Greenwich House Music School

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Innov Gnawa: Sebitiyin - The Jewish Songs of Gnawa

Submitted by Green House Pu… on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 7:04 am

In addition to being the name of this trance-inducing musical style, the term "gnawa" also refers to the people originally from kingdoms spanning Mali to Ghana who were enslaved by the Moorish rulers and brought North to present-day Morocco. The Jewish presence in Morocco dates back to over 2,500 years ago and upon interaction with the gnawa community, a bond formed over appreciation for gnawa music and its healing powers. Gnawa music pre-dates Islam and originally centered around animistic, spiritual, mystical concepts sung in sub-Saharan languages such as Bambara, Fulani, and Sudani.

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