• Alessandra Ciucci deposited Performing ‘L-ʿalwa’: a sacred and erotic journey in Morocco in the group Group logo of EthnomusicologyEthnomusicology on Humanities Commons 8 months, 1 week ago

    ‘L-ʿalwa’, a sung poem whose text recounts the pilgrimage to a saint’s shrine in Morocco, is celebrated for its ability to convey images and emotions stirred up by the sacred journey. As part of the repertory of ʿaita—a genre of sung poetry from the Moroccan plains and plateaus traditionally performed by professional female singer-dancers [shikhat] and nowadays categorised as popular music [shʿabi]—‘L-ʿalwa’ presents an interesting case study through which it is possible to analyse the porosity between local constructions of the sacred and the secular in relation to a genre which is not explicitly associated with the sacred or with sacred performances. My analysis of salient moments of a performance of ‘L-ʿalwa’ at a wedding celebration in Morocco explores how the shikhat move across the sacred and the secular, and the central role that eroticism [ghram or mshka] plays in the porosity between these categories in performance.