Once a year, toward the end of May, the tribes of northern Morocco come together in their finest garb at a large esplanade near to the village of Zniyed, not far from the town of Larache. There, they compete with their horses in a unique and traditional festival, the Moussem Mata Equestrian Festival.
Now organized by the Laaroussia Alamia Association since its modern-day revival, this festival is an old folkloric tradition recognized by UNESCO. The festival combines the preservation of tradition with the aim of harnessing the attractions of the region and its cultural assets toward the a model of sustainable rural tourism.
The Mata Festival is also a prime opportunity to learn about the songs, music, artisanship, and customs of the various historic tribes of the Jebala region, while witnessing the locals horseriding barefoot, fighting for the cloth-doll of the winning tribe. An ancestral festival full of tolerance and culture, an authentic tribute to the character of the region.
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