National Geographic : 1968 Jun
the traditional dance of the region, accompa nied by singing and hand drums. Standing shoulder to shoulder, turning slowly, balancing first on one foot, then on the other, the singers face each other in a circle. One group chants a sentence, another impro vises an answer. Ahmed tells me it is a song of unrequited love, but his translation seems so unlikely I do not believe him. Several months later, in Mar rakech, I run across a slim volume of poems by Mririda n' Ait Attik, a famous Berber poetess, and in it find a song so like Ahmed's - 1 "1Y LIO NGL RI: KODACHROMEBY DAVIDHICKS(C) N G.S . version I think it may have been the same: My heart is smitten with the son of Sidi Daoud! Why has he not looked at me? runs the first line of Mririda's song. There comes the response: Because lie was accompanied by his father! Then the question anew: Her heart is smit ten with the son of Sidi Daoud! Who will say why he has not looked at her? A girl sings another reason for his shyness: Because a wasp made him a nose like a fist! Once the answer is inelegant: Because he had just been carrying manure!