Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Eight Examples Of Haritans' Neifara (Flute) Music (Mauritania)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases eight videos of Mauritania's Haritans (Black Moors') Neifara (Flute) music.

Information about Haratins is included in this post along with information about slavery in Mauritania.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who keep Haratin culture alive. Thanks also to all those who are working for the real abolishment of slavery in Mauritania and those who are working for the establishment of equal rights for all Mauritanians. Thanks to all those who are featured in this post. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.
Click for a related pancocojams post that was suggested by a comment in the discussion thread of the video given below as Example #6.

"Haratin (also transliterated Haratins, Harratins or Haratine, etc., singular Hartani) are oasis-dwellers in the Sahara, especially in southern Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Western Sahara, who make up a socially and ethnically distinct group of largely settled, non-nomadic workers, with relatively dark complexions, speaking either Berber or Arabic.[1]

The name is of obscure origin and has been variously traced to Arabic roots meaning cultivator or Berber roots meaning "black". It may be the Arabized version of ahardan, a Berber word meaning "dark color".

Haratin in Mauritania
See also: Slavery in Mauritania
In Mauritania, the Haratin form one of the largest ethnic groups and account for as much as 40% of the Mauritanians. They are sometimes referred to as "Black Moors",[2] in contrast to Beidane, or "White Moors". The Haratin are Arabic-speakers and generally claim a Berber or Arab origin. This is unlike the sub-Saharan African peoples in southern Mauritania (such as the Wolof and the Fulɓe). The Haratine, in contrast, consider themselves part of the Moorish community. Their origin is unclear: some are thought to be the descendants of traded slaves from other regions of Africa (Central and Eastern Africa Sahel region) while others are thought to be descendants of a sedentary population of who have lived in the location since the Neolithic period when the Sahara was occupied by black skinned people.[3]

Most Haratine are descended from Bambara, Fulani, Soninké and Wolof people, groups that fled south beyond the Senegal River valley when the Berbers, and later the Moors, settled in the region during the 3rd century CE. Those who remained intermarried with the Berbers and Arabs.[4] They were historically the rulers of kingdoms spread all over North Africa.[5]

Although the Mauritanian government has issued emancipation declarations, discrimination against Haratin is still widespread, and some continue to be, for all practical purposes, enslaved, while large numbers live in other forms of informal dependence on their former masters. Amnesty International reported that in 1994 90,000 Haratine still lived as "property" of their master, with the report indicating that "slavery in Mauritania is most dominant within the traditional upper class of the Moors."[6]

The report also observed that "[s]ocial attitudes have changed among most urban Moors, but in rural areas, the ancient divide is still very alive." There have been many attempts to assess the real extension of slavery in modern Mauritania, but these have mostly been frustrated by the Nouakchott government's official stance that the practice has been eliminated. Amnesty further estimated that some 300,000 freed slaves continued to serve their former masters because of psychological or economic dependency”...

September 21, 2011
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
The enslavement of Black Africans by Arabs had begun in the 8th century, but from the 11th century it accelerated when the political situation in the area became more stable and slavery and the caste system became institutionalised. There was limited contact with Europeans until the 16th century when sporadic raids by Portuguese trans-Atlantic slave traders enslaved some people, but until the 19th Century Mauritania was deemed inhospitable for Europeans.

To pursue its commercial expansionist ambitions, in the late 1850s France began a gradual expansion of its colonial possessions from its strong base in Senegal, also reaching into the territory today constituting Mauritania. Throughout its African colonial possessions, France adopted a policy of maintaining the status quo as much as possible under the new policy of ‘peaceful pacification’. Paris negotiated the submission of most of local populace through chieftains and nobles on the promise that their customs, values, property and religion would be respected. At this time, slavery and an entrenched caste system were very much an established norm. With the Arab-Berbers at the top of the system, all negotiations were conducted with them. This further solidified the caste system in Mauretania.

Due to a persistent culture of denial among the ruling elites and authorities – the majority of which are Arab-Berber – any attempts to raise awareness of the practice are stifled. In addition, no Haratin option exists on national census forms, and traditional indications of slavery, such as shackles, are not visible, as the slavery exists in slavery-like practices including modern serfdom, debt bondage and domestic servitude.

Even in cases where Haratin slaves have secured their freedom, they often continue to be economically, culturally and psychologically dependent on their former masters. They are regularly discriminated against and often have limited access to economic opportunities or basic services such as education and healthcare and are the poorest fraction of Mauritania’s population. This perpetuates the widespread belief in Mauritania and the region that the Haratin are inferior to their Arab-Berber counterparts.

