciences attempts to reinterpret those symbols are identical to religions attempts to revise those created by common sense. Thus, Geertzs reading of Islam must be seen in this interpretive light. This cultural symbolism by which Geertz uses anthropology, however,

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35 succeeds greatly over those who flatten the nature of Islam by identifying it solely with one social structure or another.4 By looking at the past as an inter preted symbol in its own right, el -Zein accentuates the importance of the perspective. Just as Said oriented literature as a result of the gaze of the West and Bourdieu problematized the objectivism of objectivism, so to speak, el -Zein identifies the problematic nature of science, placing it alongside religion and common sense on a continuum, arguing that it is not, as most believe, something qualitatively different. Science, like religion and common sense, looks at the past as symbolic, a fruitful source of mined meanings. To bring out this use of the past, he examines Eickelmans Moroccan Islam (1976). Here the present is current, and as such, it recreates and represents the past. The social web that creates present meaning, and therefore culture, consta ntly incorporates and recreates the past according to its own specific interpretive schema. Thus, to look back at this historical dichotomy between local and elite forms of Islam is to ignore the interpretive functions of scientific, or in this case histo rical, thought. el -Zein moves on to outline issues inherent in the differentiation of explicit and implicit ideologies, those traditions of the ulema and the local manifestations of some central Islam, respectively. His general conclusion is that these conceptions (both explicit and implicit) of Islamic practice and tradition as some form of essential, or core, belief with localized segments of a family tree should be seen as yet another diverse, culturally relative expression of a tradition (el -Zein 1977: 246), a scientific tradition. This tradition comes with its own set of values, as many reflexive anthropologists have since mused. The idea that folk and elite theologies are not 4 This criticism is leveled by el Zein against the works of Bujra (1971) and Crapanzano (1973) who identify a closed system of interpretation, unlike the malleable symbolism of Geertz. They limit the meanings of relig ion to hierarchical social structures or ritual and psychological practices, respectively.

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36 competitive, but are complimentary, is fruitful. Since each defines an d necessitates the other, the object of study, some discovery and illumination of a real Islam, can be avoided entirely, leading to a more interesting and worthwhile ethnographic proje ct. This new project would more closely follow the situation, the rel ationship, as it plays out between these disparate poles of Islamic belief. As el -Zein writes: man does order his world through systems of meaning. Anthropologically, the problem now is to find a means of understanding that order which reaches the desired level of universality without diluting or destroying the significance of this diversity and the richness of meaning in human experience. (el -Zein 1977: 250) He continues by criticizing the selective practice of analysis that is so common to anthropological writing: each investigator selects from the multitude of possibly identifiable features and functions of the saint one or two which are deemed distinctive and which, in the subsequent analysis, are taken as the saint. Analysis based on such highly selecti ve reading of ethnographic data artificially collapses the complexity of the saint to a single dimension, leaving unexplained many possible questions about the undeniable multiplicity of the cultural construct saint. (el -Zein 1977: 250) This line of thought, of course, is not limited to the study of sainthood in Islamic contexts and, I believe, it follows that the saint of this example can be replaced by any topic of discussion. What el -Zein opens here is a recognition of the problematic nature of ant hropological research up to the late 1970s (and beyond). Instead he asks: but what if each analysis of Islam treated here were to begin from the assumption that Islam, economy, history, religion, and so on do not exist as things or entities with meaning inherent in them, but rather as articulations of structural relations, and are the outcome of these relations and not simply a set of positive terms from which we start our studies? In this case, we have to start from the natives model of Islam and analyze the relations which produce its meaning. (el -Zein 1977: 251) Thus, he attempts to remove autonomous entities so that each point within the system is ultimately accessible from every other point (el -Zein 1977: 252). This is not simply the lo gic of another anthropological system, but, as the author argues, it is the logic of culture itself. By

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37 undertaking such a step, the anthropologist and the native, he writes, will share a logic, one that is embedded within the cultural system that already exists. In an effort to return to the above discussions, el-Zein outlines a system that will, inshaallah (God willing), remove the cloudy field of subjectivity that exists between the subject and object, or Bourdieus social separation. The paralyzing d ifficulty that remains, however, is the concrete, or methodological, implementation of this quasi -philosophical approach. The interpretive and symbolic system championed by el -Zein here relies heavily on Geertz, yet it is Geertz himself who is both recogni zed as insightful and criticized. His interpretations, after all, are neither transparent nor falsifiable, dependent upon his intuition and often lacking in justification. How, then, is this proposed Geertzian system of cultural understanding to be reconfi gured into an anthropological approach that provides more information than fodder for perceptive discussion? Moving toward an Anthropology of Islam In any anthropological pursuit, there are specific goals and concerns. Some, such as the social and institut ional power discrepancy between the anthropologist and those with whom he or she works, have been discussed above. The concerns of el -Zein also apply widely to the field as a whole: anthropology must consider the depth of the concepts (symbols) and structu res it studies. Otherwise, it perpetuates misrepresentations instead of accomplishing its main goal, which is precisely the opposite. Through ethnographic and historical data, the product of research should contextualize those practices, structures, and sy mbols instead of flattening them to single faceted objects of study. This is el -Zeins critique of Bujra and Crapanzano, and the same could be leveled against much of the fields writing. Yet, writing an analysis from which each point within the system is ultimately accessible from every other point is unwieldy, impractical, and daunting.

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38 Taking these concerns and adding to them those specific attributes that deserve recognition when dealing with Islam, Islams history, theology, and the relationship born e through conflict and colonialism, an anthropological approach to this subject matter earns an extra layer beyond the above daunting and impractical challenge. The search for new tools and methodologies opened doors as scholars began to slowly work throug h the problematic nature of this research. Many of these tools are nothing more than perspectives that were previously unknown to anthropology. The come from sociology, linguistics, psychology, political science (loosely), philosophy, womens studies, area studies, and elsewhere as interdisciplinary work increased during the 1980s and 1990s. One primary field where many of these perspectives and tools have found solid ground from which to work is ethnomusicology, which, not surprisingly, is an entire field founded on the premise of work around and amongst (betwixt an d between?) scholarship that was, at the time, held firmly within specific borders. This liminal field, to carry the Turner metaphor further, has only been in its current state for 50 years. In the early 1950s a n umber of scholars came together to discuss the benefits of using interdisciplinary methods to more closely examine music. Music, no longer defined narrowly as a product or performance, engages entire societies through practice. It claims space just as it creates borders, it articulates individuality while simultaneously conserving community. It, interestingly, is constantly the subject of a type of meta -musical discourse as participants passionately argue its status: is this sound blaring from the window music, or is it raucous noise? It delineates nationhood and identity for some, universality and divinity for others. While it is, of course, not the only, or even the most effective, cultural symbol, music offers a cultural formation that fits snugly within the same category as Geertzs saint it is a

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39 complex and deep cultural symbol that provides the anthropologist with innumerable potential linkages and relationships, most of which lead directly to those topics more commonly associated w ith anthr opological investigation: social structures, cultural habits, rituals etc It also proves an evasive object of study, one that is similarly daunting to the uninitiated, and frustrating for those who feel insecure in their knowledge or experience. Because of the inherent interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicologys development, the tools developed for realizing these relationships and linkages can be useful for searching deeper into the issues of Islamic society, or any other cultural system. By l ooking at how authors approach these issues, in terms of musical practice within Muslim and non -Muslim systems, I hope to illuminate a semblance of this usefulness. Music and Ethnomusicology Gamal Abdel Nasr, Umm Kulthoum, and History as Anthropology Before approaching the ways in which ethnomusicological theory and performance theory can appropriately assist in the study of Islam, there is a more straightforward way in which music and ethnomusicology can lend understanding. The following sections will high light significant ethnomusicological texts that have enriched the scholarship of Islam. The first is Virginia Danielsons The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century Danielsons work is not significant only for its wealth of information regarding the interconnections between musical and political history, it undertakes these connections from an analytical framework that illuminates the functionality of the intertwined Umm Kulthum and Gamal Abdel Nasr. The relationship between these two figures embedded the cultural within the political in the rise of Egyptian -led Arab Nationalism. Just as the Middle East gathered to listen to Nasrs speeches, they huddled around radios to consume the weekly broadcast concer ts. As examined

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40 below, Charles Hirschkind later recognizes these moments as the beginning of a national ear, a sensory/political experience. The individual begins to embody the nation just as the nation broadcasts itself, quite literally, onto its citizens After all, Danielson quotes a well -spoken, richly bejeweled woman who states that it wasnt only her voice her character was the reason for her success. Egyptians not only like her voice, we respect her We look at her, we see fifty years of Egypts history. She is not only a singer. (Danielson 1998: 4) Umm Kulthum and Nasr both epitomize personalities, representing their time and place. What Danielson does, in The Voice of Egypt is reconnect these two legendary individuals without forgetting the va st and complete power of recollection, or nostalgia. These two are not only important for who they were, but for what they became, and perhaps more importantly, for what they mean to their society. Danielson puts music into relief of politics, searching fo r a wider lens with which she can better grasp contemporaneous Egyptian society. At the same time, she avoids a simple representation of historical fact. Her chapters set historical information about the period alongside stories about the singer, adding d epth to both. More importantly, however, she does not see history as static, and instead relies as heavily on interviews, and therefore memories, as she does on documents. This form of history, as what is remembered and carried with individuals in society, is fluid, and changes to fit specific times and places. It is this variety of history that anthropology is only recently beginning to engage History as fact, text, or document can accurately identify elements of what happened, but to the present, history is neither fact nor document, it is nostalgia, it is fluid, and it must be read by the scholar as such. Listening Aside from drawing out these historical connections between cultural systems, ethnomusicology provides more substantial theoretical framework s. One example includes the

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41 idea of listening. Listening, as a practice, has been largely neglected until the last two decades. The act of listening is now recognized as one major plane upon which people define themselves as participants in a cultural syst em, and the ways in which this active practice affects the individual and the community is important fodder for analysis. Danielson introduces the topic as such: assuming that musical meaning is coproduced by listeners and that, as Middleton argues, acts of consumption are essential, constitutive parts of the material circuits through which musical practice exists listening, too, must be considered a productive force. (Danielson 1998: 6, quoting Middleton 1990: 92) Richard Middleton, quoted here, does not rely on historical information: his analysis moves deeper, into the theoretical realm of how music works within peoples lives. In Islamic terms, these reactions between listening and community are much more important than popular music can imply however the constructs provided by this popular music research, in this case, recognizing listening as a productive force in a culture, sheds light onto religious and social activity as a whole, as noted by Charles Hirschkind in Ethical Soundscapes and Patrick D. Gaffney in The Prophets Pulpit These two writers use the ethnomusicological literature to approach cassette and live sermons in Cairo and Minha, respectively. They do not deal with music as such, but their interests line up directly with thos e who do. Perspectives that begin with listening as the central cultural act provide agency to the individual, taking the whole of cultural power from the khatib (preacher) or imam (leader of prayers) and regulating it back to the individual listener or worshipper. Hirschkind states the importan ce of this distinction directly. As I will argue, the contribution of this aural media [the cassette sermon] to shaping the contemporary moral aond political landscape of the Middle East lies not simply in its capac ity to disseminate ideas or instill religious ideologies but in its effect on the human sensorium, on the affects, sensibilities, and perceptual habits of its vast audience. (Hirschkind 2006: 2)

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42 By noting that within the cassette sermon, the diverse stran ds of the political, the ethical and the aesthetic (Hirschkind 2006: 5) are joined, Hirschkind, like Danielson before, re -integrates parts of society that were previous separated by the academe These elements have been at play, working off of each othe r in a web of meaning, to return to Geertzs phrase, yet anthropology is only beginning to discern just how widely that web is cast. Like Danielson above, Hirschkind equates Nasr and Umm Kulthum within Egyptian history, although here, unlike the historic al comparison above, he specifically highlights their respective media events. For Nasr, it is his rousing speeches [that provided] Egyptians with their first experience of a collective national audition (Hirshkind 2006: 51). Notably, as Nassers successors were unable to match his unique rhetorical skills or rely upon the revolutionary enthusiasm that accompanied Egypts socialist experiment, they gradually forfeited the ability to enlist the ear as the sense organ of a national imaginary. Instead, hea ring and the human voice were rapidly recuperated by an opposition movement grounded in Islamic institutions and the traditions of oratory and ethical audition these institutions embedded. A modern political discourse was, in this way, increasingly incorporated within practices of ethical listening linked to the sermon. (Hirschkind 2009: 51) Here, Nasrs rousing political oratory becomes the groundwork for the anti -secularist movements that are to follow. It is, then, listening as participation that infor ms these political movements. Umm Kulthum, trained in Quranic recitation and folk performance, came to embody the sensibilities of Egyptians in a way that other contemporary performers, lacking experience in the Islamic traditions of vocal performance, co uld not. In many ways, her vocal style, particularly in the early part of her career, foregrounded the same affective dynamics that underlay the tradition of ethical -sermon audition. (Hirschkind 2006: 51) Furthermore, the social and ethical edifice of tarab and its actor/listener have, over the last thirty years, broken away from the national public sphere articulated by the voices of Umm Kulthum and Nasser and instead taken root within the Islamic Revival movement and the forms of public sociability and p olitical critique it has engendered. (Hirschkind 2006: 52)

