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Reggada is both a traditional dance and a local musical genre of the Béni-Snassen, a Berber tribe from the province of Berkane in Morocco, which then spread to the neighboring mountains of the Rif.

Origin

This denomination “reggada” is related to the name of the small locality of Ain Reggada (the source which sleeps, because of its capricious character) which is located 10 km east of the city of Berkane and which has gave its name to this dance with the warlike origin of two Rif tribes. The ait iznessen (Berkane and Ahfir region) and the Izennayéne (Aknoul and Ajdir region). But this dance has not for first name “reggada” (name given in the 1990s), but rather “imdiyazen”. The oldest known music on the imdiyazen rhythm is the famous “ga3 ga3 Zoubida”, sung for centuries at the Rif, in honor of the Rifaine queen. It should be noted that this name of reggada appeared only twenty years ago.

We dance the reggada with movements of the shoulders, a rifle (or stick), beating his feet against the ground to the rhythm of the music. The Reggada is inspired by another Alaoui war dance from Oujda which bears his name in reference to the family of the Alaouites, a large powerful family from this city.


Formerly, these warriors danced in victory over the enemy, hence the use of the rifle, the incessant strikes of the feet on the ground which are made to the rhythm of the music and symbolize belonging to the earth. As in the Algerian alaoui, it is performed by several dancers guided by a leader who stand shoulder to shoulder, as if they were welded to each other by uttering cries showing their symbiosis with the rhythm that recalls the indissoluble unity which used to bind warriors against the enemy.

Fortement rythmé par le Bendir (espèce de tambourin) et la “Mangouchi”, sorte de flûte a deux cornes, ce style musical intègre le patrimoine folklorique marocain qui a été modernisé en associant des instruments modernes aux instruments traditionnels


It is from the rhythm 4/4 and 6/8 that this music is worked in order to perpetuate ancestral music. The background music is 4-beat, but the arrangements are drawn from different melodies relating to what is done all over the world. The sounds propel the local airs towards universality. It is a kind of demarcation from rai, but it is in the same style. The basic principle is identical, the difference is in the execution.

An annual reggada festival is organized in August dedicated to this music in Saïdia.

The reggada is a local heritage to be preserved. Although this art comes out of a long lethargy due to its local confinement, it is waking up to spread at the national level, even on the international scene by its diffusion in many albums of compilations or Djéing which associate the sonority.