Essaouira Mogador is a town at the Atlantic coast of Morocco

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El Maâllem
Mahmoud Guinia (Guinea)

Born in Essaouira 1951
Died : 2 August 2015 (aged 64)

El Maaâllem Mahmoud Guinia

The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco. "Maâllem Mahmoud Guinia" ( محمود ﯕينيا‎)

The Gnaoua instruments :
- 3 stringed percussive lute (Sintir or guembri)
- Large metal castanets (qraqeb)
- Drums (ganga)

Maâllem Mahmoud Guinia (the King) or Gania (actual spelling in passport).
He is the son of the late Maâllem Boubker Gnaia, and his two brothers Abdelah and Mokhtar are also distinguished maâllemin (masters). The Gania Family does also include Zaida Gania, who is a very popular medium and clairvoyant at the nights of trance (leelas) as well as the head of a group of female gnawas, The Haddarate of Essaouira.


Message de condoléances et de compassion de SM le Roi à la famille de l’artiste Mahmoud Guinea, Lundi, 3 août, 2015 à 18:00

Mahmoud Guinea, disparition d’un grand maâlem
( 3 August 2015)





Morocco's gnaoua (gnawa)
tradition with its special mix of African and Arabic elements and gnaoua rituals combines both music and acrobatic dancing to create an atmosphere of trance and healing.

The Gnawa religious brotherhood are the descendants of West African slaves who were brought northward, but they claim their spiritual descent from Bilal al-Habashi, the Ethiopian who served as the Prophet Muhammad's first muezzin, a person who calls the Muslim faithful to prayer.

The most important gnaoua ritual is the lila (also called a derdeba), an all-night, healing trance ceremony led by a maâlem, or master musician.
Here the seven spirits are evoked through around 100 chants. Especially in the Muslim month of Sha'aban, which is just before Ramadan, there are "leelahs" held in the gnawa community.


Read more in:

Culture Gnaoua and The Gnaoua Festival


" C’était un personnage très impressionnant, un monument, ardent défenseur de la culture gnaouia, c’est grâce à des gens comme lui que cette culture a (sur)vécu quelques siècles. "

"It was a very impressive character, a monument, an ardent defender of Gnaouia culture. it is because of people like him that this culture (of) lived a few centuries." 3 August 2015



Maalem Mahmoud Guinia Boiler Room Marrakech Live Performance 



Maalem Mahmoud Guinea and the dancing boy
The Gnaoua festival 2009

Maalem Mahmoud Guinea



El Maâllem
Mahmoud Guinia