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43 Fusing the Sacred and the Profane Gaffney, in The Prophets Pulpit adds depth to these relations between religion and its society. Religon must not be mistakenly reduced to the sacred as opposed to the profane (to recall Durkheims seminal dichotomy). Such a view fundamentally misrepresents the religious life which was not a matter of purs uing the sacred to the exclusion of the profane, but rather the generative fusion of both to produce the e lementary forms of collective consciousness, a moral order, and ultimately society itself. (Gaffney 1994: 28) Listening, as described in the texts above, is a central pillar around which these two forms of society, the sacred and the profane, are fused in to one. Religious life, through the sermon, through music, through the aural conquering of space, enters the secular world, sanctifying it. Gaffney further conflates the two by emphasizes the Weberian ways in which religious inwardness (inner religious state) has been diminished in importance at the hands of responsibility, an external ethic and ideal forwarded by these public formations of an Islamic society (Gaffney 1994: 38). Religion, as such, provides a starting point for ethical action. These actions include discussion and debate, as described in all three of these texts. Hirschkind quotes at length a conversation he overheard in a taxi, Gaffney outlines the importance of media and community interconnections and debates in Minha, while Danielso n emphasizes the primacy of personal communication in Cairo. People talked to me readily, repeating, elaborating, and embellishing their tropes. Talking, an anthropologist friend observed, is a national pastime in Egypt. All sorts of topics are subject to detailed discussion, evaluation, and comment. Radio and television broadcasts, for example, are not merely to be absorbed, they are to be discussed. They provide a starting point for argumentation of views. (Danielson 1998: 5) It is this discussion of ideas that anthropology as a field must recognize. And by using listening as a theoretical tool, as these texts have they can more fully realize these debates within their research. Simultaneously, listening begins to break down some of these barriers that so

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44 effectively limit understanding, as described by both Bourdieu and Said above. It is through listening as a theoretical tool and as a methodological priority that the field can move for ward. Listening in Moroccan Islam The work of Hirschkind and Gaffne y demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to anthropological research. While listening itself is not a trope carried through this thesis, its practical importance for the subject matter in the next three chapters cannot be denied. It is instead the influential dialogue and debate that comes through and alongside musical and spiritual production that fuels the present study. Yet listening is involved. In Chapter 3, listening is the central engagement between the Gnawa adept and the spiritual world of the layla ceremony. In Chapter 4, listening orients the listener to ward either a nationalist project of identity formation or a budding international aesthetic that utilizes the African -ness and ambiguous spirituality present in popula r forms of Gnawa music. Chapter 5 implicitly places listening in a similar framework as adepts debate religious authority through their participation in any number of musical rituals and commercial opportunities. It is listening that engages people in produce discourse, and it is listening that incites the experiences described below, between this world and the next.

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45 CHAPTER 3 FROM THE LAYLA TO THE STREETS: GNAWA RITUAL AND THEOLOGY In Arabic, Moroccos name refers to its distance from the center of the h istoric Arab empires it is the place where the sun sets, the West. With the national project, the countrys leaders selected the name al -mamlakah al -maghrebiyya (The Western Kingdom, more commonly referred to as al -maghreb, The West) to identify its land and people. Al -maghreb is linguistically related to gharib, simultaneously meaning Western, odd, or foreign. In the 1950s, the nationalists recognized within the new name the conception of Morocco as foreign to the Arab world. In other words, Morocco was conceived as an Arabic Other from the perspectives of Arabs across the Middle East. It is also significant that many of Moroccos most defining elements come not from the Arab tradition, but instead from the impact of other interacting cultures. Many of the countrys musical and artistic characteristics, for example, originated in Spain under the Spanish Umayyids and in West Africa before combining with Berber and Arab styles to create Andalusian classical music and the various forms of folk music po pular throughout the nation. Even in the choice of hot beverages, Moroccans have become known for their sweet mint tea, a rejection of the Turkish coffee spread by the Ottomans that is constantly and ritualistically consumed by Egyptians and others across North Africa. During the 11th and 12th centuries the Almoravid and Almohad empires ruled current day Morocco and spread their power up through much of Spain and down to ward the southern edges of Mali. These empires held out against others coming from the East, leading to the pride and royal authority of the Maghreb. Their distance from the center of the Islamic world, marked by Mecca and Medina, became a point of strength. The intellectual centers of Fez and Cordoba, similarly, equaled or outshone even the scholars of Al-Azhar in Cairo as a center of science and learning. With this learning, Cordoba especially became known as a home of tolerance and

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46 respect between religions and populations. Jews, Christians, and Muslims from Europe, the Middle East, and su b-Saharan Africa came together under intellectual pursuits. While much has changed in the past 1000 years, the fact that these Berber empires, the Almoravids and Almohads, captured and fostered such a civilization speaks to the power of the hybridity that existed throughout the history of Morocco as a nation. The current monarchs family is a lineage of Berbers. Many of the historic Sufi leaders to come through Fez continued their travels, becoming influential in West Africa: Senegal, Mali, or Niger. Thus, Morocco has maintained an important relationship with its past centers of culture and science as well as its neighbors to both the north and to the south. The Arab-Berber Racial Continuum Despite this history of communication and tolerance, the question o f racial identity is both present and problematic. In distinguishing between Berber and Arab in current day Morocco, often those of other ethnic or racial backgrounds are excluded. Many Moroccans of different statuses in society claim, in sweeping statemen ts, that all of their countrymen are either distinctly Arab or Berber. This disagreement is linked to a desire to either pull Morocco into the Islamic Arab Middle East or to maintain pride in local maghrebi uniqueness. The notion that Arabs live in the imp erial cities and commercial centers while Berbers live in the mountains provides a second commonly used point of differentiation. Since these two racial categories share most biological traits and insofar as cultural practices and social style become mark ers, racial constructs may blur with the concepts of class or ethnicity or both, (Turino 2000: 555) only these other non -physical markers are left as useful. With educated travelers from countries to the east (Egypt, Saudi Arabia) and areas to the nor th (Granada, Cordoba, etc.) studying and settling in cities like Fez, known as intellectual and spiritual centers, this confluence of class and ethnicity certainly holds true in Morocco. Claims to the Berber -ness or Arab-ness of the

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47 population remain in th e political spectrum today as educational policies continue to be a contested plain for cultural promotion. This Moroccan discussion of race manipulated the inherent biological and class -related signifiers over the recent past and left the Gnawa outside of the continuum. With the foreign recognition and popularization of Gnawa music, discussed in Chapter 4, the opportunity exists for visiting the Arab -Berber debates once again with a goal of embracing that minority populations increasing international stat us. The Gnawa and other groups of a more definite African biological phenotype were therefore unable to break into the national dialogue. The emphasis of their blackness joined with their syncretic Afro -Islamic renditions of their religion solidify this exclusion: from the perspective of the urban, educated elite, it put them into a category linked to, but still beyond the Berbers because of the social, religious, geographic and economic differences they were specifically not Arab. Some go so far as to claim that they are not Muslim, an attack that comes frequently in conversations with Muslims who claim authority such as the Tijaniyya scholars, or educators. The Berber could also see them as different, or lesser, because of color and their migrant st atus to the region. The history of these black Moroccans is not known with certainty, but the widely held belief is that they came from West Africa many cite Mali or Senegal through the slave trade under the Berber Empire (Charry 1996, Grame 1970). The refore, the Berber population uses this geographical dominance over the Gnawa. Through their music, however, the Gnawa circumvented the national and entered the international scene where they suddenly drew in a national attention. These issues pertain to a new possible reading of Moroccan national identity. The monarchy is forced into a paradoxical process. First it attempts to solidify itself as a strong Islamic country, avoiding that label of foreign or gharib. Simultaneously it struggles to

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48 maintain pr ide in the unique history and colorful cultural influences from Andalusia, Africa and the Sahara. Morocco is Berber, Islamic, and Arab, but it is also African. Variations of these influences, and therefore the multi -axis nature of the debate, manifest in t he many styles of local music. Most recently it has been the music of the Gnawa that transcends these boundaries, folding local heritage into a hybrid, international sound. As recording technology and the commodification of music allows for a separation fr om certain aspects of cultural meaning, the Gnawa sound and its producers are reinterpreting the situation as presented and finding it possible to create a revised and more holistic symbol for Morocco one that is simultaneously Islamic and African, Weste rn and Eastern, Berber and Arab. And all is done in a way that remains distinctly Moroccan by championing the collaboration and combination of any number of experiences. As Kapchan argues, the process of cultural cre olization is central to Morocco. Although a creole language does not exist in Morocco, the process of cultural creolization does; the nation of Morocco is composed of a plurality of ethnicities, histories, and languages that together form conceptions of what it is to be Moroccan. (Kapchan 1996:6-7) A primary example of the Moroccan creole culture, Gnawa music can be seen through an analysis of the music in its local, national and international forms. Careful reworking of Gnawa and Andalusian classical elements form intertwined, stylistic, a nd innovative sounds. These exemplify the multi -faceted Moroccan national identity, drawing it away from the previous Arab and Berber polarity. Chapter 4 enters into discussion regarding the processes and forces involved in creating and controlling these i nnovative forms of music (and the values they foster). The present chapter precedes this with narrative regarding the religious and ceremonial elements of the Gnawa layla, and its constant syncretic interaction between Sub -Saharan roots and Islamic beliefs. Later, as the musicians travel as performers to earn their livelihood, impacts of public

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49 performance upon the knowledge and acceptance of the Gnawa in markets across the south construct the foundation for the commercialization and nationalization of the music that is to follow. The Gnawa and the Layla The few academic (and many incidental) sources on the Gnawa of Morocco attribute their history to the Berber slave trades. This trans -Saharan forced migration caused uprooting of their culture and forced the population to account for drastic events. Jankowsky (2006) discusses the symbolic memory and representation of the move as it manifests itself within the music of the Stambeli in Tunisia, and while that group is not specifically related to the Gnawa, many of his observations hold true. By emphasizing the Sahara as a barrier, common conceptions of the south as the land of the blacks and the north as the land of the whites deny the historical role of the Sahara as a bridge. The travel impacted the m emory of slavery in a way similar to that of the ships passage across the Atlantic (Jankowsky 2006: 380). A continual flow of ideas circulated between the traders and the towns as well as amongst those in captivity. Jankowsky also points to the sheer nu mber of slaves traded, estimated at 9 million roughly equal to the size of the Atlantic trade. The magnitude of people moved and the length of time in which the trade existed (roughly 650 C.E. to 1900 C.E.) made the bridge and the barrier of the Sahara significant in the memories of all involved populations. Both the Stambeli and the Gnawa, as well as many others throughout Islamic sub -Saharan Africa, claim their Islamic identity through the figure of Sidi Bilal. Bilal was the Prophet Mohammeds muezzin, and was a black slave freed later in life. The Quranic figures position as a muezzin assists in this identification as, like the Gnawa maalem, the muezzins primary function is to prepare the people for payer, reflection, and other spiritual endeavor. Wh ereas the Gnawa maalem does this through music and the layla ritual, the muezzins responsibility is to

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50 chant Quranic verse from the heights of the mosques minarets, signaling each of the five daily prayers. Through Sidi Bilal there exists a connection l egitimizing the Gnawa ritual practice, and the syncretic nature of the musical and religious pursuits: he is a prominent figure associated with the Prophet himself, and one who carried out his obligations in a fashion that involves musical chanting. The rituals of Gnawa musicians carry many of their peoples spiritual roots. Embedded within the music is a memory, a cultural memory, of past times. The slave trade is revisited and held central to the Gnawa way of life. The spiritual messages that permeate musical tradition, however, are manipulated, or disappear altogether, as the musicians enter non -religious performance spaces and situations. The differences between these stages and audiences impact common beliefs, as the purpose for performance itself be comes economic. Simultaneously performers constantly reinterpret their own tradition in front of an uninitiated group of domestic and international casual listeners. As the audience reads these presented symbols of memory and meaning, the course of musical nationalization advances. First, however, it is necessary to revisit the ceremonial Gnawa music that sat well outside of national debates until its unintended popularity of the 60s. The Layla Ceremony The ceremonies and rituals ( laylat1) of Gnawa music involve the performance of music and dancing to incite trance. While people are within a trance, various saints and spirits are called upon through the use of specific rhythms, colors and smells. After the opening of communication and the strengthening of r elationships with the ceremonial hosts, the supernatural entities are asked either for help or to cure any number of ailments. There are seven male and four female 1 Also translates literally as evenings, the plural of layla, referring to the late nights and early mornings occupied by the ritual performance.

