University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Author: Deborah Kapchan

Moroccan Gnawa and Transglobal Trance

The Medium is the Music

By: Deborah Kapchan

The Gnawa Originally from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Gnawa are ritual musicians who were brought to Morocco mostly as slaves in the 15th and 16th centuries from the Songhay region of West Africa and who heal those inflicted with possession through music that induces trance. (See Viviana Pacques’ Les Esclaves de Dieu for a fuller discussion.) […]