American Folklife Center collections from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt document the diversity of expressive culture in northern Africa. This research guide focuses on activities, such as fieldwork, interpretation, and programming, which present the folklore and folklife of this region to the public. Among the Center's unique materials are Amice Calverley recordings of Cretan and Egyptian music and the Abraham Pinto recordings of Sephardic Jewish and Berber music in Morocco.
As described by the Association for Cultural Equity:
In September 1967, Alan Lomax visited Morocco to make field recordings for use in his comparative research on world folk song style. He recorded in Fez, Marrakesh, the Ourika Valley, Ouzarzate, Tinjdad, El Ksiba, Erford, and other Berber villages in the High Atlas.The approximately eight hours of material includes malhoun, amdah, and Andalusian styles of the Maghreb; wedding music; and various religious rituals of the Gnawa and the Aissaoua and Hamadcha Sufi brotherhoods. There are also speech samples, recorded throughout the medina of Fez for use in Lomax's Parlametrics research. Joan Halifax accompanied Lomax on this trip.
The American Folklife Center has made Lomax's manuscripts from this visit available online. The Association for Cultural Equity External has made thirty-one recordings from this trip available online.
The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to digital content are provided when available.
Ethnomusicologist Samuel Torjman Thomas discusses the circulation of Moroccan music in America and the place of music in constructing modern Moroccan-American hybrid identities.