The Berber Village
Ourika Valley, Near Marrakesh, Morocco
The lovely Ourika Valley outside Marrakesh features
many opulent houses belonging to the rich and famous.
It's also the ancestral home to Berber villages, such as this
one. The Berbers are a tribal people native to North
Africa. They were conquered by invading Arab armies
spreading Islam in the 7th century. The Berbers quickly
converted to Islam, helped take over Spain, and have
shared Morocco with Arabs ever since. While Morocco is
a melting pot of Berbers and Arabs, many Berbers retain
their languages, culture, and separate identity.
Visiting a Berber village is like time travel several
hundred years into the past. This woman uses the stove of
her ancestors. It's both tradition and third world poverty
Our host in the village served us mint tea.
This woman and her child were part of our host's family.
One group of Berbers have developed a way out of
poverty that presents their culture as an extravagant
entertainment for tourists. It's the best show in Morocco,
ideal for video. My stills of this epic presentation are on
the next page.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip to
Morocco and Spain, "From Flamenco to Fez", by
clicking on AdventurePics.com .