El Jadida: Falconry Festival kicks off its fifth edition

Flight Hunting - Falconry

El Jadida: Falconry Festival kicks off its fifth edition

The rural commune of Zaouïat Lekouassem, in the province of El Jadida, is hosting, from September 29 to October 1, 2017, the fifth edition of its Falconry Festival.

Falconry: Ancestral Tradition and Universal Heritage, Intergenerational Transmission” It is the theme of the fifth edition of the Lekouassem Falconry Festival that will take place in the rural commune of Zaouïat Lekouassem.

Organized under the auspices of the province of El Jadida by the Provincial Association of Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Association of Falconers Lekouassem Ouled Frej and the Regional Directorate of Culture, the event will take place September 29 October 1st.

In the rural center of Had Ouled Frej, the tribe of Lekouassem nowadays represents the last rampart which preserves ancestral tradition, having known formerly its most noble letters of nobility. Considered for some time as a simple local curiosity, falconry Lekouassem nowadays a renewed interest and recognition and has made this area a favorite place for the development of the art of the thieving and its transmission of father to son. This fifth edition offers an enticing program to introduce heritage and falconry in the village of Smâala Ouled Frej which unquestionably represents the only stronghold of falconry in Morocco. Faithful to its vocation, this Festival tries to promote the culture and the heritage of the region on a background of varied and enticing animation, with on the menu of exhibitions of falconry, shows of folklore, an exhibition of local products of the region , an exhibition of Moroccan purebred hunting dogs, the “Sloughi”, a photographic exhibition of falconry under the theme
“Falconry in the Arab world”, an exhibition of hunting tools, a competition for visual artists (young and confirmed) around the hawk, in addition to fantasia shows and traditional music animated by various folk groups and popular groups. The event will also focus on the Doukkali horse and culinary arts, which are part of the region’s rich heritage.

Falconry, “Al Bayzara”, or hawk hunting is the art of capturing live game with raptors specially trained for this purpose. The practice of this art appeared in our country with the advent of the Arabs in the Maghreb, especially from the twelfth century. This mode of hunting then spread as well in the royal circles as among nomadic and semi-nomadic communities. Historical texts attest to the interest that the sultans of the Maghreb, from the time of the Almohads (13th century), gave to this art and the role played by the hawk in the diplomatic exchanges between Morocco and the countries of the East and from the West. This original and popular tradition is based on the affaitage of the only two species of winged genius perfectly adapted to the hunting methods practiced, namely the peregrine falcons called “Bahri” and “Nebli”. Well anchored, the art of falconry, legacy of our ancestors, inspires by its nobility and authenticity a sense of pride.