Azawan: precolonial musical culture and Saharawi nationalism in the refugee camps of the Hamada Desert in Algeria


  • Luis Gimenez Amoros Rhodes University



This article analyses Saharawi music as performed for the refugee community in the camps. I argue that the construction and evolution of Saharawi music in the camps is divided into two main areas: nationalism in relation to the decolonisation of Western Sahara, and maintenance of cultural values in Saharawi music found in the historical retention of the Haul modal system originating in precolonial Saharawi culture. Local audiences use the term Azawan to define the combination of nationalist sentiments and retention of their precolonial musical culture in Saharawi music.


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How to Cite

Gimenez Amoros, Luis. 2015. “Azawan: Precolonial Musical Culture and Saharawi Nationalism in the Refugee Camps of the Hamada Desert in Algeria”. African Music : Journal of the International Library of African Music 10 (1):31-51.