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Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

Paris, France
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Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

Hey everyone

I would like to make sure that I am able to encounter unique personalities of Marrakech.

Some such personalities that I hope to meet include:

-storyteller

-dentist

-herbologist

-'pharmacist' at apothecary

-snakecharmers and musicians

Any others that you suggest I visit? Perhaps specific artisans or others with specific trades and talents?

Thank you

Marrakech
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1. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

I find the metal work area of the souks fascinating. No UK health and safety. An eye-opener.

marrakech
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2. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

Hi,

The very cool metal work shop in Place Ferblantiere at the Mellah (you can't miss their unique shop).

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

The storyteller in the square will only be relating his stories in Moroccan dialect so you may not understand what is being told.

The dentist looks an unhappy soul just sitting at his table with an array of teeth on display. Agree a price before you take his photo. I felt guilty at only giving him 10Dh.

Herbologist - Not sure what this is but if you mean herbalist then avoid at all costs as you will be expected to pay a high price for "medication" which will do you no good.

Pharmacist at apothecary - same as above.

The snakecharmers are experts at conning passers-by by putting a snake around ones neck and offering to take your photo with your camera and then the argument ensues for 200, 300, 400Dh maybe. Argue your case and offer no more than 50Dh.

Any other performers (such as with monkeys) and musicians will spot you from a long distance if you attempt to photograph them. They will then demand payment and give you some real hassle.

If you wish to take someones photograph or a movie clip then ask beforehand what they expect and then do a bit of haggling. Things usually work out amicably in the end.

Castril De La Pena...
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4. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

Sorry John, but In mu honest opinion 50dh for a photo or two is orders of magnitude too much. I'd be thinking of 10dh which is the equivalent in Moroccan earning power to about 8 euros in Europe.

So double that if you really must (but I wouldn't).

Yes, they will scream and shout whatever you offer, for they are not nice people. I remember the post from the angry wife on Lonely Planet whose husband had 600dh snatched from his wallet for photos of monkeys.

Marrakech, Morocco
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5. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

Water sellers - Berber men in startling costumes including spectacular fringe brimmed hats. DONT ask them for water though!

As John W says herborists shops can just be an excuse for a rip off. However the displays of ancient cures, herbs and spices, ingredients that we usually with Biblical times (frankincense, myrrh) And much more, including items probably banned by the CITES convention.

The Gnaouan dancers, and of course the stall boys at the square for their cheeky banter!

6. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

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Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

The water sellers can look incredibly good in their authentic outfit but look lower, they may just be wearing trainers and YSL socks!

Thornton Cleveleys...
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8. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

I don't know if this would be of interest but there is a book of Moroccan stories translated into English, all gathered from traditional Moroccan storytellers from Djemma el Fna etc.

The stories tend to lose a little something in translation - as well as in the fact they are being read and not heard - but there is a quite informative little prologue in the book about how the author tracked the storytellers down.

Watch the price though - it's currently at £12 on Kindle but I bought it at £2.09 so it does fluctuate quite wildly! amazon.co.uk/The-Last-Storytellers-Tales-Mor…

Paris, France
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9. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

I wont be taking any pictures with the monkeys, as I feel bad about them treating my ancestors in such a way :P

I'm a hustler myself, and I can't be fooled by any of the performers or merchants. I appreciate your advice on how much I should realistically pay. I have read many posts about paying for pics and video. I will always ask permission and agree on an amount before and keep the rate low/realistic.

I don't particularly plan to buy anything from the apothecary, unless they have some magical rapid weight loss concoction!!!::D I am just interested in meeting personalities and skilled tradesman and performers, because at the end of the day, aside from their approach, they have something special talents that most of my countrymen don't.

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I will check out the metal workers and the Gnaouan available. Any other suggestions?

Marrakech, Morocco
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10. Re: Interesting Personalities of Marrakech

If you wish to improve your hustling techniques you could worse than visiting the tanneries in the medina Marrakech. I mention this only as a warning to people who might be considering the location for an hour or so!

You might be surprised at what the herborists offer: after over two decades of suffering from psoriasis my condition was cured in ten months (and has not reappeared) which featured an herboriste product.

Lastly from me, you will encounter many artisans making their products in situ, just wander through the medina with no particular preparation for a route. Some of the best surprises are discovered this way

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