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Gnawa music is that of the ritual tradition known in Morocco as Tagnawit, "the craft of the Gnawi." The Gnawa are the practitioners of this tradition, be they the musicians or the initiates and clairvoyants who sponsor ceremonies and trance to the music. Their healing rituals are intercessions with the powerful Mluk, the fiercest of the Djiin spirits, whom other Sufi orders avoid. Some consider Gnawa to be an underclass in Moroccan society but they nonetheless play a vital role in its spiritual life. Recorded and filmed in Marrakech in 2005, OULED MAMBARA: PORTRAITS OF GNAWA is an exploration of that role through profiles of some of its most talented musical actors.

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