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Global Café: Horses, Folklore & Globalization in Morocco

Dr. Gwyneth Talley

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Emira Ibrahimpasic,
In North Africa since the 14th century, tbourida, or the gunpowder games, and other equestrian activities were historically used in tribal raids, celebrations for circumcisions, weddings, and saint’s day celebrations or moussems. Surrounding these special events, markets, storytelling, music, feasts, and popular entertainment became part of a greater celebration lasting a few days. Under the French colonial protectorates, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia had to rework these celebrations into what was considered safe and appropriate—in essence, reinventing cultural heritage. With independence sweeping the area in the 1960s, festivals focused around rural or poorer areas which began to be part of the chaabi culture, or popular sphere.

These festivals have had to accommodate Morocco’s growing international tourism industry, which in urban areas has shown splits in these festivals, breaking them up as little vignettes for tourists in the big cities. Through ethnographic interviews and participant-observation, Dr. Talley discusses how these “glocal” equestrian festivals work to balance local popular culture and the demands of global popular entertainment.

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This event originated in Global Integrative Studies.