Wedding in the Desert | Nomads of the Sahara

Suqueina and Shelej celebrate their wedding in the Sahara desert following the ancient tradition.

Planet Doc

The bridegroom friends go out to look for the bride, who, presumably, is hidden in some jaima.
This is what they call the AGLAA, the rescue dance. A tacit game in which the bride has to pretend she does not want to get married, and so hides with the help of her friends. In this way, she reaffirms her purity and chastity.
It is said that in the past some brides hid so well that they died of heat and exhaustion beneath the implacable Saharan sun.

Between burst of nervous laughter, the young bride jokes with her friends and cousins who are putting the final touches to her make up. When she is ready her friends place a white cloth over her head, a sign of virginity. 

Shelej decides to go out in search of his bride. Almost violently, the bride is dragged to the tent of the man who is now her husband.

In his jaima, the dancing is now becoming frenetic. The electrifying rhythm of the drums awakes the latent atavistic instincts of the Sahrawi nomad, and they dance wild, suggestively sensual dances.

When the bride and groom are in the same jaima, they are considered to be properly married. Then, the guests become uninhibited and for hours on end dance explicitly erotic dances. 
 Shelej’s young wife sits at her husband’s side, her head covered with a black cloth, to indicate she is no longer single.

The dance of these nomads is an expression of their determination to one day live in a Sahara free from foreign occupation. Through marriage they seek to perpetuate the lineage, preserve their collective memory.

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