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51 figures. Other descriptions refer to them as saints, spirits, or jinn (plural: jnun, Arabic for spirit and carrying an evil or mischievous connotation, also the likely source of the English word genie). The seven males are collectively known as the Hausa ( al-hawsawiyya), recognizing the Sahelian origins of the Gnawa population. Many are syncret ic figures from Quranic history such as Sidi Musa (Moses), or Moulay Ibrahim (Abraham). The four female figures are revered through the title lalla or Lady, with the last, Lalla Aisha being one of the most prominent, powerful, and common possessors. Each has its own personality and corresponding chants and colors used in the event. The actuality of what many call possession in Morocco is more akin to ownership than it is to the connotations conjured by the term possession. Each figure/spirit/saint/ jinn is called a mluk in Arabic. The word comes from the root to own, making these figures literally the owner. The Gnawa differentiate this idea drastically from the jnun, who exist, but are demons or spirits with negative intentions. The mluk are the se eleven specific personalities. Those who consider the Gnawa to be un -Islamic, or have general concerns with their practice and novel beliefs (including Sufis or self-described reformists) conceptualize the mluk to simply be specific jnun, they possess individuals and cause trouble for their lives. While the mluk is the owner, the maskun is the possessed. Maskun shares a root with the verb to live or to reside. The form of the word is the passive form of the noun derived from the verb, and therefore c arries the meaning one who is lived within or residence. A rented apartment is a maskun, just as a possessed individual has an owner, a particular spirit who lives within the person. This owner/residee relationship is, once it has begun, permanent. The re is no exocism and there is no pleading for the mluk to depart. The maskun must learn to work with the mluk in order to achieve a healthy, and symbiotic, partnership. It is the layla and its associated sacrifices that most directly please a

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52 mluk, and it is there that the mluk will present itself publicly. For the sake of clarity, I will use possessed to describe the ecstatic state achieved by a maskun at a layla ceremony. Owned will describe the general relationship between mluk and maskun. The personality of the mluk appears in two ways during a layla ceremony. First, each is known for his or her general character (Figure 3 -1). Shurfa, a name derived from sharif, is a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed. He is therefore noble, wears white, and is the first to appear in any layla ceremony. Many of the mluks also have specific behaviors and ritual practices. Al -Kuhl (another name for Sidi Mimun), for example, wears black, is powerful, and dangerous. When possessed, his adepts use a knife, cutting repeate dly at their forearms. Gaga, a maalem in Fez, is owned by al -Kuhl, and held his arm in front of me to show the long series of deep scars along the length of his forearm. Sidi Musa (Moses) enlisted the power of God to part the Red Sea. His influence over wa ter is what characterizes the behavior of his possessed adepts during the layla. When under the ownership of Sidi Musa individuals dance wildly while balancing a large bowl full of water on their heads. The love of water moves further as they splash it on the ground, fall to the floor, and enact swimming motions. Lalla Malika (Arabic for queen) loves to dance; her portion of the layla has an uplifting party atmosphere. This is the only point where those who are not possessed join in, participating alongside those who are. The other figures are similarly known by their characteristics and those behaviors of their adepts. Recognizing the behaviors and fostering the presence of a spirit is one of the foremost responsibilities of the muqaddama and the maalem, necessary for the proper unfolding of the ceremony. The colors manifest in the clothing worn by individuals who hope or intend to become possessed over the course of the evening. They also match colored scarves provided by the

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53 muqaddama as the event progress es. The musicians utilize specific rhythmic and melodic portions of their repertoire to arouse each individual spirit or saint. The patterns and chants are directly related to the instruments that have come to symbolize the Gnawa music and the people. Along with the colorful dress and characteristic dance, the hajhuj and the quraqib, central instruments described below and in Figure 3 -3, persist throughout the healing practice. It is these same instruments that appear in popular forms of world beat music re ferencing the Gnawa, and therefore Morocco, where they are manipulated into new creative musical ideas. Performers and Instruments The maalem directs the ensemble and audience while playing the hajhuj, a three -stringed semi-spiked lute with a hollowed ou t wooden body and camel neck membrane. A large group of males continue with the quraqib, iron castanets, while dancing (see Figure 3 -3 for instrument descriptions). The maalems responsibility includes choosing the chants for the crowd; a decision that als o implies control over which spirits or saints become involved in the spiritual connection. By carefully watching the ceremonys audience and looking for any hints of possession to promote musically, the maalem can steer the ritual practice via song choice The music is formally call -and-response, with this elder musician singing the lead role. His Arabic title implies this position of understanding and experience, as the structure of the word maalem points to religious learning and knowledge. The root is shared with ulema, the name of the learned clerics and scholars who hold a responsibility to make decisions and statements regarding the Islamic faith. This is in contrast to the imam, the head of a congregation, whose title literally means in front of and implies his leadership in prayer. Despite the presence of a specific imam in a mosque, any member of a mosque community who knows the prayers is able to step forward and lead the service. Thus it is not the maalems

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54 direction of an ensemble, but his s pirituality and knowledge of Gnawa and Islamic traditions that give him the respected role. As the learned and experienced leader of the ensemble, the maalem performs on the hajhuj (Figure 3-4). Since the remainder of the Gnawa musicians and audience parti cipate through the quraqib, clapping, and dancing, it is the hajhuj alone that lends an instrumental melody. The instruments deep tone, reminiscent of an upright bass, and particular playing technique contribute to the identifiable sound necessary for the creation of a greater symbol. The instrument also implies the history of the Gnawa as African, nesting it within a continental musical tradition. Coolen (1984) and Charry (1996) describe the similarities in instrument construction between the hajhuj (also called the gimbri and the sintir) and instruments in West Africa. Figure 3-2, from Charrys article, demonstrates the structural similarities between these different instruments. It also links them to particular ethnic groups, something that the Gnawa do by directly stating the Hausa origins of certain spirits or by describing lyrics as Fulani, despite the fact that many cannot understand Fulani and do not know the meanings of these texts. The construction of the hajhuj holds symbolic value for the Gnawa b eyond these ethnic linkages. Much respect is reserved for those who play the instrument, and while it is a popular choice for younger aspiring Moroccans on the streets just outside festival grounds, experience and tradition sustain an important role in pro fessional performance. This applies whether the music is sacred or profane. There is, however, one exception slowly developing as Gnawa -influenced bands bring together Moroccan, Berber, French, and American influences to create a world beat form of popular music. With that change in focus, purpose, and audience, the instrument comes to symbolize not the specifically Gnawa people and heritage, but a broader pan -Moroccan cultural identity.

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55 Three portions of the hajhujs construction remind the layla audienc e of their history of slavery. First, the long and deep wooden body is said to represent the boats used to bring a number of slaves around West Africa and to Morocco by water. The skin along the face of the instrument, similar to that of the drumhead on a banjo, cites the large kettle drums that commanded the slaves to row. Lastly, the leather chords typically seen along the instruments neck for tightening and tuning the strings denote bindings used for enslavement. The quraqib (Figures 3 -5 and 3-6) hold a place of respect in the eyes of the participants and dancers. They [quraqib] are so important to the Gnawa that the musicians swear their oaths by them. That they are made of iron is especially interesting in view of the fact that the lower caste occupa tion of blacksmith is one that is much practiced by Moroccan Negroes. (Grame 1970: 79) These handheld percussive instruments, similar to and often called castanets, audibly remind the knowledgeable listeners of past slavery. The constant sound, the rhyth mic core of the Gnawa performance, creates an aural symbol of the metallic shackles used to hold the black population captive during their long trek across the Sahara. The instruments name, frequently transliterated as krakeb, is from the Arabic root Q -R-B, meaning to come near, or nearby. This insinuation of slavery and slave relates to the difficult past, but also to the status of a pious man searching out the nearness of God. Thus, echoes of memory and reverence remain as new musicians as young as 4 or 5 years old begin to learn the quraqib and assist elders in setting the mystical stage for trance to occur. Lyrics of layla songs and traditions simultaneously make pleas to Allah and Mohammad while inciting the saints and spirits of local traditions This effort to find spiritual assistance is seen by many Muslims related to jahalia practices of idol worship, making it grossly un -Islamic. Musically, poetically and culturally, the ceremony is based within the contradictions between

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56 Islamic and African spiritual roots. This marginalizes the population on a religious basis that underlies other complications of race. The biological aspects of the race discussion were combined with the economic distinctions between the G nawa and the Berber, creating n egroid lower classes and further solidifying the Gnawa outside of a national identity. Grame wrote, for example, in 1970 that: If the Gnawa preserve their negroid appearances it is becau se, as Carleton Coon puts it, wherever or however they live, the Berbe rs refuse to mate with the Negroid lower classes [despite their symbiotic relationship] In other words, the members of the Gnawa cult belong to what might reasonably be termed a scheduled caste, and indeed this can be said of most itinerant Moroccan musi cians, white or black (Grame 1970: 77 -9). Because of the slave trade under the Berber empire and the color differences between the Berbers and the black Gnawa, segregation continued until recent times. Since they could not share a racial identity with the Berbers or the Arabs due to their constructed race, class and geographic history, it was not until the Gnawa cultural commodification earned the respect of the foreign audience that they entered the Moroccan national debate. After the advent of recording technologies and the opening up of the unique music to the rest of Moroccan society, the negative resonances of the Gnawa cult were removed and the groups prominence began to present its ability to artistically represent the changing image of Morocco. Th ere was, however, an intermediary step. Public street performances introduced much of Morocco to the music and culture of this subaltern population and while the dances and songs were an effort to gain more clients in need of a layla ceremony, the singing and drumming provided spectacle and entertainment for domestic tourists and market -goers as they spent their days shopping on the square.

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57 Taking Music to the Streets Gnawa musicians historically made a living as traveling performers, moving from city to city around southern Morocco. Marrakechs Jma al -Fna remains a popular example, and a major hub, for these activities. Within this market square there is always a colorful inundation of music, storytelling, and snake charmers intended for domestic and inter national tourists alike (Figure 3 7). Philip Schuyler describes the circles, or haqli, of listeners in the Jma al -Fna as a space to attract all sorts of entertainers acrobats, magicians, fortune tellers, gamblers, and so forth. He writes that [Jma] al-Fna is a place of mediation and transition, where rural Morocco becomes urban, and where North Africa meets Europe (1979: 32). This reading of the performance spaces carved out of the market square have not changed in the 30 years since Schuyler wrote these words, and the processes that he describes for the rwais, Berber musicians, mirror those of the Gnawa. The Gnawa popularity grew through these market performances over time and, while the layla still exists, they are the most public endeavor aimed to ward visitors to the city, yet the process of transformation for the Gnawa moved beyond the market squares, as Chapter 4 outlines below. The street acts involve the dress, dancing, and some of the musical instrumentation and chanting from the rituals (Figu re 3-8). These can be found continuously, every day in multiple spots around large markets, keeping the Gnawa visible, and therefore in the minds of the Moroccan population. The focus of the music seen in the markets is not upon a spiritual transcendence. Instead the priority is economic, as is demonstrated by the hats immediately and aggressively held open anytime a tourist photographs the ensemble. The chants are not the same as those used to incite possession and trance, and instead the colorful dance a nd costumes are of primary importance. The dance involves leaping up and down, bending at the knees in an acrobatic fashion, while continuing a beat on the quraqib. Along with the dancers, other musicians beat a pulse on the

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58 tbal, a large drum of Berber or igin carried by a shoulder strap (Figures 3 -9 and 3-10). The tbal is used in the layla ceremony, but only in the opening entrance to the house (the dakhla) and the preliminary blessing of the space. Because of these two functions, it is primarily considere d to be an outdoor instrument. The hajhuj is not present and while the music is not sacred, trance is often acted out as entertainment, much to the dismay of layla maalems. The Essaouira Gnawa people claim that this is an example of the current problems, especially in Marrakesh, where the trance is often debased even acted out as mere entertainment when it should be preserved in its ancient role as a medium strictly for healing (Rosenzveig and Wetherbee 1994: 2). It is on the streets of major market s where the music is presented and traditions revisited or manipulated. The resulting music is not necessarily identical to that of the layla, and the performers control the active process of commodifying their populations musical identity. They remove, o r reinterpret, the spiritual tradition and present it to a new audience that is unaware of the deeper involved meanings. The effect of the frozen nature of this performance is an agenda [to] ensure maintenance of cultural integrity (Dunbar -Hall 2006: 63). These street performances are not part of an overall goal to increase cultural tourism and there is no government body implementing specific activities. Yet, despite these informalities, the open venue of the town square provides an opportunity for Gnawa musicians and dancers to reinterpret their musical and spiritual performances. While walking in the Jma al -Fna one summer evening I happened upon a group of younger musicians reclining against a line of mopeds, motorcycles, and scooters as they sang loudly. One member, who was playing the hajhuj (the maalem), invited me to sit and join them. The audience that formed consisted of friends, sitting and chatting with the musicians, joining in the singing, and occasionally picking up a set of quraqeb. Th ey were dressed in jeans and t-shirts, rarely soliciting money from passing Moroccans (by this time, most tourists have

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59 found restaurants or retired to their rooms). Yet the young maalem had a business card and informed me that his group was going to one of the nearby music festivals. The implication was that they planned on sitting and performing in the street, much in the same way that they were in the square that evening. The music, in this case, was removed from ritual implications and the economic was played down (although it was still important). Here Gnawa musical practice became entertainment, both a call for friends to gather and a reason to do so. This ritual tradition -turned-economic -opportunity was being revised once more through the values of t his younger generation. Their social event was secular, only mildly (or optimistically) commercial, and very public. This presentational approach is neither fully public nor private, yet can be considered as either. This reflects a characteristic of the la yla ceremony itself: hosted in a home for invited family and special guests, the layla takes place with open doors as neighbors and strangers wander in and out. Children are able to enter, watch the ritual, and retreat to the street where they play soccer, to the entertainment of adults sitting on chairs and curbs smoking cigarettes. This manipulation of tradition is part of the long history of cultural tourism in Morocco. This tourism is not only referencing foreign visitors. When speaking to families in Fez, younger members are often dismayed that they have yet to visit the cultural glory that exemplifies Marrakech. Domestic tourism is a big business, especially in the southern areas of the country. Gnawa performances in Marrakech, and elsewhere, are not aimed solely at foreigners, and it is this domestic tourism that spread knowledge of the Gnawa musical traditions (and others) across the country. The understanding acquired by travelers, however, is dependent on the performances given by these public perf ormers. It is at this intersection where we see the significance of Dunbar-Halls note regarding the frozen nature of touristic performance. The

