A print of A Gnawa Dancer : Essaouira, Morocco
The original art work was created using a combination of gouache painting, letterpress printing, collage techniques, and sewing on translucent paper.
A Gnawa Dancer : Essaouira, Morocco art work was a part of the exhibition
Hands, Hat and Heart
Erica Tanov Store, Berkeley California, 2019
A Gnawa Dancer : Essaouira, Morocco
When traveling in Morocco for over a month, this was my first destination. As soon as I landed in Marrakech I caught a bus to Essaouira. The sights flew by. Soon I would join in the crowd, once my long ride was over. My heart skipped a beat to know I was in the land of things unknown, for me a mystical place I had long dreamt of.
Essaouira was mysterious, more hidden than the any of the other 5 cities I had visited. Walking the narrow streets of the Medina (the old Arab city) right by the ocean was a transcendent experience. I became uneasy in this maze of passageways, only 3 feet wide. As I walked the ground laid out before me, I had to remember my every step.
Emerging from the maze, I saw a group of young male Gnawa dancers in the square playing their spiritual religious music, singing and dancing in traditional bright gowns and pointy Moroccan slippers. One of the boys wore a seashell decorated hat with a tassel that spun around his head as he danced. A fascinating movement kept the tassel in motion.