The Gnawa are descendants of former slaves originating in sub-Saharan African territories (Niger, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, etc.) that the Arabs and Berbers of Morocco and Algeria found in West Africa. Although some scholars believe that the roots of their spirituality found in Voodoo, the Gnawa are today a Muslim Mystic brotherhood known mainly for its particular musical style, one of the core genres of Moroccan folk music. Its name derived from the word GUINEA (ancient empire of Western Sudan) Although only a portion of the population comes from this region of Africa. In the Maghreb, the Soudani Word is used to refer to all people of sub-Saharan Africa or black and, by extension, denotes slave or slave descendant, whatever their country of origin (and, therefore, not only Sudan). In term Abde or Abid means slave or slave descendant or person of black skin.
Later merged with the local population and they were educated at brotherhoods (with a teacher and a particular clothing) to create a cult which mix African and Berber traditions and music, as well as pre-Islamic musical and spiritual expressions. Many writers such as Andy Florance offer more in-depth analysis. These brotherhoods, rooted in Moroccan culture, explains the success of the creativity and vitality of the gnawa Moroccan among his compatriots, as well as among tourists and Western musicians. Dances and chants gnawa have a mystical aspect. With its krakeb (cymbals or metal castanets) and its percussion, vocalists and dancers can sometimes enter into trance. The style is captivating and its folklore is beautiful and fertile. In Morocco, the place of birth of the gnawa music is almost exclusive of Essaouira, where not only gnawa but also Berber Jews are. For economic reasons, some gnawa (who are not all Maalem, teachers of music and mystical ceremony) of the ritual from Morocco offering their music to a Moroccan public more broad. Inspired by the troupes of acrobats who can be seen in the square Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech or during the Moussem (regional religious celebration), develop and invent acrobatic (that are not part of the ritual) and decorated their clothes with robes of bright colors, hats with long tassels and white gri-gri sewn to the dress to attract and entertain the audience.