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60 values expressed by the performers in a public setting do not match those that are relevant in ritual. The im pact of cultural tourism in Bali is similar to Moroccos situation and is explained further here. The cultural tourism presented here is one in which the roles of tourists are set by culture bearers, and are controlled in figurative sites of levels of acc ess to experiences of Balinese performing arts. In most situations, the participation of tourists as the audiences at these events is a superficial interaction, a sampling of music and dance in condensed representations and bounded by momentariness. Often the sample is presented as a museum exhibit, frozen in a traditional past, which is emphasized by contrast with the surrounding day-to-day business of ongoing contemporary culture. In actuality, tourists at these events are unwitting witnesses to a range of cultural agendas and practices, and are present at synchronic moments in the diachrony of a living culture. In this way, they are collaborators in, and at times the instigators of, cultural change and development. (Dunbar Hall 2006: 56) This procedure shows the Gnawa in a museum-like state. It also placed a border around the music, enclosing it. The traveling musicians remove the dance and music from the ritual atmosphere and place it in a public stage for non -traditional audiences. Since the trance is faked, it moves away from a center of the performance experience and becomes entertainment. This form of musical commodification is an integral part of the Gnawa populations historical narrative, highlighting cultural differences and the active creation of the self as Other within Morocco. It also furthers the progression of the music into the countrys consciousness by taking the first steps toward enabling a national reconfiguration of the musics meanings. Moving toward a National and World Music In the case of Gnawa music, production and marketing decisions cause a change in musical and religious meaning by creating something more palatable for both the international market and the Islamic nationalistic appetites. As Swedenburg writes, world music h ype about these traditional Arab musicians tends to erase their Islamic context and make them artificially exotic. Publicity on Gnawa music generally focuses on its African roots, downplaying the fact that the lilas the healing/trance rituals which are the main occasion for Gnawa music consistently invoke Allah, the prophet Muhammad, his companions and family, and prominent Muslim saints, as well as spirits of West

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61 African origin. World music discourse stresses the African side of Gnawa culture, representing it as a Moroccan outpost of the African diaspora, in an effort to sell a cultural commonality with which world music fans can identify. At the same time, this publicity covers over the fact that Gnawa beliefs constitute a syncretic mlange involvin g the propitiation of Arab/Berber Muslim saints and West African spirits. (Swedenburg 2001: 38) Outside of the south, the nations population recognizes the Africanized Moroccan Islam, but it causes yet another contradiction one solved through the appr eciation of the Berber and Gnawa beliefs from a safe distance for orthodox Muslims. It is also one impacted by political and economic powers effectively positioning the music into a social, national, and international conversation between the population, the government, opposing religious authorities, and the international markets. Those within Morocco begin to promote the music as a national identifier because of its Islamic lyrics and belief, downplaying portions of the African spirituality. In intern ational markets, however, it is that very African -ness that catches the interests of listeners outside of the Islamic world. This manipulation of meanings, the subject of Chapter 4, occurs because of the long history of street performers who brought elem ents of the layla tradition out of the courtyards and into a public space. With the creation of these new renditions of Gnawa music, Muslims from throughout Morocco can identify with some of the popular, unique sounds coming from within their own country.

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62 Figure 3-1. A table presenting the Gnawa mluks as described by Abd ar -Rzaq, a maalem in Fez.

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63 Figure 3-2. Distribution of plucked lutes in West and Northwest Africa (Charry 1996: 8).

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64 Name Description Images Hajhuj (also Ginbri, Sintir) Three stringed semi spiked lute with a hollowed body and a camel neck membrane. Similar to the banjo with one string shorter than the other two and a membrane instead of a sound board. Figure 3 4 Quraqib Two iron places tied together on one end with a small str ap of leather. Performed with one set in each hand. Figures 3 5, 3 6 and 3 9 Tbal Large military style drum carried by a strap over the shoulder and played with one straight and one curved stick. Figures 3 9 and 3 10 Figure 3-3. Table of Gnawa instrumen ts. Figure 3-4. Abderrahim ar -Rzaq, a maalem in Fez, demonstrating the hajhuj.

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65 Figure 3-5. Abderrahim Abd ar-Rzaq and others performing on the quraqib during the opening (dakhla) portion of a layla ritual in Fez. Figure 3-6. A closer view of the quraqib.

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66 Figure 3-7. Street performers, musicians, and showmen in Marrakechs Jma al -Fna. Figure 3-8. Gnawa performers encircled by a crowd in Marrakech.

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67 Figure 3-9. Maalem Gaga (left) demonstrating the tbal in a Gnawa household as other members of his group play the quraqib. Figure 3-10. Maalem Gaga (right) playing the tbal during the entrance ( dakhla) of a layla ceremony in Fez

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68 CHAPTER 4 STRATIFICATION AND F USION: GNAWA MUSIC O N NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL STAGES Introduction The following chapter examines how nationalism and cosmopolitanism interact to create the often-cited creole or hybrid Moroccan culture. Where cosmopolitanism values a recognition and use of cultural elements from across the globe, allowing aspects of expression to cooperat e and perform in a unique situation, nationalization uses them toward an intended end. In this case, that end is a common Moroccan identity and religious authority determined by the national project. The relationship between cosmopolitanism and nationaliza tion is subtly interwoven, and the two are far from opposing poles. Instead they intercede frequently, with cosmopolitanism leading to nationalization while that created identity simultaneously provides a stage for a cosmopolitan statement. In Morocco, popular expressions of Gnawa music show both processes: celebratory music festivals highlight collaborative presentations of a definitively Moroccan and welcoming culture while bands within the recording industry demonstrate a deeper musical and cultural fu sion. The musical output itself uses the source elements in two ways: through a stratification of distinct performance styles or through a fusion of the source materials with the intention of creating a new, separate, style of music. This chapters discuss ion follows the performative spaces and presented values for these two types of musical interaction. The stratification common to short -term projects and performances exemplifies a value of cooperation while long term, or even permanent, groups create a fu sion that emphasizes a new singular voice, not differences between the source elements. This voice becomes representative of the involved group (or population).

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69 Cosmopolitanism and nationalization also point to a significant difference between versions of a local music. Just as the streets of Marrakech actively changed the values of local Gnawa music through its specific performative setting, these processes have a great effect on musical meaning through the manipulation of symbols, both embedded and adde d. National powers and international record companies impact the sounds with their immense influence. The King promotes Gnawa music as Moroccan despite its previous racial marginalization under a different ideological national project. In doing so, the Islamic lyrics and content come to the fore of the presentation. The music then assists in working to create and maintain authority by manipulating national identity through the utilization of religious solidarity. The world music industry, however, highl ights the African and syncretic elements in an attempt to strip Islamic content from the otherwise marketable spirituality of a groovy musical product (Swedenburg 2001). Each of these events nationalistic utilization of music, globalized marketing, cosmopolitanism, and internalization are feasible because of the vast effects of commodification. What began in the streets continued within the attention of national forces and global marketplaces. It is therefore necessary to discuss these larger impacts of commodification before entering into conversation about the Kings power, the Essaouira festival, and Gnawa Diffusion. The Globalization and Commodification of Musical Spirituality in Morocco The globalization and industrialization of world music has incr eased the palate of ideas available to artists, placing them into a worldwide (cosmopolitan) community. Artists and audiences are able to utilize the sounds and meanings of music that was previously unknown or inaccessible to them. And as particular artist ic communities partake in this process, they enter into an industry that removes the music from its proper place. This decontextualized separation results in commodification with varied and lasting effects on both the music makers and the

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70 listeners. Globalizations largest feat, however, may be its impressive redefinition of consumers and creators, separating the two and creating new identities in between. Schizophonic commodification (Feld 1994, Bishop 2002), the removal of the sound from its setting vi a recent technology, allows for previously unknown or unusable music to be consumed in new contexts. Religious, social and class -related distinctions are distanced and otherwise inapproachable consumer audiences not only find themselves able to listen to t hese musics, but they are able to place them into newly constructed symbolic s ituations. Post quotes McCann, describing this aspect of commodification, the study of enclosure is the study of attitudes and dispositions, in particular, commodifying attitudes and dispositions [] it is what happens when we engage in strategies of closure and separation in the way that we make sense of our experience. We close things off, ring things round, make distinctions between us and them, identify, isolate, eliminate variables, and thereby separate, distance, things from other things, people -as-things from other people -as-things, separate ourselves from acknowledgement of many of the realities of our own experience. (cited in Post 2006: 5) By closing things off and making distinctions and distances between them, commodification facilitates the process of redefinition seen across global and musical boundaries. There is a wider reach for the musicians and accompanying benefits from the promotion and attention, but the coexisting complexities quickly surface. The procedure applies to current trends in Morocco as the music of the Gnawa suddenly finds itself with the attention of the nation as symbol of its identity. Previously, the population and its expressive c ulture were restricted to local and regional spaces, popularly recognized as a commodified folkloric gesture or as a curious part of a community. This was the musics common resonance to the elite classes under the Kingdoms early project the promotion of Arab-Andalusian music discussed later. Much of this had to do with the Afro portions of their Afro -Islamic beliefs and practices spirit communication, possession rituals, musical trance settings were not communicable with mainstream Islam that le ft the Gnawa on the skirts of a

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71 Moroccan national identity, but firmly solidified in local contexts. This local level of social organization overlapped with t he more populous Berber groups and while the Berbers remain a part of the perceived national racia l continuum, the Gnawa were outside of that simplistic and dialectic discourse. One often ignored agent of change has been the communion between many Sufi and Gnawa religious beliefs. The importance of the experiential, and therefore the musics religious implications and trance -inciting abilities, link the two closely together. As the Islamic world began to revere the mysticism of Sufi tradition, often though a similar process of musical commodification and international exaltation in the global market, t he rela ted elements of Gnawa music lost some of their exoticism in the eyes of the greater Islamic population. The association of concepts of African and blackness, however, still hindered national integration of the Gnawa until cultural commodification op ened an opportunity to de -emphasize those segments, expanding some symbolic meanings while limiting others. For example, i nternational audiences could take the spiritual in the Gnawa local identity in a neo -mystical sense. Europeans, Africans and Americans make the trip to major festivals to experience the spirituality as it is embodied or invoked in musical performance. Festival and regional organizers do not highlight the Islamic elements of performance, although the musicians themselves rarely move far from the Muslim (or Afro-Muslim) subject matter, often singing prayers or evocations and Islamic texts. At the same time, however, both groups go to great efforts pointing out the universal spirituality the music invokes and communicates to a prepared i nternational audience. Nationalistic Uses of Commodification The idea of Moroccan national identity conceived of Gnawa music by prominently displaying the Islamic nature of the texts and beliefs while downplaying African spirituality. Thus, there is mainte nance of the mystical nature of the music without the Gnawa ritualistic and

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72 historical implications. By de-emphasizing the African vis--vis the spiritual, and since Gnawa spirituality is linked to African identity the door was opened for the Gnawa to bec ome a part of the national community. The Islamic side of the artistic expression such as texts, the festival performance appropriations of Arab classical and popular instruments (the ud, flutes, keyboards) and Moroccan linguistic characteristics were highlighted, making connections between the Gnawa and the Arab/Berber cultural tradition. With this, t he creation of a tangible musical product devoid of and no longer implicitly connected to an African racialized identity became feasible due to the commodif ication by performance and recording. In mediated formats, it is possible to take the recorded sound and interpret it from a nu mber of possible perspectives. The cultural meanings of this new aural specific performance context can be reunited with the soun d, manipulated in any number of fashions or left out as human creativity takes over, opting instead for somethin g aurally and conceptually new. This processs political usefulness in defining and presenting Moroccan and Moroccan Islam, described more f ully below, is a primary factor in the actual narrative of popular musics trajectory since independence (Baldassarre 2003). The connections between power and cultural expression are of utmost importance in realizing the potential impacts of commodificatio n. Because of the presentation of hybridization as a national value, the element of Gnawa can be added to the concept of Moroccan and provide a political tool for the Kings attempts at creating an identity. This is despite the uncertain Gnawa genea logy that places the group biologically and historically outside the national discou rse and instead emphasizes a (new) cultural connection. Historically, the Gnawa were not conceptualized as Moroccan; they were marginalized as slaves and descendants of sla ves with religious beliefs that, at best, were on the

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73 fringe of Islam. Then, with the manipulation of material and musical symbols available after musical commodification and the expansion of the locality of consumers, the opportunity came to deem the musi c distinctly Moroccan and specifically not Algerian, West African, or anything else. Gnawa music could be reinterpreted as part of the national culture As Gnawa music entered the music industry it began to lose its exclusive link to a locally defined commu nity and was distanced from local and regional participants. Today, the musicians who play this music come from anywhere around Morocco, North or West Africa, France, Germany, or the world as a whole. What they play is not necessarily authentic to the Gn awa people of rural southern Morocco, but it will instead represent any number of consumers globally who have come to understand world music in a postmodern context. As Feld states, what rhetorically sets world beat apart is often the assertion of a new, p ostmodern species of authenticity, one constituted not in isolation or difference but in creolization proper, an authenticity precisely guaranteed by its obvious blendings, its synthesis and syncretism. (1994: 266) This postmodern species of authentici ty and creolization proper occur not just in the international realm, but also within the national and local experience. It is the recognition of the international in local contexts that completes the cycle in this case and permits the national consum er, previously unable to participate in Gnawa music production or consumption, to see this no -longer marginalized commodity as part of the Moroccan national identity. But in a kingdom such as Morocco, the concept of national music falls under the influence of governmental powers attempting to maintain their authority in this case through a distinct creation of a national Islamic space. The ways in which the King uses his power to develop and sustain authority illuminate the later promotion of a specific n ational identity, and it is here that Arab -Andalusian and Gnawa music became important tools.

