x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The Tan-Tan: UAE heritage on display

 22/07/10 - Abu Dhabi, UAE - A participant weaving a dates basket at the Liwa Dates Festival on Thursday July 22, 2010. (Alyazia Al Yousef / The National)
22/07/10 - Abu Dhabi, UAE - A participant weaving a dates basket at the Liwa Dates Festival on Thursday July 22, 2010. (Alyazia Al Yousef / The National)

Today, the UAE completed its activities as the guest of honour in the 10th edition of the Tan-Tan (Moussem) Festival in Morocco.

Named after the Tan-Tan region in southern Morocco, the event is a large gathering that used to be only for the tribes of the region but that now encompasses different aspects of desert life, its customs and traditions and is also attempting to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of the region.

The UAE was invited to display the elements of heritage that have recently been registerd on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - falconry, sadu (traditional weaving) and taghruda (a poetry form).

They held workshops specialised in both sadu, Al Khous (weaving from palm fronds) and authentic Emirati telly (embroidery). Traditional dance troupes or Ayala also performed accompanied by singers, oud and rubaba players as well as Al Taghruda (sung poetry) performers.

They also participated in the festival’s procession with traditional Emirati attire and the UAE flags.

Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Adviser for Culture and Heritage in the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Cultural Programs and Heritage Festivals Committee, Abu Dhabi said that the UAE’s participation matched the “expectations of the organisers who chose the UAE as a guest of honour in recognition of the cultural, literary, and artistic exuberance that the country has been witnessing.”

He added that the participation at the Tan-Tan “constitutes a unique opportunity to highlight the prestigious artistic and cultural achievements that the UAE has accomplished on the regional and international levels as part of its endeavour to maintain a dialogue with the culture of the other.”

* Find out more about the Tan-Tan here