Ancient Igoudar, Southern Morocco
Key Keeper Abdullah stands infront of the Tizgui Granary (Agadir Tizgui), Taliouine province, Souss Massa Draa, Southern Morocco, 2nd June 2016.
The word ‘Tizgui’ translates as ‘suspended’ in the Amazigh Tamazert dialect. It is one of the more remote granaries in the Taliouine province, requiring a trek by foot, mule or 4WD to access it.
The Tizgui ‘agadir’ (singular form of granary in Tamazert Amazigh dialect) is a fortified Berber collective granary which is estimated to be 800 years old, a time when many southern Amazigh tribes were still nomadic.
With hundreds dotted about the southern regions alone, the structures embody a culmination of all the brilliant social and technical innovations of the Berber tribes.
Notoriously impossible to siege, an agadir is usually placed on top of a mountain or carved into the rocks of dramatic escarpments, strategically located on higher ground beyond settlements, with good vantage points.
Traditionally, one security guard known as an ‘amin,’ stood at the only entrance to each structure and would defend the building from any potential thieves and bandits.
The amin was also responsible for holding the keys to the main door and all the chambered storage rooms inside, a tradition which is still kept alive today. This responsibility has always been a well respected role within the local communities surrounding the granaries and each appointed guard serves for a fixed number of years, rotating the privilege among members of the local communities. Abdullah, president and key keeper of the Tizgui & Tallilent co-operative and granary located beyond Assais, told of the an agadir being the social hub of the community during the height of their use.
Tizgui is located in the Taliouine Province, a region famed for it’s ability to cultivate high quality saffron. The crops which are agriculturally viable amid the dramatic climate conditions of the Anti Atlas, such as saffron, almonds, and argan are high
- Chris Griffiths
- Image Size
- 5760x3840 / 19.1MB
- Contained in galleries
- Ancient Igoudar (Souss Massa Draa)