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74 Censorship and the Need for a Created Religious Authority, or Moroccan Islam Article 19 of the Moroccan constitution defines, or enshrines the King as the Commander of the Faithful ( Economist 2006), a term that assists only in creating both contradiction and conflict throughout the nation. The government often employs this religious opportunity of contextualization in an effort to control both the reformist1 and the intellectualized secularist opposition. Contributing to the effectiveness of these abilities is the influence of the government -run media. Through the use of news stations and popular entertainment outlets, the Kings agenda can portray any Islam ically rooted opposition as an extremist threat, thereby taking advantage of the resulting negative meanings in the popular press. Likewise, any member of the French-speaking educated elite, Muslim or not, can easily be converted, in popular perception, in to an imposing secularist working to destroy the national morality. Just as his position as the defender of Moroccan Islam helps against various forms of opposition, it grants the King license over cultural expression. The ways in which the government pr omotes and represses international and indigenous musics through festivals and events illuminates the attempts to create national identity. Frequently these use religious rhetoric that defends and upholds the ideal of a Moroccan Islam. Beyond the ideal of Moroccan Islam, however, little is stated regarding what the religious practice is, aside from the apparent popular traditions and the fact that they are observed within the nations borders. Thus, its ideological propagation seems to solely serve a po litical agenda of cultural manipulation. Occurrences of these processes are historical and yet appear within current events; samples of the King wielding and reinforcing his political -via-religious authority appear in international popular 1 Reformist rea dings of Islamic theological and political thought situate themselves alongside a literal interpretation of the Quran. While most variations of this policy (including the Justice and Charity party, banned in Morocco) advocate a peaceful protest against a uthoritarian power, they are often smeared by claims of terrorist activity. This practice will likely increase with the growth of the recently renamed Al Qaeda Organization of the Islamic Maghreb stretching across North Africa.

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75 news sources and the intentional Islamic ideal deserves discussion. This creation and manipulation is subsequently applied to the nationalization and internationalization of Gnawa music. This state -run media portrays the kingship in religious terms. Hassan II appeared wit h a Quran on major religious holidays in a show of legitimization through ritual, although his actual presence in the Islamic life of Moroccans as defined by Munson is negligible: the crucial point is that the king and the monarchy are at best of margin al significance in the popular celebrations of the Prophets birthday in twentieth -century Morocco. [O]ne should not confuse the religious significance attributed to the king by Moroccos government -controlled media with the religious significance attrib uted to him by ordinary Moroccans. (Munson 1993: 124) These and similar attempts at the creation of religious authority not only allow for the repressive control of Islamist groups, they also help control secular opposition under the mantle of defending the integrity of Moroccos specific form of the religion. As Kramer writes in The New Yorker, his dynastic title as the twenty -second Alawite king was Commander of the Faithful, which gave him a kind of papal authority over Moroccan Muslims and meant that he could keep both the Islamist extremists and the Marxist republicans at bay by eliminating, in the name of a specifically Moroccan Islam, anyone who challenged his authority. (Kramer 2006) It remains, however, that the King must create this ideal of a spe cifically Moroccan Islam and do so in a way that includes the majority of the nations population, improving the religious significance attributed to him by ordinary Moroccans. Otherwise, his religious status would erode while he is seen as not a defen der of the (national?) religion, but a repressor of freedoms. In order to achieve this end, censorship and government media act as mechanisms to portray official policies and actions in religious language and rhetoric. In one particular case, an educated M uslim economist and journalist, Aboubakr Jama, impeded too closely upon the three

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76 taboo subjects in the Moroccan free press: attacking the person of the king, undermining Islam as the state religion, and protesting the occupati on of the Western Sahara (ibid.: 6). One politically interesting case was a piece in Le Journal written by Jama entitled The Prophet Muhammad, the Symbol, the Passions regarding the heated Muslim response to Danish cartoons featuring images of the Prophet Mohammad. Jama was offended by the foreign papers drawings, however he also staunchly opposed the censorship and blasphemy laws common in his area of the world. He instead supported each Moroccans right to be offended, or not. His publisher included what was described as a miniscule photo of a man holding the Danish paper, and after deciding not to take that risk, Jama attempted to ink the copies before it hit newsstands. Inevitably, a few snuck through. The protest against Le Journal that followed was orchestrated by gover nment news stations portraying the paper as a force making Moroccans lose respect for the sacred values of their country. Soon a number of city vans had brought angry protesters from the interior market areas to call for holy war, most of whom Jama beli eves thought that they were protesting in front of the Danish Consulate. The intentional use of illiterate protesters for the sake of creating a media -induced anti -secularist sentiment through appeals to religious language demonstrates this created monar chical authority. As Kramer writes, given that Mohammed VI has no affection at all for his countrys Islamists, it proved to Jama that the state was now willing to use its own enemies to destroy him (ib id.: 5). The populations respect for the Kings re ligious authority comes more from his status as sharif (descendant of the Prophet, in this case via Ali) than his political role as caliph (Munson 1993: 128). His baraka, or blessing, holds weight, and many believe that rule under such a man, however re pressive or unjust, is better than the alternative. Hassan II, when asked by Amnesty International about his alleged human rights violations, responded that, Every head of

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77 state has his secret garden ( The Economist 1990). Despite such authoritarian polic ies and practices, people continue to follow his ideas creating religious and social tradition, often times with visible zeal. The behavior falls in line with a common understanding of classical themes of Islamic political theory, notably the idea that th ose who hold power are typically unjust and brutal, but even an unjust and brutal king is better than the disorder that occurs in the absence of a strong ruler If fear of Hassan IIs secret garden is a key source of his power, so is the fear of the chaos that might ensue if h e were overthrown. (Munson 1993: 143) Nationalistic Musical Promotion and the Essouira Festival of World Music In a more specifically musical sense, these same efforts working for a controlled Moroccan Islam affect the public portray als of culture. Just after independence in 1956, the high music was the nuba, an Arab-Andalusian song form highlighting Spanish influences and an Classical Arabic style2 a highly cosmopolitan music. The state run Radio Nationale Morocaine and the Orche stre Nationale promoted the nuba as Moroccos cla ssical music (Baldassarre 2003: 82). These tools also presented other music from Egypt and the Near East, such as the asri, and Egyptian modern song style. The mass production of these sounds influenced Moroccan appetites as well as the musicians themselves. There were, however, other performers working with the distinct local rhythms, tim bres, and sarcastic lyrics peculiar to the music of the Marrakech area, thus shaping a kind of vaudeville that expresse d very precisely and even with a humorous vein the desires, frustrations, and hope s of the lay population. (ibid.: 83) These forms of popular music in the 1960s did not follow the same ideological path promoted by the political powers. While the Kings goa l was the consolidation of a national cultural identity, whose musical manifestation was represented by the Moroccan classical music tradition 2 The Classical style ref erenced originated in Baghdad during the height of the Abassyd empire. The music was focused on the ud, qanun, nay, and riqq, later adding the Kaman (violin). The more recent versions of this style that are still heavily influential came from Cairo duri ng the height of the Egyptian film industry in the 1940s and 50s. A small Western orchestral string section was added and the sound was embodied by the famous Umm Kulthum. See Racy 2003 and Danielson 1997 for more information on Egyptian popular music st yle.

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78 preserved in the National Music Conservatory, (ibid.) this other form of music instead identified with the popu lation as a whole. Even more than the classical music of the conservatory, the government promoted the patriotic song ( oughnya al wataniya ) as an emblem of the national sentiment. With simple lyric rhetoric and style, the genre served a definitive purpos e of channeling the imagination and creativity of the masses toward expressive forms strictly useful to the l ines of political power (ibid.: 84). Arabic utilizes the term watan to mean homeland, a word commonly seen in current Palestinian discourse. With the recent push to satisfy democratic foreign states, Morocco now labels its subjects muwatanun, or those who belong to the homeland, homelanders. The term is new and most Moroccans ignore it, instead keeping with the term subjects, or those who belong to the King. That the patriotic song was presented through popular media outlets demonstrates an early tendency for the Kingdom to create an ideal cultural Morocco. This is despite the fact that the song style was, as Baldassarre writes, a degenerate outcome derived from the centuries -old tradition of panegyrical chant in tribal Morocco void of artistic content (ibid.). The specific goal here was to promote a monolithic, clear -cut, and reassuring image of the newly born State of Morocco, in contra st to the previous French conceptualization of the area. Over time, with the increased fame attributed to Gnawa, Berber, and other musicians unique to Morocco3, the national attitude to ward these folkloric styles changed dramatically. Even though these forms of music were experiencing the creative effects of globalization, the source material and core identity was based within the local community. Social taste was not necessarily aligned with the types of expression held aloft by those in power, and inste ad it 3 Similar localized styles of music were active in Algeria during the same time with ra as the primary example. The political significance of these sounds differ, reacting to a vastly different set of governmental circumstances.

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79 congregated around more localized and familiar sounds. After noticing that Arab -Andalusian music was failing to connect with a large portion of the citizenry, the government (and others economically tied to the success of either a national sound or musical identity) began to address the gap. While Arab and Arab -Andalusian music still maintained an elite status, these other forms found themselves promoted in a wider popular context. In the 1960s, groups like Nass al -Ghaiwan and others brought an awa reness of rock music and cultural movements to Morocco. As their restylings of local forms incorporated foreign musical and extra -musical elements from instruments to commentary, their popularity grew throughout the country. The influences from the distant London studios worked in conjunction with British and American rock and jazz artists who came to the country for meditation, inspiration, and a novel experience. The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Ornette Coleman, Pharoah Saunders, and ot hers made excursions that gave birth to later collaborative projects projects that helped these artists to find their own personal voices, but that also left an imprint on the aesthetic of the local communities. Public performances with these visitors, a s well as the general rumors and awareness that the music was valued by these figures, began to incite communal excitement around Gnawa and Berber artistic tradition. As the internationalized versions of Gnawa and Berber music rose in popularity, the governing forces saw that their country -wide presentations of Arab-Andalusian music only engaged specific audiences those who either identified with the sounds because of their (northern) geographic location and Arab or Spanish heritages, or because of their elite economic class. The vast majority of Moroccans, being of a lower class and less inclined to situate themselves as Arabs, largely ignored the art music, instead opting for music that drew upon their local traditions. This remains the case with the globalized fusions produced in Casablanca

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80 and France that still reference Gnawa or Berber instruments, vocal styles, or musical forms. To account for this disparity between the attempted national ideal and the reality, the promotional goals had to shift. The government began to emphasize the fact that Gnawa music and many other Berber forms are lyrically Islamic through major events celebrating the local (and increasingly international) sound. This is in contrast to the practices of the Fez Festival of S acred Music, another annual event, where the highlight was on Arab (and occasionally Spanish) musicians of the classical Islamic genre. In the 1990s, the Essaouira Festival of World Music began, using a small beach town outside Marrakech. This and similar events of a smaller scale present a new perspective on the reconfigurations of Gnawa music. They not only celebrate friendships between musicians, but they also facilitate and inspire new directions within the music itself. The program of the 2006 festival, for example presents the philosophy as the following: the 2006 program affirms more than ever the original philosophy of the Festival, which consists in inviting the best international artists of the moment and confronting them with the music of the Gnawa masters. Then, let the magic work and you get intense moments of musical improvisation. Mixing all styles of music, the Essaouira Festival leaves the artists and audience with unique musical emotions, special moments of sharing through the magic of music. Keeping this incredible experience close to their hearts, the artists will never forget the City of Wind, which is now presented as a neo -Woodstock, an inspiring place where they can come and create new sounds. (http://www.festival -gnaoua.co.ma ) The space provided on this popular stage allows for a worldwide musical collaboration where the previously inherent inconvenient connotations can be left aside. The primary goal of the event remains the combination of previous musical styles, a cosmopolitan re interpretation of tradition. The organizers explain this point further as they mention recent changes in the festivals content: with the experience of the 8 past years, the 9th edition of the Festival marks a turning point and turns to new sources of inspiration, such as electro, proving that it can find new ways to move on with its times. For it is out of the confrontation of different artistic universes that the magic of the Festival arises, transforming Essaouira into a musical lab, an open -air

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81 studio where the musicians come and share their passion Essaouira offers to those who look for spirituality, a true music and timeless references, the opportunity to meet and be enriched with words, sounds and feelings. (http://www.festival -gnaoua.co.ma ) The open-air studio where musicians and consumers search for spirituality and timeless references does create a neo -Woodstock, but one that presents intended Moroccan values. The spirituality found by most tourists at the festival is far from the transcend ental saint and spirit connection of the layla. While general ideas of trance and heightened states of awareness may exist in the festivals, especially in the late evening performances where dancing engulfs the smaller town squares, specific Gnawa ideas of spirit possession and jinn communication are largely absent. Significantly, groups singing Islamic songs, or presenting Islamic ideas while working with American jazz artists are placed at the forefront, often opening for larger international stars. These maalems and their ensembles then perform with the stars, overlaying their two disparate musics. This example of the cosmopolitan values, expressed by the festival organizers (and therefore the governmental directives), emphasizes the open and cooperative Moroccan aesthetic. The musical aesthetic here is one of stratification, where the two groups are on stage performing simultaneously. Most commonly, the maalem and his troupe will begin a song, allowing the groove to settle. Then, the foreign jazz musician will play over the beat, often improvising. Despite the fact that the entire foreign ensemble may perform, there is little actual musical interaction between the two groups as the Gnawa ensemble continues with the same groove, creating a characteristic be d of sound. These layered performances are desirable because of their simplicity, and there is an exchange of creative energy. They do not, however, typically foster the long -term cooperation depicted by the festivities, despite the few isolated collaborat ive recording sessions since the 1960s.

