On the long trail (Morocco): Three Generations. The Ben Youssef family

On the long trail (Morocco): Three Generations. The Ben Youssef family
2019. Three Generations, the Ben Youssef family, Saghrou and Nkob (Morocco). Photos: Inanç Tekgüç © Inanç Tekgüç

On the long trail (Morocco): Three Generations. The Ben Youssef family

Your name: «Your name is not yours, it belongs to the group.»

Ait M’hamed, Ait Bouguemez and Ait Atta: those are the names of the three tribes agdaling Igourdane. The first two live relatively close to Igourdane. However, the third tribe performs an arduous 150 km journey by foot up and down the agdal, every year. These tribes have been following the rhythm of seasons for generations, in a huge effort that requires every individual to surrender and comply with the collective.

The Ait Atta leave their children in town with relatives until they are old enough to join the rest of the family in a destiny that many will cyclically fulfill until they are very old. Both mothers and fathers leave for their journey to the highlands. Moving together as a destiny, forgetting as a necessity. It is almost impossible for someone who has not grown up with such a deep vision of the pastures to even imagine what it is to become a fully integrated part of this whole.