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Libyan Traditional Dress Day
Tripoli
By Bujezia
13 Mar 2015

The Libyan Ministry of Culture and Civil Society in Libya announced the 13th of March as the National Day for the Libyan Traditional Dress, and the held an event in the capital Tripoli where hundreds of young people dressed up in traditional costume and walked around the city. A large ceremony was held in the Martyr square, with performances from folkloric and traditional Libyan music acts.

Hundred of the youngsters danced and enjoyed their day out in the city center, welcoming the short break from the conflicts which the country has seen over the recent months. However violence in Libya continues; most recently a police station was bombed not far from the city center on Sunday 15 March with ISIS have claiming responsibility.

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Handmade Yemeni Daggers, 10,000 Dolla...
Sanaa
By MENA Desk
06 Jan 2015

In Yemen it is rare to see a man in public without a traditional dagger, known as a ‘Jambiya’, on his waist. Although they barely have any practical use, the ceremonial daggers have been an integral part of the male Yemeni identity for centuries. While outsiders perceive the dagger as a type of weapon, Hussein al-Azizi insists that it is solely for decoration and a symbol of power and honor.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “I carry a Dagger, because it is an accessory for myself, and a pride for all the Yemenis. It is not a weapon as many consider it to be, it is an accessory for men to wear, it was used as a weapon in the old times when people traveled from one village to another as protection since they did not have guns.”

Some Yemeni men spend fortunes on their jambiya. It is not unheard of for a man to spend over 10,000 dollars on this accessory as Hussein did.

  • Hussein Hussein al-Azizi, Merchant, (man, Arabic): “What makes my dagger special is that it is made from the horn of a rhinoceros. I believe it is really special and better than other jambiyas and it is worth $10,000. There are even more luxurious ones but I believe in the old proverb, which says, "My beast is better than the King's horse."

This workshop owned by Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi in the old city in Sanaa, has been producing traditional jambiyas for generations. Today it has adapted and specializes in handles made of bull’s horns, since the more desirable materials of ivory and rhinoceros’ horn have been banned.

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “There has been a ban on hunting rhinos since 1982, enforced by The United Nations, especially for Yemenis. So we had to rely on Kerk daggers made of bull’s horns, so we can keep selling and not lose our profession and preserve this Yemeni accessory.”

The jambiya consist of the belt, used to keep the dagger on the waist, the blade forged from steel, and most importantly the handle, which determines the quality and price of the jambiya.

The most superior and expensive knives, known as “Seifani”, have handles carved from rhinoceros’ horn. The second best, “Aaji”, have handles made of ivory. Due to hunting regulations, both these types of daggers are now rare. The next level down is made of bull’s horn and called “Kerk”. The lowest have handles made of wood, fiberglass

  • Hussein Mohamad al-Azizi, Dagger Workshop Owner, (man, Arabic): “The best dagger currently at al-Azizi dagger shop is al-Sefani, which dates back 400-600 years. It is made from rhinoceros’ horn. There is a difference between the daggers made from the horn of a rhinoceros and the Kerk dagger made from the horn of bulls, and the Chinese dagger, made out of wood and fiberglass, which overran and ruined the market.”

It is considered shameful if a man pulls out his jambiya in a confrontation, instead it is used in joyous celebrations. The jambiya decorated the waist of the groom at Yemeni weddings and is an essential part of al-Baraa traditional dance.

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'Weavers of the Sky:' Peru's Handwove...
Chinchero, Peru
By Marta Tucci
29 Dec 2014

Traditional handwoven fabrics embody the living history and culture of the Peruvian highlands. Textile patterns with expressive names such as Mayu Qenqo (meandering river) or Pumac Makin (puma footprints) tell tales of the geography and events of the Andean region and its history over thousands of years. 

Up to this day, Quechuan communities from the highlands have been the keepers of culture and sustainers of an ancient yet difficult lifestyle in absolute synchronicity with the Peruvian earth, the Pachamama. These weaving traditions date back to pre-Columbian civilisations, and continue to be of great importance as living symbols of indigenous cultural identity. 

