Inscribed in 2021 (16.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Tbourida is a Moroccan equestrian performance dating back to the sixteenth century. It simulates a succession of military parades, reconstructed according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals. Each tbourida is performed by a troupe made up of an odd number of riders and horses (between 15 and 25). The riders line up side by side, with the leader of the troupe in the middle. They often give spiritual significance to the event, performing ablutions and praying collectively beforehand. Under the direction of the leader, the riders and horses perform a parade composed of two principal parts. The first is the hadda, or salute, in which the riders enter the course at a trot and perform an acrobatic arms drill, then reposition themselves at the starting point. This is followed by the talqa, in which the troupes set off again at a gallop and fire a round of blanks from their rifles, simulating a collective departure for war. The riders wear period costumes and accessories, including a turban, draped clothing and oriental slippers. They also carry a small copy of the Koran and an ancient Arab sword. The horses are bridled and saddled with material sewn and decorated in the traditional manner. The riders’ customs and costumes represent their tribe or region, and transmission takes place from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and by observation.