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82 The African and even Sufi aspects of this spirituality, the trance, and the Gnawa music in a form closest to that of the layla, however, only appear after the concerts conclude at 2 or 3AM. The locations of these sta ges are buried within the city, occupying a small market square instead of the massive main stages. One pragmatic outcome of this venue chance is the creation of a more intimate space, crowded and full of dancing patrons. Another result is the marginalizat ion of the practice due to its syncretic combination of Sufi Islam and African performance tradition. Thus, when Gnawa music portrays the values linked with the national hopes of collaborative and Islamic identity, it receives a prominence rare for such a population. But when it reverts back to its historical roots in African spirituality, trance, and spirit possession even if these are just symbolized through ecstatic dance it is hidden, though still available mirroring the overnight nature of the rit ual itself. Just as Dunbar-Hall (2006) described earlier in reference to Bali market squares, and as was applicable to Marrakechs Jma al -Fna, local music here becomes world music by redefining itself through a new context (Guilbault 2006: 139 -40). These younger performers listen to Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and popular Gnawa bands instead of exclusively following the carriers of past tradition. They participate in national festivals and with international recording artists, manipulating the sound of the local Gnawa scene by expanding it into a national and international phenomenon. Also, because of differences between the values and ends of these reorganizations, there is a symbolic difference between the national and international stages. Each separa tely turns back to redefine the local music, but the focus is not the same as one works for authority through identification and the other promotes a product for a market. The end result, however, is a newly born importance for the Gnawa people in both theoretic spaces. Their music, religious spirituality, and cultural impact in the Moroccan dialogue

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83 is recognized through a new set of semantic meanings where Gnawa images, instruments, grooves and identity associate not as a marginalized community, but as on e firmly within the conversation of Moroccan nationalism. International Fusion and Diffusion The previous stages highlight the cosmopolitan ideals presented by Moroccan musicians, the government, and the people themselves. Individuals and groups of various backgrounds come together to work on projects that combine their talents to engage in a new vision. The end result is frequently a collaborative effort overlapping distinct styles, with some lasting influences sifting through. Pharoah Sanderss work with Maleem Mahmoud Ghania, or Robert Plant and Jimmy Pages album No Quarter exemplify the available recordings of this stratification. The foreign musicians come, experience, and work with set Gnawa maalems, but in the end product, the Moroccans begin and end their songs just as they would, had the visitors not been present. The portion of the recording that creates new interest for the international audience is the saxophone, vocal, or guitar lines placed atop the previous composition. This form of musicality differs greatly from the fusion seen in groups more akin to Gnawa Diffusion or with the work of Hassan Hakmoun. Here the influences go into a sound distinct from the source materials, interwoven in both the creative process and product. These groups frequently fall into categories of world beat and they often bring an active global commentary. Whereas the cosmopolitan sounds from Moroccos festivals celebrated the collaborative strengths, these integrated versions of Moroccan music fall more in line with a Bob Marley influenced African universalism. While the artists do not deny their Islamic beliefs or traditions, they hold the spiritual portions of the African, Gnawa, and Sufi beliefs above any specific religious connotations through their music.

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84 Although the commodification of the layla and other local Moroccan traditions works here in much the same way as the nationalizing recontextualization, the difference in the end result shows the impact of the process. Artists such as the members of Gnawa Diffus ion, for example, interact directly with various forms of popular, sacred, and traditional music. Members may come from disparate situations economically, geographically, even nationally, but because the periods of collaboration are longer, even permanent, the created band is not a layering of separate entities, but instead it is the combination of parts and experiences into one unified and integrated whole. Meanings held deep within the individual influences are pieced together to make complex musical and lyric statements, often inducing heated political or social commentary. Just as was the case in the nationalistically charged festivals, however, it is the commodification of musical styles through recording and performance over time that allows the new performance styles. Within the music itself there are two main characteristics dominated by non -local, sounds: melody and groove. It is here that the combinatory effects of the music industry are most easily heard. It is also here that the Gnawa sound mainta ins its presence, but after the inclusion of hip hop, reggae and funk beats, it is more a character than a structural necessity. A certain degree of familiarity with the unique instruments and styles linked to the Gnawa is required to discern specific trai ts and meanings for international audiences. Gnawa Diffusion, for example, holds its Gnawa identity close to its sound, referencing it both abstractly and directly. But while on tour from Paris to Tokyo, it is no doubt their world beat aspects that keep the audience dancing. At multiple old city CD stalls in Marrakech, Gnawa Diffusions newest album, Souk System (Figure 4-1), was the offering of choice when I would ask the owner for a recommendation. However, the songs are far from the nearby street performer acts and they have little in common with the

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85 styles heard at a layla Gnawa Diffusions popularity in Fez, an imperial city in the mountains of the north most commonly associated with Arab -Andalusian music, demonstrates the impact of a nationalistic c haracter based upon the Gnawas expanded locality. The songs on Souk System, and those of other prominent Gnawa -oriented bands from Morocco, Algeria, France, Germany and elsewhere, re -orient the sounds of northern Moroccos Andalusian and Islamic history w ith southern Moroccos African and Saharan past by manipulating western song forms to include local melodic and rhythmic color. Another scope of fruitful research could easily be conducted to include the complex linguistic content and symbolism as musician s code-switch between French, English, Berber and Arabic dialects, each with its own social and political implications. The references made through the instrumental and vocal channels of production retain their significance with the national audience as we ll as with the large Moroccan and North African diaspora across Europe. Thus a national element is strong and expands internationally with the participation of a national emigrant audience outside of the country. In Gnawa Diffusions combination of styles and genres, instrumentation becomes important for the retention of symbolic and musical content. The use of the ud as a melodic instrument alongside the electric guitar, the hajhuj in conjunction with the electric bass in an overlaid groove, and the quraqib blended with a drum sets hi -hat mesh the sounds into something cohesive. It remains necessary, however, to highlight each Moroccan instrument during specific times in order to keep them from being lost in the mix. Through a thick analysis of musical integrations, it becomes possible to examine the deeper interactions between local and international sound s.

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86 Gnawa Diffusion uses musical expectations and insinuations to highlight their use of Arabic, sub-Saharan, and international techniques. Middle Eas tern colors come to the fore through the use of extended melodic phrases and the instrumentation from the classical Egyptian takht ensemble. By sonically importing, first, the instruments from early and mid -20th century popular music, notably the ud (plu cked fretless lute), violin, riqq (small tambourine), and darbouka (hourglass shaped drum), and, second, the characteristics of the maqam system of melodic construction, the listener finds something either unmistakably recognizable or exotic, depending on their background. Similarly, the fact that the groups standard instrumentation, harmonic structure, lyrical content, and visual image is not far from that of reggae or another diasporic genre brings the groups sound to an international audience. Figure 4-2 shows the melodic introduction of Itchak al -Baz using the ud and the guitar together. The sound of the electric guitars sustain over the uds tremolo on the quarter notes of the second repetition is unique, with both instruments playing a melody tha t would be as comfortable in a classical Arabic setting as it is here. The modal nature of the E minor passage manages to stay within a classical character even while following a western harmonic progression (E-A-B-E, I-IV-V-I). The focus is instead on t he guitar/ud orchestration. The bass part plays a role here, as it avoids an outright statement of the harmonic rhythm and instead accents a polyphonic and rhythmically active forward motion. While polyphony is not common in the Andalusian or Islamic musi c of northern Morocco, this particular passage accentuates the polyphonic syncopated character of a typical hajhuj line (Figure 4 -7, discussed later), referencing the more recent trend of playing ud, flute or other melodic instruments (including guitar) o ver the hajhuj a practice of linking sub-Saharan and Arabic styles seen in the stratified presentations of previously discussed projects.

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87 Later in the chorus of same song, the solo ud takes over from the vocals. Figure 4-3 shows the instrument used in a way stylistically and idiomatically standard for Arabic classical music, however, the major pentatonic arpeggiations mirror the ch ordal outlines later in Figure 4 -4, and both are far from the classical modality employed with the solo ud. The pattern cont inues in the bridge where the ud simply moves down the arpeggios while using more classical rhythmic material, fitting the sound into the harmonic and melodic Western scheme. In Barakat, Gnawa Diffusion aligns itself with the traditional Gnawa sound b y staying within scales typical to the hajhuj (D-E-G-Ab-C-D) for the entirety of the song and adding the quraqib and hajhuj. The quraqib here play articulated 16th-notes, whereas within the layla setting the rhythmic drive of the music comes from the subtl e interplay between an 8th-note triplet figure with an added 16th-note (Figure 4 -5) and 16th-notes. Barakat removes the fluid motion between these two rhythms in order to solidify the groove, setting the quraqib into the predetermined evened out rhythm ic positions of the reggae infused drum set. The same procedure of evening out affects the hajhuj rhythm. The soloistic character of the hajhuj remains, especially in the open ing (Figure 4-6), but the difference between the hajhuj line in Barakat and the one in the live Essaouira performance of Bhar el -Wafa by Maalem Mohamed Kouyou (Figure 4-7), for example, is the prevalence of the 16th/8th/16th-note pattern in the groove of the latter. This rhythmic motive shifts, like the quraqib, between a duple (16th-note based) feel and a loose triplet throughout, although Kouyou actually does use a distinct triplet figure to end the phrase. The looseness of rhythm in the hajhuj and quraqib, not dissimilar from other African-diaspora music like the Brazilian sam ba, is missing from Barakat since the figure is de-emphasized as the Moroccan instruments are placed into a new context with their foreign counterparts. The ornamentations and melodic progression characterize instruments used

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88 in much popular Moroccan music, like the ud and synthesizer, and the entire song itself is in the key of D minor, but with a flat-5. Because of the A-flat, there is no dominant ha rmony and the instrumental passages embellish the mode with their distinctive turns, tremolos and sound. Comparing Figures 4 -6 and 4-7 show that the bass does not follow what a hajhuj would typically play, and instead it holds together the songs groove. Moroccan-ness is utilized, even championed, but it is no longer the core of the musical product It is instead a part of the overall sound, shifted to fit into a new song form. The presence of the bass and drum set affect the use of the hajhuj and quraqib in the internationalized settings and it is how all of these instruments are reconfigured that cr eates a new style. Looking back at the live Mohamed Kouyou hajhuj line, the syncopated nature of the rhythm pervades, especially in reference to the 16th/8th/16th-note figure. To continue the forward motion, the second half of the main figure leaves off th e first 16th-note and what remains carries close ties to the bass lines heard in James Browns Sex Machine and other representative examples of his style of funk. The Gnawa Diffusion bass player, therefore, does not have to shift far from a Western musical style in order to compliment the Gnawa groove. In Figure 4-2 the bass leaves off the downbeat, instead accenting the 16th-note syncopations. Later in the chorus of the same song, however, Figure 4 -3 demonstrates a return to a more downbeat -heavy playing style, although the structural notes, usually roots of chords, are on 2 and 4 and line up with the guitars reggae pattern. The harmony is now major, and even the ud is playing in pentatonic, lending its timbre and momentarily ignoring its modal traditio n. These passages illuminate the techniques used by Gnawa Diffusion to separate each sound from its past uses, either from the Gnawa layla or those of Arabic classical music. They depict examples of musical fusion, taking the cosmopolitan experiences of band members f urther into

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89 the creation of a unique sound. Where the festival setting supports a primacy of cooperation, allowing opportunities for efforts in combining existing styles in a symbolic expression of idealized diversity, these groups create their own voice, fashioned from the popular and traditional sounds available to the musicians. Both processes are within the commonly mentioned hybrid quality of Moroccan society, but they remain distinctly separate and their specifics elude most descriptions.

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90 Figure 4-1. Souk System album cover

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91 Figure 4-2. Itchak al -Baz: ud/electric guitar and electric bass Figure 4-3. Itchak al -Baz: ud and electric bas s Figure 4-4. Itchak al -Baz: ud \ Figure 4-5. Baraket: quraqib

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92 Figure 4-6. Baraket: electric guitar (2nd time only) and hajhuj Figure 4-7. Bhar el-Wafa: hajhuj

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93 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION: DISCUSSI NG SUFISM AND RELIGI OUS FUSION IN LOCAL CONTEXTS Explaining the difference between Sufi traditions in Fez, Abderrahim al -Marrakechi told me: there is one source of water, the inspiration and knowledge of Allah, which pours itself down into the garden. What it waters, however, is a bed of beautiful flowers, each with its own distinctive color. Different people are attracted to different flowers, and he, Abderrahim, loves all of the colors. Therefore, he dedicates his life not only to the music and religious traditions of the Hamadcha, but to learning and performing the chants and songs of all Moroccan Sufi brotherhoods. Abderrahims position as a main stage festival performer gives him some liberty unknown to many other Sufi chanters. His musical innovations, combining and refiguring traditions in large, public settings, draw criticism from members of these other Islamic orientations. One Gnawa maalem echoed a common sentiment when he discards al -Marrakechi as a businessman, only concerned about making money. He takes no interest in hearing Abderrahims perspectives on Gnawa music because he is not Gnawa. Chapte r 3 outlined ceremonial and historical elements of Gnawa practice and belief. Chapter 4 began to examine how pieces of this cultural system became ideological symbols for both a nationalistic project and a burgeoning Moroccan presence in the international music industry. These vertical relationships between the Gnawa and the nation and beyond are important for redefining the social space occupied by the musicians and believers, yet few maalems perform in the major festivals and even fewer earn reputations i n France or beyond. It is, therefore, necessary to inspect how the effects of commodification of Gnawa music and spirituality manipulate the social position of Gnawi in more localized settings These social positions are not dependent only on the Gnawa the mselves. The religious, ritual, and

