قصص حب من الأمازون المغربي

Tales of Moroccan Amazons

Zara Samiry

image with artdirection

View Slide Show

At a time when equestrian traditions are vanishing globally, Morocco is keeping up with its own forms, particularly with the "Fantasia" or “Tbourida".

"Tbourida" refers to the traditional equestrian shows that celebrate the historic military art of Berber-Arabs and simulate their warring assaults on horses. This art form was commonly reserved for men due to its physicality and perilous aspects; women typically remained in the audience, welcoming and cheering the horse-riders with Youyous.

However, young women have started to challenge this tradition in recent years. Women horse-riders, the new Amazons of today, are attempting to make their own mark in what was previously seen as an exclusive patriarchal practice.

Morocco

image with artdirection

Info

1 of 20

Bouchra on her Arab Berber horse is the chief of troop Al Farisat Hawziya. One of the few female troops who practice Fantasia in Morocco. Bouchra is an experienced rider who learned Fantasia with her grandfather who was a chief of a male troop.

image with artdirection

Info

2 of 20

Despite Fantasia having a dangerous side, the riders wear makeup before each performance.

image with artdirection

Info

3 of 20

The majority of the young women who participate are under twenty-years-old, many are still high school students.

image with artdirection

Info

4 of 20

Appearance before the Fantasia is regular: a long tunic, a turban or a scarf to cover hair, white or black boots and pants. Unlike men, women have the right to wear bright colors to be distinguished during the Fantasia.

image with artdirection

Info

5 of 20

The Fantasia is practiced with a rifle and some black powder, but no bullets.

image with artdirection

Info

6 of 20

Oumaima, eighteen-years-old, is a member of the female troop Farisat El Hawzia. One of the few female troops who practice Fantasia in Morocco.

image with artdirection

Info

7 of 20

Farisat Al Hawziya troop waiting for their turn on the starting line during a Moussem. They are the only female troop of the show.

image with artdirection

Info

8 of 20

Some female troops are known for their sensual dances combining undulations of the body, belly dancing, and big hair movements; they have a nefarious reputation. It is not uncommon for male riders to enjoy the show and dance on their horses between two cavalcades of Fantasia.

image with artdirection

Info

9 of 20

During the show, the riders and their Arab-Barb horses gallop across the field, in perfect alignment facing an imaginary enemy. They fire a salvo of shots a few meters in front of Moroccan caïdales tents. Throughout the performance, the riders must stay perfectly synchronized and end with a perfect shot in a single detonation overall.

image with artdirection

Info

10 of 20

The father of one of the Amazons. The majority of the riders have the support of their families.

image with artdirection

Info

11 of 20

Before a training, a part of the troop Farisat El Hawzia a few kilometers away from Rabat. A Fantasia troop is called Sorba, their chief is called Mqadem(a), and they always have an odd number of riders.

image with artdirection

Info

12 of 20

The Amazon, the gun, the flag and...the purse.

image with artdirection

Info

13 of 20

Between two cavalcades, the Amazons take advantage of the break and come to chat with the public. The public comes mainly from nearby villages. They hide from the overwhelming heat of the summer under traditional caïdal tents.

image with artdirection

Info

14 of 20

Siham, eighteen-years-old, is a member of the female troop Farisat El Hawzia.

image with artdirection

Info

15 of 20

The Fantasia usually takes place in summer and lasts a whole day. The only way to cool off and to quench one’s thirst is to call a water carrier, called a Guerrab, a very traditional, typically Moroccan job which is part of the traditional cultural heritage.

image with artdirection

Info

16 of 20

During major festivities, male and female troops coexist and perform Fantasia on the same field, in turn.

image with artdirection

Info

17 of 20

Shaimaie, nineteen-years-old, is a member of the female troop Farisat El Hawzia.

image with artdirection

Info

18 of 20

The Amazons take care of themselves by cleaning and preparing their horses before every show.

image with artdirection

Info

19 of 20

Before a training, part of the troop Farisat El Hawzia play with complicity. "Our troop is like a second family."

image with artdirection

Info

20 of 20

In the room of the chief of the troop Farisat El Hawziya, a portrait of the late His Majesty King Hassan II, riding on an Arabian horse. The king was known to be fascinated by horses. "The horse is part of our family, our culture and our civilization," said the late His Majesty King Hassan II.

Zara Samiry

Morocco

Born in Casablanca in 1982, Zara Samiry is a multimedia storyteller and an independent photographer bParis and Casablanca. In France, she received a National Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Arts, a degree in communication and advertising and multimedia storytelling. After completing her studies, she returned to her homeland to document stories that she felt were being overlooked.

Portfolio | Email