Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, July 07, 2008

MARRAKECH: THE JEMAẬ-EL-FNA: PART 1

Marrakech has countless points of interest, but none is more colorful and lively than the Jemaâ-el-Fna, or “Square of the Dead,” or in some guidebooks, “dead man’s square.” Early in Marrakech’s history, there were public executions in this city plaza, which was possibly considered good entertainment by the residents. French occupation in the early 1900’s put a stop to that practice, which is in itself curious considering public beheadings were so much a part of French history.

By Jade’s visit in 1920 (The Serpent’s Daughter), the public plaza was free of salted and drying heads stuck up on posts, but it was still a lively place and the heart of the city. Part marketplace, part entertainment center, the square bustled all day, maintaining its liveliness even after the city gates closed for the night.

Storytellers held their audience captive with long tales of jinni and wild adventures. Snake charmers worked with asps and cobras, jugglers performed, and vendors hawked foods and goods. Edith Wharton visited the square in 1917 to see young Chleuh boys dance. These youths were members of a Berber tribe, famous in her time for their stately dancing.

NEXT WEEK: THE JEMAẬ-EL-FNA: PART 2 (and another video)

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