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AfricaEleventh Edition of the Mata International Equestrian Festival

Eleventh Edition of the Mata International Equestrian Festival

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Equestrian Festival – Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the international horse riding festival Mata organized by the Alamia Laaroussia Association for Social and Cultural Action, in partnership with the UNESCO International Festival of Cultural Diversity, returns for its eleventh edition from 02 to 04 June 2023 in Zniyed, ciada/commune of Larbaa de Ayacha, provincial district of moulay Abdessalam ibn Machich, province of Larache, wilaya of Tangier-Te touan-Al Hoceima, under the sign:

“Mata: heritage of humanity and meeting of cultures”.

« ي وملت ىق للثقافات ماطا تراث إنسا ن »

A new edition that confirms the commitment of Mr. Nabil Baraka, president of the Mata
festival to promote this authentic intangible heritage from the north of Morocco and preserved by Morocco and preserved by the late Sidi Abdelhadi Baraka Naquib of the Alamiyin chorfas and our late grandfather Sidi hadj Mohamed Baraka Naquib of the Alamiyin chorfas.

Open to the continents, Mata is today a space of conviviality and cultural, social and economic exchange, the president of the festival, Mr Nabil Baraka, explains:

“This annual event, whose cornerstone is the MATA equestrian competition, contributes to the preservation of an ancestral intangible civilisational heritage and revives age-old traditions of the region. The event, which enhances the place of the horse in the northern region and pays tribute to its riders, also promotes the economic and tourist development of the northern and southern regions of the Kingdom by highlighting their many assets and promoting the products of their rich and varied soils and crafts, which are now renowned worldwide. As in previous editions, a rich programme of activities is planned on site. During the 3 days of the event, guests and national and international visitors will be able to travel through history a magnificent competition of ancestral MATA tradition” and discover the exhibitions of local products and and discover exhibitions of local products and Moroccan crafts.

The Festival also offers its guests a series of evenings of of Sufi songs and local and national folkloric shows, in addition to various animations set up during the three days the three days: awareness campaign on the respect of the environment, games for children, etc. games for children, etc.

“The local produce and handicrafts fair is now a highlight of each edition of the Mata International Riding Festival. The southern provinces, permanent guests of the festival, exhibit their products alongside the cooperatives of the northern region and allow our guests to discover the variety and richness of our respective local treasures. It is a demonstration of our commitment to the promotion of tourism, culture and social dynamics and our support for human development,” says Mr. Nabila Baraka, President of the Alamia Laaroussia Association for Social and Cultural Action.

The 2022 edition had registered the participation of more than 200,000 people between national and international visitors. The MATA competition attracted more than 240 riders from different tribes. 60 cooperatives from the South and North of Morocco as well as from Mauritania were also able to exhibit their products; A music festival animated by renowned artists such as L7OR, Abdelali Taounati, Houssa 46, Ouafae senhajia and Hanae elmrini.

The music festival programme of the eleventh edition will be surprising and rich in Jebli and popular music varieties, as well as a strong moment to pay tribute to great cultural and sports personalities. and sports personalities.

“MATA”, a world heritage

All around Jbel Allam, the peasants welcomed spring by playing a particularly original game which calls on the courage, skill, flexibility, delicacy, intelligence and finesse of those who play it. It is a game where horse and rider, in perfect symbiosis, celebrate a legendary complicity and above all the ancestral culture of an extraordinary region. The Jbalas have named this game MATA.

Even today, the tradition is jealously preserved by the tribes of Bni A rous and the rules of the game are scrupulously respected. After the sifting of the wheat fields, first in the village of Aznid, then in other villages, young girls and women of the tribe who are entrusted with this operation accompany it with their songs, their youyous and their famous a iyou’, to the sound of the ghaitas and drums specific to the region. These same women make, with the help of reeds and fabrics, the doll that the bravest horsemen of the Jebala country will compete for, a region where the art of riding, breeding and training horses is a strong cultural specificity.

The riders who participate in the MATA game must ride bareback, dressed in the ancestral jellabas and amamas. According to oral tradition, the winner of the MATA game is the one who, using his skill and boldness, is able to snatch the doll from the other riders and carry it away. A supreme reward is then awarded to him: he is married to the most beautiful girl in the tribe.

The “MATA” game is probably inspired by the Bouzkachi, a similar but more violent game, imported, according to legend, by Moulay Abdes legend, by Moulay Abdeslam lbn Mashich during his visit to Ibn Boukhari. The bouzkachi played in Afghanistan has as stake the corpse of a goat that the goats fight in brutal jousts that cause many injuries. which results in many injuries.

This annual event This annual event celebrates an ancient culture that expresses a rehabilitated sense of honour, faith, patriotism as a Sufi school and spiritual and universal values; the whole humanist heritage bequeathed by the great the great Quotb Moulay Abdeslam Ibn Mashich to the Alamiyin Chorfas, the Tarika Mashichiya Shadhiliya and the inhabitants of this exceptional region.

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