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94 performance communities of Moroccos cities are diverse and interconnected. The Gnawa work alongside and against different Sufi groups to earn popularity, recognition, and spiritual or moral influence, and the interactio ns between these groups is of utmost importance in understanding urban realities. Moroccan Islam, Revisited As mentioned in Chapter 1, Sufism in Morocco is often depicted in monolithic terms. Ethnographies that detail local manifestations of popular Isl am or Sufism carry titles like Moroccan Islam or Moroccan Sufism. They often take one of two directions: first, sets of local religious behaviors such as saint veneration are conceived as central pillars in a homogenous Sufism. In the second view, one local manifestation is subject to a singular deep ethnography. Many of these depictions neglect the discursive traditions that, over time, have created multiple identifications of Islam. Only recently have authors, Earle H. Waugh, for example, begun to acc ount for long-standing and novel differences and interactions between multiple brotherhoods. The degree of sacredness for ritual performance comprises a focal point for productive cooperation between brotherhoods, but it also supplies contesting organizati ons with grounds for critique. In this chapter I will first outline some of the strengths of viewing interactions between local and international facets of Islam, each with a competing purpose. Ethnomusicology can provide a fruitful perspective on the cre ation of these relationships because of the importance of commodified musical production and dissemination. The Sufi dhikr, a personal or communal act of remembrance, central to all forms of Sufism, is practiced in a number of fashions depending on the specific group. Discourse about dhikr helps to shape the relationships within and between religious adepts and organizations. Therefore, this chapter will be dedicated to contextualizing some of these specific differences between dhikr traditions and the inno vations undertaken by

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95 the Tijaniyya, Aissawa, and Gnawa brotherhoods in Fez, Morocco. The final portion of this chapter will discuss how debates surrounding these religious practices expand into claims regarding the validity of these paths. Contention bet ween brotherhoods combines with representations in the press to create complex and fluid conceptions of how a group is or is not appropriate, or even to be considered Sufi. As a point of clarification, I use path or the Arabic tariqa, in order to refer to the set of beliefs, traditions, history, and to the extended community of Tijaniyya or Aissawa believers, for example. While the status of each group is contested by various critics (each other included), I will use parallel terms, highlighting the str uctural similarities and variations between them. The word brotherhood is reserved for local manifestations of these organizations. The brotherhood will be the Tijaniyya or Aissawa adepts who gather together for prayers on any given day, or the Gnawa who perform under the same maalem. Private and Public Religious Performances Tijaniyya Claims to Spiritual Authority One of the many significant practices in Sufism is the dhikr. The term in Arabic means recollection, remembrance, or memory. While it is cen tral to many Muslims, dhikr takes various forms in each Sufi brotherhood. This physical and communal practice of religion provides a space for both the declaration of religious identity and a distinct statement of borders, either forbidding or including ot hers. As a point of departure, two of these groups, the Tijaniyya and the Aissawa, consider themselves Sufis. The Gnawa, conversely, do not. A description of relevant characteristics and contexts for dhikr practice in these three paths illuminates how suc h practices translate into fodder for both cooperative engagement between brotherhoods and debate challenging the validity of religious beliefs and ritual traditions.

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96 Spiritual authority and exclusivity, based on claims to a closeness to the Prophet via Ahmed Tijani, define the Tijaniyya practice and beliefs. The Tijaniyya brotherhood holds a daily communal dhikr. Therefore, of the specific prayer cycles that any Tijani must complete during a day, one is at a prescribed place and time chosen to foster the brotherhoods unity. After the Friday prayers, the congregation of Tijanis will perform a much longer dhikr that, among other things, celebrates the brotherhoods collective, and exclusive, relationship with the Prophet (Abun-Nasr 1965). The prayers are for God, and God alone. They, therefore, are harsh critics of more public groups, as described below. Because of Ahmed Tijanis insistence on having met the Prophet in the desert centuries after his death, this path is itself attacked as heretical. It has historically been a socially and politically powerful tariqa and as such, it is a target of reformist groups across the Middle East and Africa. The Aissawa Public Performances and the Commodification of Dhikr In contrast to the stark exclusivity of the Tij aniyya brotherhood, the Aissawa see themselves as performers. While in Fez this summer an instructor at the University of Florida asked if I could assemble a short Moroccan segment for her study abroad group. Since the Aissawas performs dhikr at weddings and other major events, I had no problem finding a group that would welcome this class of 30 students into their ritual. The Aissawa dhikr is typically public rather than private; in other words the door is always open, allowing neighbors and strangers in. When this group came to perform for the students, their ceremony culminated in the blessing of candles given to students for a small donation. They had two large ones as well, reserved for the heads of the household. These were given to the instructor and to myself, two non-Muslims, who arranged the evening. The baraka (blessing) held within these candles transcended the brotherhood, the path, and even Islam. These could be analyzed as economic and

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97 folkloric gestures and our inclusion in the dhikr cerem ony would be construed as heresy in the eyes of many other groups. The words of a second Aissawa muqaddem (leader) helped to explain the situation. While visiting Mohammed Ben Guaddane in Mekns, he stated that the intention of any person participating in their ritual is not a concern. Everyone has a different mind, taking the music as they want. Everyone has the vision to see what they want in this tradition. It is folklore or it is Sufi. Furthermore, Ben Guaddane uses the word musiqi to describe Ai ssawa performances. This is unlike members of the Tijaniyya, and many non -Sufi Muslims who reserve that term for secular entertainment. Referring back to popular, secular, or folkloric performances he says that, the Aissawa want to be between the popul ar and the Sufi. The commodification of the Aissawa dhikr is apparent: brotherhoods disseminate their popular music through recordings and, more recently, the internet. Mohammed Ben Guaddanes MySpace page (Figure 5 -1) demonstrates artistic associations that stretch beyond the tariqa. Folkloric performance is not only an economic option, it is a primary performance context. Many of the images and videos on Ben Guaddanes MySpace page show him next to Abderrahim al -Marrakechi, whose quote about water and flowers opened this chapter. Al Marrakechi has two MySpace pages: the first is for his Hamadcha performers (Figure 5 -2), but the more recent one outlines his new project, Barakasoul (Figure 5 -3). As the site states: Barakasoul is a project initiated and l ead by Abderrahim Amrani Marrakechi to give a new expression to folk and mystic musics of North Africa: Gnawa, Aissawa, Hamadcha, Jilala, Ahl Touat. Here al -Marrakechi is not only dispersing the music of these ritual traditions into a secular context, but he is intentionally creating a popular genre, and by linking them together he creates a national or even regional association of equivalence among them. Unlike other similar

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98 projects in Morocco, this musical development maintains its religious connections The relationships between these individuals and local brotherhoods create a network and a musical genre based upon an ambiguous idea of Sufism. Dhikr, under the guise of musiqi, expands their cooperative spiritual and musical message. Furthermore, the use of the internet is not a static and limited technique used only intermittently. After a short (45 minute) conversation with Marrakechi over tea in the Fezs old city, he brought me to one of the many inexpensive nearby internet cafs. Here we sat for over an hour as he began with his MySpace page and pointed me to ward each of his listed friends. Marrakechi makes use of his internet home multiple times per week in order to maintain contact with fellow musicians, both sacred and secular, popular and fo lkloric. This computer age form of communication assists him in the discovery of new talent and in the extension of his musical influence. The Gnawa, Defined by their Music With the Gnawa, issues of discourse move beyond the layla ceremony itself. As descendents of an enslaved population, the Gnawa were historically marginalized. After it was popularized by American and European musicians, Gnawa music rose to a status that reached well beyond its practitioners and helped to establish major festivals around Morocco, including the immensely popular Festival of Gnawa and World Music. Publications about this festival highlight the uniqueness of the Gnawa and their history of marginalization, yet in contemporary Morocco, Gnawa musicians interact freely with an d are respected by members of other Sufi paths. When I walked through the old city of Fez with my hajhuj slung over my shoulder people would begin to sing Gnawa songs to me. When these songs come over the radio, people, regardless of religious affiliation, would sing along. Similarly, when I spoke with members of the Hamadcha or Aissawa, even the exclusive

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99 Tijaniyya, people would express an aesthetic love of Gnawa music. Aissawa and Hamadcha muqaddems (band leaders) I met not only attended Gnawa ceremonie s, but they incorporated the same musical repertory into their own performances. Some members went so far as to perform in Aissawa and Gnawa ceremonies. These behaviors certainly question the strict polarity implied by much scholarship on Islam. Claiming Sufism (for Others) Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this inter -Sufi conversation arises from a discussion of Sufism itself. When I asked Si Ahmed, a Tijani in Fez, about the Gnawa, Aissawa, and Hamadcha who live and work nearby, he explained that t hey were not Sufis because the Tijanis use their devotions to honor Allah, while these other groups have economic objectives. Therefore, in Si Ahmeds view, they gave themselves distractions. The implication here is not just that the performances are secul ar, but that commodified performance pulls the members away from their spiritual purpose. The public and economic nature of their dhikr, which Si Ahmed called al -musiqi despite its religious content, is detrimental to their spiritual journey. Similarly, wh en I spoke with a Gnawa maalem about Abderrahim al -Marrekechis recent pan Sufi musical projects, he was quick to respond that, a Gnawa is a Gnawa, a Hamadcha is a Hamadcha, an Aissawa is an Aissawa. Otherwise [he is in it] for the money. Adding to the complexities of these debates are the simplified representations of tariqas coming from the press. TelQuel, a local Francophone weekly, referred to the Gnawa as Sufis while promoting the upcoming Essaouira Festival of Gnawa and World Music this summer. Th e Gnawa share some characteristics of Sufism: they have a ritual, the layla, in which they sing praises to Allah, they form small groups that could be construed as brotherhoods, and they pray through chant. Their differences are significant, however. Throu ghout the layla, one or more saints or spirits, possess adepts. These figures are not only Islamic (Moses, Abraham, and

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100 Aisha, for example), they are also African. Many of the possessing identities are categorized as al-hawsawiyya, those from Hausaland. The local organizations can only be crudely identified as brotherhoods in the Sufi sense. While I doubt this observation can be unquestioningly extrapolated to account for all of the nations Gnawa, the maalems I worked with in Fez dealt with their group members primarily in terms of employment. As such, the brotherhoods are functionally different than those of the Tijaniyya. The final common argument against the Gnawas Sufism is that they have no zawiya, yet this statement fails to recognize recent de velopments. The zawiya is a place of gathering, worship, and refuge for a Sufi, a sort of lodge. It provides a distinct meeting place, and can show impressive wealth or status for a worldwide brotherhood like the Tijaniyya. The Gnawa have no such central l ocations. Their layla is performed in various households, where an adept requests and pays for the ceremony and sacrifice. Complicating the matter is the recent work in Essaouira creating a Gnawa Zawiya, a project undertaken by the Association of the 1200t h Anniversary of the Founding of Fez. This space is a meeting place for the Gnawa of Morocco, a legacy part of the oral heritage of the country through the ages (Casafree.com 2008). According to the director of the project, the second floor will soon bec ome a museum of Gnawa history in Morocco. It was here that Mahmoud Guanya began a Gnawa school decades ago, spreading the music and spirituality throughout the country. The building of a new zawiya illuminates the fluid status of the Gnawa population and the imprecise boundaries around Sufism itself. When asked if the Gnawa were Sufis, Abd ar-Rzaq, a Gnawa maalem, definitively replied, no. Yet popular conception, via the press, the music industry, and members of other Sufi tariqas continue this debate, disregarding statements such as his and highlighting the power of discourse between the religious of Morocco.

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101 What is Moroccan Islam? The only people I met who discounted the Gnawa as magicians, crazy, or possessed by demons were those who simultaneously discredited Sufis for their bida, innovation. From their perspectives, the differences between the Gnawa, who were majnun (possessed by demons), the Aissawa, who allowed themselves distractions, or the Tijaniyya, who distorted texts and added many doctri nal innovations to Islam are not so important, and these three groups are placed, by critics and by many academics, into a monolithic stack, translated by past scholars as Moroccan Islam. The danger inherent within this view, Sufis vs. Reformists, or M ystics vs. Textualists, is the neglect of complex relationships and interactions between local, national, and international organizations and individuals, horizontal relationships. It is these discourses that create public opinion and appeal, just as it is these debates that define Sufism. It is this same debate, public and musical, that confounds the understanding of the Gnawa. Their ability to categorize themselves outside of the Sufi traditions, despite their close relationship to those very practices, i s hampered by their musical productions in local, national, and international terms. The ritual tradition of the layla is, as discussed in Chapter 3, central to the Gnawa theology and cosmology. Yet this musical practice shares little with parallel Sufi dhikr gatherings. While the function of the layla involves a specific relationship with a number of mluks, appeasing them and honoring their assistance and blessings for easing everyday life, the practices of the Tijaniyya and other Sufi groups from througho ut the Middle East and North Africa are more closely aligned with the meaning of dhikr they serve to foster the remembrance and embodiment of Allahs presence. Hamadcha traditions, as discussed by Crapanzano (1973), appear somewhere between these two pos sibilities, implying a continuum along which various Sufi and non-Sufi musico-ritual performances lie. This variation between

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102 Muslims is far removed from the implications of a categorical Sufism, as implied by media and major events. It is the national an d international influence that muddles this distinction. The national press and the tourist -inclined festival circuit promote Gnawa performances as Sufi rituals, slated after long days of popular music acts and artists. In the Fez Festival of Sacred Music, for example, a festival devoted to displaying spiritual music from around the Middle East and the world, there were nearly as many secular performances in 2008 as sacred ones. Pop stars from Tunisia or Egypt were featured alongside flamenco dancers from S pain. Yet the introductions and descriptions of these performances successfully placed them within a sense of pan spirituality, coherent within the frame of the festival. This is a fluid spirituality. The definition and categorization of music within and o utside of an appropriate spiritual, or Muslim aesthetic carries pragmatic benefits and costs. These decisions and consequences inform the placement of each form of musical or ritual production, guiding artists and religious leaders at all levels of society from the 1200 year old neighborhoods of the Fez medina to the concert stages of Fez and Essaouira, even to the studios of Casablanca, Paris, Marseilles, New York City, and elsewhere. What is Moroccan Islam? To venture an answer to the central question th at lies in the first half of this thesis title, it is simplest to begin by defining through negation. Moroccan Islam is not a singular, distinct, and unchanging set of rituals. As Eickelmann (1976) noted and el -Zein (1977) emphasized, it has changed throu gh time. It is also not identical to religious belief elsewhere. The unique relationship between the early ulema and the dynastic power in the region forged an interaction between spiritual authorities, mystics, and political leaders. Occasionally a single figure could even embody all of these roles while in power.

