Culture and sights in Mauritania
The culture of the Moors is shaped by the formerly dominant nomadic way of life. The highly developed handicraft tradition produced trinkets and household items intended for life in tents and for transportation by camels. Handicraft centers are Boutilimit (silver and leather goods) and Mederdra (wood carving and blacksmithing) in the Trarza administrative region.
The demanding music of the Bidhan belongs historically to the ruling class of the warriors (Hassani and is influenced by Arabic music. The complex music theory is based on the musical possibilities of the inland spit lute tidinit, which is only played by men. Women play the ardin as the only melody instrument The usual rhythm instrument for women is the kettle drum. Professional musicians traditionally belong to the musical caste, who, after their social function as storytellers, are counted among the West African griot. In today’s urban music scene, the tidinit has largely been replaced by the louder-sounding electric guitar.
The Arab-West African influenced folk music of the Haratin and craftsmen differs from the music of the Bidhan. Her musical instruments for private entertainment are the single-stringed calabash skewer lute gambra and the single-stringed string lute rbāb. There are also various flutes and percussion instruments, such as the calabash rattle daghumma. The music of the black African Soudans is based on the musical styles of Mali and Senegal.
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The caravan towns of Chinguetti, Ouadane, Oualata and Tichitt, which were founded in the 11th and 12th centuries at the junctions of the trade routes and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are worth seeing. They became the focal points of Islamic culture in northwestern Africa. Mosques, minarets and houses were built in these cities. The houses from this period have a shady inner courtyard that is typical for them. The Banc d’Arguin National Park on the Atlantic coast between Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, which consists of numerous islands, sand dunes and swamp areas, is also under special protection by UNESCO.
Atar is an oasis in the desert and played an important role in the high culture of the Moors.
A special attraction is the Nouadhibou ship cemetery in the eastern part of the Ras Nouadhibou peninsula near Nouadhibou with around 120 shipwrecks that can be observed in various stages of decay.
Probably the greatest attractions of Mauritania, however, lie in its landscape. These include the Adrar massif with its pink and brown plateaus on which sand dunes spread, Lake Aleg with its unique breeding and resting areas for migratory birds or the Diawling National Park.
The desert is alive and constantly changing.
Holidays in Mauritania
No general date can be given for the Islamic holidays in Mauritania, as these are based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
|Beginning of the year||January 1st|
|Birth of the Prophet||In January|
|Sugar Festival / end of Ramadan||In August / September|
|National holiday||November 28|
|Festival of Sacrifice||In October / November|