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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Snake Charmers, Belly Dancers and Storks

In La Place in Marrakech, there are a wide variety of people who will pose for a picture if you pay them. If you just walk up to a crowd gathered watching a performance of some kind, they will aggressively pursue you for payment. The tour guides told us how much to pay and what to expect.

Among those who frequent the square are the snake charmers. Our group approached some men gathered under a big umbrella, with what looked like basket lids on the ground. One of them lifted two lids and there were two black cobras who quickly lifted their heads from their coiled positions. Quickly a basket came forward for payment and we complied. I took two pictures. As we moved away to allow others to move forward, one of the men came towards us with a snake, which he started to wrap around Rick's neck but we waved him off. 

                                          Snake charmers

There are also men with monkeys that will sit on your shoulder for a price as well. Water sellers in bright red costumes will also pose if paid. 

On two occasions in Morocco, we were entertained by belly dancers. We dined on various Moroccan tagine dishes while musicians played and sang. Periodically a beautiful woman gyrated her abdominal muscles, and other parts, in remarkable ways.

                  Belly dancer and musicians

My mind goes back to Prince Edward Island during these performances where Belly Dancing is taught as a course in Seniors College. It's great exercise obviously but I wonder how long one has to practice to be able to gyrate the hips and deftness of these professionals. I guess the use of lit torches as you gyrate or mouth the fire is in Belly Dancing Part 2.

                       Belly Dancing Part 2

The storks are as much a character of Marrakech as are the people. Throughout the country in fact, they  are easy to discern because of the long beaks and wing span. Most noticeable however, are the nests, perched precariously sometimes, atop poles, buildings, in exposed areas. The nests are huge and family activity is sometimes evident.  

                                             Stork surveying her domain

Morocco has a population of 33,000,000 with half of them under the age of twenty. No wonder...with the number of storks around here!

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