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103 Moroccan Islam as a term fails to properly account for the activities that occur even within one single tradition, let alone throughout the innumerable variations of faith and practice that exist within the nation. As Chapters 3 and 4 described, the commercial, national, and spiritual influences pressing against maalems and other members of the Gnawa guide their practices toward different ends. This has a profound effect on how the group defines itself, includes or excludes others, and operates in reference to the rest of the nation and world. It is these forces, from both within and outside of the religious organization, that shape the construction in individual and group identity. The same forces, local and beyond, apply to the Sufi brotherhoods discussed above. They actively and intentionally redefine their boundaries. More so, they outline the boundaries of others, arguing their validity as Sufi, even Muslim. Moroccan Islam is contrary to the categorical explanations seen in past anthropological work. It is an important and discursive element of any Moroccan Muslims self -awareness. It is a collection of disparate beliefs and practices that exemplify this notion of hybridity, of Creole so ciety, to return to Deborah Kapchans phrase. It is a malleable umbrella of a term, and when understood as such, it elucidate s the complexities of religious practice, not just in Morocco, but with any heterogeneous society. To return to al -Marrakechis sta tement, there may be one source of water for these different colored flowers, and each may be attractive to some people. It is, however, the sheer quantity and diversity of these colors that makes Morocco an interesting place. While the religious authority technically falls to the King, the Commander of the Faithful, his people actively struggle to find the true path. And while these Islamic and Sufi debates erupt and

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104 subside in the social, economic, political, and religious landscapes, it is helpful to rem ember a Moroccan proverb: the ways to God are as numerous as the souls of men (Debbarh 2008).

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105 Figure 5-1. Screen capture of the MySpace page for Mohammed Ben Guaddanes Aissawa group.

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106 Figure 5-2. Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al-Marrakechis Hamadcha group.

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107 Figure 5-3. Screen capture of the MySpace page for Abderrahim al -Marrakechis most recent project, Barakasoul.

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108 APPENDIX GLOSSARY OF ARABIC T ERMS Aissawa A Sufi brotherhood from the area around Meknes based on the teach ings of Sidi ben Aissa and Sheikh al-Kamal. Asri An Egyptian popular song style during the second half of the 20th century that influenced musical styles across the region. Berber See Tamazight Baraka Blessings accessible through the proximity to a holy man (saint) or place (usually a saints tomb). Bida Heretical innovation to Islamic tradition. Blida Region in the center of Fezs old city near the tanneries, Derb Taouil, and close to the religious center (Al -Qarawiyin mosque) Dakhla Meaning entrance, the name of the opening sections of the Gnawa layla as well as many Sufi rituals. Derdeba See layla Dhikr Meaning rememberance, remembering Allah through the repetition of texts or other practices, depending on Sufi orientation. Gharib Literally Wester n, also used for foreign. Hajhuj Central Gnawa instrument, a 3 -stringed semi -spike lute with a hollowed out body and a camel neck membrane. Also goes by the names ginbri and sintir. Hamadcha Sufi brotherhood from the area around Meknes based on the teachings of Sidi Ali. The Hamadsha are closely related to the Aissawa and borrow portions of their ritual and music from the Gnawa. Al-Hawsawiyya The group of male mluks in the Gnawa pantheon. They are said to be from Hausaland, but many are syncretical ly fused with Islamic figures. Imam Leader of prayers. Any Muslim can lead prayers, but typically the role of imam and khatib are fused into one official who heads the particular mosque. This thesis deals only with Sunni Islam and this should not be confused with the Shia meaning of the term. Inshaallah By the will of God. A phrase with a range of meanings implying that all that happens depends on the fate decided by Allah and is out of human control.

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109 Jahalia Term for the period before the advent of Isla m in the Arabian desert, often conceived of as a period of unbelief or paganism. Jinn (jnun) The word used in the Quran for spirit, typically referring to demons. Khatib Preacher, the man who stands in front of a congregation at Friday prayers and gives a sermon. Lalla Respectful address for women in Morocco. Layla Literally night. A layla is ritual Gnawa possession ceremony. See Chapter 3. Maalem Gnawa ritual leader. Leads the layla ceremony and typically plays the hajhuj. Majnun From jinn, an adjective meaning possessed or crazy. Maskun Lived within, the word used to identify a person who is possessed by a mluk. Mluk A Gnawa saint who is able to possess an individual. Muezzin The person who has the roll of reciting the call to prayer from the mo sque. Muqaddama Woman hired to prepare a layla ceremony. Muwatanun Citizen, from the word watan, or homeland. Nuba Suite of music in the Andalusian tradition. Oughnya al-wataniya Nationalistic or patriotic song. Qanun Lap zither used in classical Isla mic music and Egyptian popular song. Quraqib Iron castinets used by the Gnawa in the layla ritual. Riqq Small, but heavy, tambourine used as the central percussion instrument in classical Islamic music and Egytpian popular song. Salafi Describes recent pol itical movements that foster a social return to life as it was lived during the time of the Prophet. Salafism often includes a strict interpretation of religious texts. Sharif Title for a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed.

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110 Sufi Commonly referred to as I slamic mysticism, Sufi practice emphasizes a personal connection between the adept and Allah and often utilizes musical and ritual elements unique to a particular brotherhood. The word Sufi is an umbrella term for a number of very different and occasiona lly mutually exclusive theological perspectives. Literally, the word means wool and identifies the acetic nature of early followers. See Chapter 5. Tamazight Adjective of Amazight, proper name of the Berber ethnic group. Tariqa Path, here used to desi gnate a Sufi path such as the Hamadsha or Tijaniyya tariqas. Tbal Large drum used by the Gnawa during the dakhla before the layla ceremony. Tijaniyya Sufi path based on the teachings of Sidi Ahmed Tijani. Ud Plucked lute used in Islamic classical music an d Egyptian popular song. Ulema Religious elite, most frequently either judges who rule on interpretations of Islamic law or scholars of history and theology. Umma The body of followers of Islam. Watan Homeland Zawiya Sufi lodge, place of worship and gathering for local brotherhoods.

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111 LIST OF REFERENCES Abun-Nasr, Jamil. 1965. The Tijaniyya: A Sufi Order in the Modern World Oxford: Oxford University Press. Al-Marrakechi, Abderrahim 2008. Myspace.com Barakasoul. http://www.myspace.com/ Barakasoul, access ed October 26. Asad, Talal. 2986. The Idea of an Anthropology of Islam. In The Social Philosophy of Ernest Gellner, edited by J. Hall and I. Jarvie. Editions Rodopi. Baldassarre, Antonio. 2003 "Moroccan World Beat Through the Media." In Mediterranean Mosaic, edited by Goffredo Plastino, 79100. New York, London: Routledge Ben Guaddane, Muhammed 2008. MySpace.com Aissawa de Mekns. Electronic document, (2008): http://www.myspace.c om/Aissawa, accessed October 26 Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambrid ge: Cambridge University Press. Brenner, Louis. 2000. "Sufism in Africa." In African Spirituality edited by Jacob K. Olupona, 32449. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company Bujra, A. S. 1971. The Politics of Stratification: A Study of Political Change in a South Arabian Town. Oxford: Clarendon. CasaFree.com 2008. Essaouira : La Zaouia des Gnaouas sera rhabilite par l'Association du 1200me anniversaire de la fondation de Fs. http://www.casafree.com/modules /news/article .php?storyid=19878, accessed October 26 Charry, Eric. 1996. "Plucked Lutes in West Africa: An Historical Overview." The Galpin Society Journal 49: 337. Cooke and Lawrence, eds. 2005 Muslim Networks from Hajj to Hip Hop. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Coolen, Michael Theodore. 1984. "Senegambian Archetypes for the American Folk Banjo." Western Folklore 43(2): 11732. Crapanzano, Vincent. 1973. The Hamadsha: A Study in Moroccan Ethnopsychiatry. The University of California Press. Danielson, Virginia. 1998. The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song, and Egyptian Society in the Twentieth Century The University of Chicago Press. Debbarh, El -Hassane. 2008. Dar-Sirr: Portal to Moroccan Sufism. Electronic document, (2008): http://www.dar-sirr.com, accessed October 26

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112 Donohue, John J. and John L. 2006. Esposito, eds. Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives Oxfor d: Oxford University Press. DunbarHall, Peter. 2006. "Culture, Tourism, and Cultural Tourism: Boundaries and Frontiers in Performances of Balinese Music and Dance." In Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader, edited by Jennifer C. Post, New York: Taylor & Francis Eickelman, Dale F. 1976. Moroccan Islam: Tradition and Society in a Pilgrimage Center Austin and London: University of Texas Press. ElZein, Abdul Hamid. 1977. Beyond Ideology and Theology: The Search for the Anthropology of Islam. Annual Review of Anthropology 6: 227254. Feld, Steven. 1994. "From Schizophonia to Schismogenesis: On the Discourses and Commodification Pra ctices of "World Music" and "World Beat"." In Music Grooves, edited by Charles Keil and Steven Feld 25789. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press. Gaffney, Patrick D. 1994. The Prophets Pulpit: Islamic Preaching in Contemporary Egypt Berkeley and Los Angeles: Universi ty of California Press. Geertz, Clifford. 1971. Islam Observed: Religious Development in Morocco and Indonesia Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gellner, Ernest. 1981. Muslim Society Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gelvin, James L. 2008. The Modern Middle East: A History 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gilsnenan, Michael. 1982. Recognizing Islam: Religion and Society in the Modern Middle East New York: Pantheon Books. Gnaoua Festival of World Music. 2007. Gnaoua Festival of World Music. http://www.festival gnaoua.co.ma. Grame, Theodore C. 1970. "Music in the Jma Al Fna of Marrakesh." The Musical Quarterly 56: 7487. Grunebaum, Gustave von. 1955. The Problem: Unity and Diversity, in Unity and Variety in Muslim Civilization edited by Gustave von Grunebaum Chica go: University of Chicago Press. Guilbault, Jocelyne. 1993. "On Redefining the "Local" Through World Music." The World of Music 35(2): 3347. Hirschkind, Charles. 2006. The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics. New York: Columbia University Press

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113 Jankowsky, Richard C. 2006. "Black Spirits, White Saints: Music, Spirit Possession, and Sub Saharans in Tunisia." Ethnomusicology 50(3): 373410. Kapchan, Deborah.1996. Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition. Philadelphia: U niversity of Pennsylvania Press. Kapchan, Deborah. 2007. Traveling Spirit Masters: Moroccan Gnawa Trance and Music in the Global Marketplace Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. Langlois, Tony. 1996. "Music and Contendi ng Identities in the Maghreb." i n Nationalism, Minorities, and Diasporas: Identities and Rights in the Middle East edited by Martin Stokes and Colm Campbell Kirsten E. Schulze, 203 16. London and New York: Tauris Academic Stu dies. Little, Douglas. 2002. American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945. Chapel Hill and London: Uni versity of North Carolina Press. Maalouf, Amin. 1984. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. New York: Schocken Books. Middleton, Richard. 1990. Studying Popular Music Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Munson, Henry Jr. 1993. Religion and Power in Morocco New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Post, Jennifer C. 2006. "Introduction." In Ethnomusicology: A Con temporary Reader, edited by Jennifer C. Post, New York: Taylor & Francis. Redfield, Robert 1956. Peasant Society and Culture: An Anthropological Approach to Civiliation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Rosenzveig, Eric and Peter Wetherbee. 1994. "Notes From the Trance o f Seven Colors." Liner notes from Trance of the Seven Colors Pharoah Sanders. Compact Disc: 314 524 0472. Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Random House Publishing. Schuyler, Philip Daniel. 1979. A Repertory of Ideas: The Music of the Rwais, Berber Professional Musicians from Southwestern Morocco. PhD dissertation, University of Washington. Shannon, Johnathan H. 2006. "Sultans of Spin: Syrian Sacred Music on the World Stage." In Ethnomusicology: A Contemporary Reader edited by Jennifer C. Post, 1732. New York: Taylor & Francis Group. Swedenburg, Ted. 2001. "Arab World Music in the U.S." Middle East Report 219: 3440. Thompson, John B. 1990. Ideology and Modern Culture: Critical Social Theory in the Era of Mass Comm unication Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

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114 Turino, Thomas. 2000. "Race, Class, and Musical Nationalism in Zimbabwe." In Music and the Racial Imagination edited by Houston A. Baker, 554 84. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Villaln, Leonardo A. 2001. "Islam in Sub Saharan Africa: Local Dynamics in a Globalized Context." Africa Contemporary Record 28 A37A53. Waugh, Earle H. 2005. Memory, Music and Religion: Morocco's Mystical Chanters Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. West, Harry G. 2005. Kupilikula: Governance and the Invisible Realm in Mozambique. Chica go: University of Chicago Press.

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115 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christopher Witulski is a n Alumni Fellow and PhD student in the ethnomusicology program at the University of Florida He was awarded his Master of Music in Music History and Literature in the fall of 2009. He also holds a Bachelor of Music in musical studies with a minor in jazz studies and a Master of Music in music t heory from State University of New York College at Potsdam. His research involves Islam and issues of spirituality and commodification in the Gnawa and Sufi musics of Morocco. He is an active violist, bassist, and fiddler in Florida and Georgia.