The region of Chinchero (3780 meters) in the province of Urubamba, is home to several Quechua communities. While men farm the land and harvest potatoes, barley and quinoa to feed their families and sell at nearby markets, women raise llamas and alpacas for yarn, spin on drop spindles, and weave cloth on backstrap looms while tending to their flock, or letting food cook over a fire, just as their forebears had done before them. 

While Chinchero has traditionally relied on farming for financial sustainability, demographic and social changes over time have had a detrimental effect on these communities on several levels. Competition with large agricultural corporations means that local farmers can no longer rely on farming to financially support their families, and women who would traditionally weave based on their family’s needs increased their production to sell in local markets. 

By the 1970s, as a result of the exponential growth of tourism in the Sacred Valley brought along mainly by the popularity of Machu Picchu, local traditional weavers started to change their production, using aniline dyes instead of natural ones and making simple patterns on more homogenised non-traditional fabrics to keep up with the increasing demand of tourism. These new textile designs no longer reflected the ancient weaving traditions of these communities, and much of their history, culture and identity has been at risk of being lost and forgotten. 

In some of the less transited areas of the highlands however, some small local communities still preserve their traditional and noble way of life despite the increasing difficulties they face, from farming the land, to weaving the sky, passing down their knowledge from older to younger generations, hopefully for many years to come. 

Weavers of the Sky documents the work of a group of Andean women from the community of Piuray who up to this day preserve the ancient weaving traditions of their ancestors. 

FULL ARTICLE UPON REQUEST

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The Modernization of Morocco's Ancien...
Thagazout, Morocco
By Osie Greenway
02 Mar 2014

Taghazout, Morocco is a small fishing village 12 miles north of the city of Agadir, in the south west of Morocco. The mostly Berber population in the village is estimated to be around 6,000. The main sources of income for the people are tourism, fishing and the production of Argan oil. Taghazout lies on the west coast of Morocco and is known for its abundance in tuna, bonito, and sardines. The village has been a fishing spot for over 100 years, with generations of fathers and grandfathers working side-by-side.

This traditional pastime has changed much in the past decade. Modernization has changed everything, from a shift in traditional livelihoods, to a shift in the type of tourism Moroccans are cultivating in the village. Modern equipment such as boat motors and tractors have cut down on the physical labor - before the tractor, wooden slabs were laid out and men would push and pull the large wood crafts up and down the shore. But this generation of fishermen is aging, and is not being replaced by the young. Young men in Taghazout do not wish to become fishermen as their fathers did, but instead more and more, to tap into the riches of surf tourism, which has become a booming industry in the area. They also commute to the factories nearby for stable work. These new factories sprouting up along the coast line are taking young would-be fishermen away from the village and polluting the waters they fish in.

Surfing tourism began in Taghazout in the early 1970s. It started out as a small surf community, and has since become a globally recognized location for surfers from around the world. Moroccans have bought up real-estate and businesses in the village and surrounding areas to prepare for their future in tourism. They also do this to compete with Saudi Arabian contractors building massive resorts up and down the coast between Agadir and Taghazout.

Tourism in Morocco is becoming a new keystone in the structure of the Moroccan economy. Foreigners come from around the globe to surf the world class surf that surrounds Taghazout and with them comes western culture. Taghazout so far has accepted the cultural and religious distractions without problem and many look forward to a future in the developing town. Some villagers fear what will happen too their culture, traditions, and religion as their culture and trades are turned into a tourism business.

"Without the tourism this town would be dead and the only jobs here would be fishing or the factories", said Tariq Kabbaj, the Mayor of Taghazout.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

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The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.

Thumb sm
The FNB Durban Diwali Festival 2013 (...
Durban, Africa
By Elo B
26 Oct 2013

Diwali (The festival of lights) is a five-day Hindu festival, the biggest of all Hindus holidays. Each of the four days is separated by different traditions with its own tale, legend and myth to tell.
Its origin can be traced back to ancient India; however, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali.
One week before, Hindus from South Africa have a colorful float procession in the streets to announce the Festival of Diwali and share their traditions with other communities. Local and international cultural entertainments are brought to the visitors during a fair at the Old Durban Drive-In.