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28/12/2016 - 19:32hs

Festival celebrates the traditions of desert dwellers

The 49th International Festival of the Sahara, in Douz, Tunisia, will run from January 13 to 16, featuring cultural manifestations from several countries in the region.

Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency/AFP 27/12/2014

A woman in typical local attire

São Paulo – January 13 to 16 will see the 49th International Festival of the Sahara, in Douz, Tunisia. Every year, groups from Tunisia and other Arab and African countries converge on the city to showcase various cultural manifestations of desert-dwelling peoples.

Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) reported that this year’s event will be themed “Desert festival, cultural and tourist heritage,” and it will mark the centennial of poet and writer Mohamed Marzouki, who was born in southern Tunisia, where Douz is.

Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency/AFP 24/12/2015

Participants enacting a cavalry charge

 According to TAP, there will be a conference on literature and poetry, exhibitions and performances that will track back the history and way of life of the peoples of the Sahara. The primary goal of the festival is to highlight the cultural heritage of the Arab Berber tribe of the M’razigs, aka the Marzougui, but it also celebrates the culture of the Sahara and its nomadic peoples as a whole.

The festival includes folk song and dance performances, camel races, traditional weddings, horse performances, hunting with Sloughi dogs – a North African breed –, games, traditional fairs, handicraft, staged performances recreating everyday life in the desert, etc.

According to TAP, the festival was created in 1910. The first edition in the current format took place in 1967.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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