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Day 11: Marrakesh

Michael Palin - SaharaMercifully, a small band starts up, creating a diversion and enabling me to use an extra digit to grab some of the wonderfully tender chunks of lamb soaked in the juice of olives.

Oranges, mint tea and a rosewater finger bowl are brought round and our déjeuner sur l'herbe continues with the performance of a courtship dance. Men and women form up in two lines facing each other. The men, all in white djellabas, chant, yodel and beat out a rhythm with hand-held drums, whilst the women clap their hands and respond with their own chant. One from each side dances in the middle. The man struts and shakes his shoulders in passable imitation of an animal ruffling its feathers and scratching the ground. The dancers never touch each other, yet it's performed with a flash of the eyes and a boldness of movement that makes it highly charged. Something chaste and wild at the same time.
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  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 11
  • Country/sea: Morocco
  • Place: Aremd
  • Book page no: 49

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