NOVEMBER 07, 2014
to Rissani Village
We started the day a little before the
planned departure time because Colleen and Caroline had a massage appointment at
1:00 pm. The drive to Rissani took us a little more than a half an hour. We had
a short tour of the village. The shops were still closed so we could clearly see
that the gates to every shop in town was painted green. Against the pinkish wall
color of the houses, the green doors looked quite nice. The new gateway ate the
western end of the city was very welcoming. The plan was to visit the "Tuareg
House" to hear a lecture on the East and south Morocco. Abdul Latif was an
excellent lecturer and a great actor. He helped us understand some of the
traditions of the Tuaregs in his own artistic style.
Rissani has always been on the trade route of Sahara. The Caravans of salt were carried by the Tuaregs The next biggest city in AFrica after Rissani was Timbouctou in Mali. So the merchants of Rissani were in close contact with Timbouctou. We now know why our hotel in the desert was named of ther the famous city. ( Tim means well, Bouctou was the name of the woman who had dug the well that gave life to commerce center) Many cities in Africa identify their location by stating how far or how close they are from this city.
All the four tribes of Morocco ( Berbers, Moors, Tuaregs, Arab Bedwins) were known for weaving carpets for centuries. We had a nice display of an excellent collection of different carpets. We realized that they were not just wall coverings. Carpets were sacs, beds, blankets, cradles, salt bags and many more... For those who did not have written language, the designs of the carpets were also a symbolic expression of a culture. If there was a zigzag pattern in the carpet, if either meant that the caravan was traveling in the desert or fertile valleys with meandering rivers.
Since we had to run back
to the hotel by noon, we had asked the Tuareg House to prepare some
lunch for us, They had the excellent Tuareg " Pizza" just right for a
light lunch. We all agreed that their salad was the best we had in
Morocco so far. The " pizza" was a big loaf of bread with meat and
onions cooked inside the bed.