The Haratin, also referred to as ‘Black Moors’, are the largest minority group in Mauritania. The name Haratin derives from the Arabic word for ‘freedom’ which was applied to slaves freed after the 1905 Abolition Law came into effect. In contrast, ‘Abd’ or ‘Abid’ was ascribed to a slave’s name to denote enslavement. This term is sometimes still used in reference to the Mauritanian slave community.

Their ethnic origin is Sub-Saharan African. They were invaded, enslaved and assimilated during raids by Arab-Berbers from the 8th century onwards. This resulted in erosion of their pre-enslavement culture and their culture, language and identity today is derived from Arab-Berber (Moorish) traditions whose culture remains dominant in the political, economic and security spheres of Mauritania. Their dance and music traditions reflect their history of enslavement and while heavily influenced by Arab-Berber culture and Islam, some remnants of their former Sub-Saharan musical culture are still evident, such as cries, screams and trances. The function of the music serves in a similar way to the gospel music created by African slaves in American slavery history, expressing a yearning for one freedom. Common instruments are the Akoting lute and the Tam Tam.”...

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

The comments are given in chronological order, except for responses. However, they may not be in consecutive order.

Example #1: Musique de Gueller, música mauritana, neifara, eredeh

Eyehah Ould, Uploaded on Apr 28, 2008

La música mauritana es una combinación de elementos meramnete árabes y otros de origen negro. En mauritania existe todavía un tipo de música local que se conoce por "Neifara" que tiene un peso muy importante en la sociedad maura. El pasado verano(2007) estuve allí y aquí tenéis una muestra de esta música que a mí me gusta muchísimo. Espero que os guste,
Google Translate from Spanish to English:
Mauritanian music is merely a combination of Arab and other elements of black origin. In Mauritania there is still a kind of local music is known as "Neifara" which has a very important role in society Maura. Last summer (2007) I was there and here's a sample of this music that I like very much. I hope you like it,

Example #2: yelallkom mesoeydik Music Mauritania Uploaded on Jul 18, 2008
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Diallo Gouné, 2015
"sa me fait un grand plaisir d'écouter cette musique en tant que mauritanien de la région du guidimakha"
Google Translate from French to English
it gives me great pleasure to listen to this music as the Mauritanian Guidimaka region

Example #3: Musique mauritanienne, Gueller, Neifara...

Eyehah Ould, Uploaded on May 5, 2008

Aquí tenéis un ejemplo de un antiguo instrumento llamado "Neifara" (flauta). Una buena parte de población se mantiene fiel a este típico instrumento, pese a las inovaciones en materia de música. El neifara (flauta) es más habitual encontrarlo en zonas rurales y que es interpretado por los antiguos haratines.
De todas formas, espero que os guste y hasta el próximo video.
Google Translate from Spanish to English
"Here is an example of an ancient instrument called "Neifara" (flute). Much of the population remains true to this traditional instrument, despite the innovations in music. The neifara (flute) is most commonly found in rural areas and that is interpreted by the ancient Haratines.
Anyway, I hope you like it and until next video."

Example #4: Flûte Neifara, Mauritanie

Boris LELONG, Uploaded on Mar 13, 2009

Flûte Neifara, jouée par Mohamed ould Mohamed Ellabd à Atar, Mauritanie
Google Translate from French to English
Production ALTAMIRA
Neifara flute, played by Mohamed Ould Mohamed Abd El Atar, Mauritania

Example #5: Music mauritania TVM

. Uploaded on Mar 26, 2009
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread
Mo Amin, 2012
"There is similarity with Somali traditional music"

Example #6: belkhere yelalkom - meso eydikom music mauritania, Uploaded on Mar 2, 2011
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread
ahmmsh, 2013
"From hearing the flute I can tell they are the descendants of Fulani people who were enslaved by Berbers and Songhai, and sold to the Arabs. The Fulanis call this flute "Tambin", you can see videos of the fulani tambin on youtube too..

I wish the Haratines dignity, freedom and success in this new world that no longer recognises the evils of slavery and racism."

Example #7: Nvarre music traditionnel de mauritanie, Uploaded on Mar 1, 2011

Nvarre music traditionnel de mauritanie
Navarre is a city in Mauritania.

Example #8: ewyde ejrid guerou le3saba mauritania Uploaded on Apr 19, 2011

ewyde ejrid guerou le3saba mauritania

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