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Morocco’s Culture

Morocco-culture-Gnawa Festival
Groups parade along the streets of the Medina of Essaouira during the Gnawa Festival. Photo Stefano Torrione / / HH.

Moroccan culture is strongly marked by Berber, Arab and European influences. This is largely due to the country’s geographical location in North Africa, which has enabled different cultures and societies to interact and blend for centuries. The result is a variety of unique cultural contributions ranging from music to theatre to crafts.

However, Morocco’s cultural diversity has also led to growing tensions between its conservative and liberal population, and among ethnic and religious minorities. Moreover, modern-day Moroccan society faces the challenge of accommodating and maintaining its cultural roots amid the pressures of globalization and attempts to improve the country’s literacy rate and education system.

Further Reading

It was some time after the Protectorate was imposed in 1912 before a modern Moroccan literature appeared. The literary generation that lived through the Protectorate itself was small
By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, a dozen or so feature films and a few additional short films were being produced each year by producers such as Mostafa Derkaoui and Abdallah Mesbahi (Abdellah Masbahi).
Professional musicians perform, for example, at weddings or as street artists in venues such as the great Jamaa al-Fnaa square in Marrakesh. It is highly regionalized, and southern Berber music has strong Sahara African influences...
Modern Moroccan architecture has continued the colonial synthesis to a limited degree. Large-scale modern developments, such as hotels and apartment blocks, look much like similar buildings elsewhere.
In the early 1960s a handful of young Moroccan artists, all men, at the École des Beaux Arts in Casablanca started a movement that mixed European and Moroccan influences. The Casablanca School was a crucial element in the birth o...
Morocco stages more than a hundred festivals each year, encompassing all its regions and embracing all its religious and cultural diversity. Some of these festivals are global, attracting millions of tourists and the world’s fin...
The government has acted to improve and foster the handicraft sector because it has long been a major source of national income: Moroccan artisanry is justly famous, particularly in carpets, pottery, and leatherwork.
Although largely absent from formal historical accounts, Berber women’s rituality, orality and art constitute a genuine source of knowledge, challenging mainstream narratives about women’s role in the production, use and adapt...

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