Taking the Nomad trail

The nomads were found in the desert age, sheltering themselves from the burning sunlight under a tent made from camel-hair. Their dogs would snarl and bark if anyone approached, and the mules and the camels would swing their heads to show that someone was coming near.

The men would exit their tent with their sharpened and curved daggers hanging far down their backs, and their long but comfortable Berber scarves were wrapped loosely around their necks and heads. The women could be seen herding the white sheep and black goats in the great distance, and the amazing view of the Atlas Mountains set the view behind them.

Travelling with Alex Edwards, an Englishman that manages a safari company, you get the feeling that you are huge, like giants from years in the future back into the old times. Theguide and interpreter, Khalid Oukraou, explained to be careful of the dogs, they were not meant to be pets.

The group were led back into the tent with a few men to join them for tea. Hmad the nomadic leader, lifted up a teapot and began to pour the tea into cups. One of his sons set out some pastries and goodies to snack on. Hmad’s wife Touda, and his three beautiful daughters, all entered the tent wearing colourful but mismatching fabric, and had the look of uncertainty on their faces. Hmad pointed at the women and then tapped his chest as to clarify that these belonged to him.

There is not much that has been written about the Ait Atta in English, and their type of work defines them as being nomadic, making their summers consist of migrating with their livestock and then returning to their fields and homes.

Hmad on the other hand, had assured us that he and his family members were nomadic, even though they planned to move up into the mountains under the clear open sky away from their fields and homes. The nomads were accustomed to moving around and felt that it was what they knew best. They knew to take care of each other and make sure they were all close and kept together.