Tinghir and Todra valley.

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The weekly market of Tinghir

The weekly market of Tinghir is one of the largest in southern Morocco by its movement and variety of products they offer. It retains a traditional look pretty, with a large number of activities specific of the area and practiced for centuries, as the sale of grain, dates, olives and local crafts, and also of livestock in an annex.

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The market of Tinghir in 1950.
The market of Tinghir in 1950

The Tinghir weekly market has a tradition of many centuries. At first it was located east of the Ksar Tinghir, at the foot of Ksar Ait Barra. In 1930, according to the Lieutenant Beaurpère, there were sold every Monday from 120 to 200 sheep, 30 to 40 cows, donkeys, mules, food and various objects.

Subsequently it moved a little to the west side of the Ksar Tinghir before leaving the town center for its current location. But, even after that, until the 1990s, every Monday afternoon it returned to its precedent place, called Souk Tahtani or Down Market.

Saturday cattle market.
Saturday cattle market

Today the cattle market is made on Saturday morning in an annex enclosure instead of the large market in its western side. It remains important, with many cows, sheep, goats, donkeys and mules. There are also some "accessories" for animals, such as saddlebags, packsaddles, horseshoes and straw for its food.

Monday market of Tinghir, 2010.
Monday market of Tinghir

The big weekly market continue to be on Monday, three kilometers far from the town center on the road of Ouarzazate.

Its enclosure is divided into four areas, separated by wide avenues that facilitate the passage of the crowd from one extreme to the other.

Although the limits are not strict, each area is more or less specialized in some specific activities, which recalls the gremial origin of Moroccan markets.

In general, the western part of the market contains vegetables, grains and modern industrial goods; the eastern part is reserved for handicrafts and agricultural local production, such as dates and olives.

Market of Tinghir.
Vegetables in the market of Tinghir

In the northwest part there are mainly fruits and vegetables. Those coming from the Todra gardens are now a minority. The trucks bring most of them from Agadir and Sous valley. They arrive on Sunday morning and this day they are sold to traders of the town. Then, on Monday they are sold to people per kilo.

Grains in the Monday market of Tinerhir.
Grains in the market of Tinghir

The grains market is also very important. It includes a covered area where the bags of grain are stored and where they can be sold in case of rain. But, if the weather is good, the grains are exposed on tarps or plastics around this space.

In addition to the wheat, very abundant, in the market of Tinghir we find barley, corn, beans and sometimes lenses.

Measure to sell grain.
Measure to sell grain

The grain is not sold by weight, such as vegetables, but by measures. A metal pot named Al Abra, "the measure", is filled to the top and its content poured into a bag where the customer will take it away.

Clothes in the market of Tineghir.

Clothes don’t have a special area in spite of its importance. They are distributed among vegetables and grains. There are a wide variety of things: jellabas, jeans, dresses, and also used clothes brought from Europe.

Sandals and shoes in Tineghir market.
Sandals and shoes

The same think about shoes and sandals, most of them of plastic or rubber, of all colors and all sizes.

Mats and mattresses in Tineghir market.
Mats and mattresses

The mattresses, the mats woven by plastic and some furniture found its place in the southeast sector, dispersed among other goods.

Plastique items in the market of Tinergir.
Plastique items

Other plastic items, such as toys and flowers, abound and give a bit of joy to the overall image with its color diversity.

Housewares in the market of Tinergir.
Kitchenware and house wares

Kitchenware and house wares, including pots, couscous pots, teapots, glasses, plates, trays and other pieces of aluminum, ceramic or glass, are also sold in the southeast area. Almost everything comes from factories in Casablanca and Atlantic coast.

Teapots and trays in the market of Tineghir.
Teapots and trays

Teapots and traditional trays of copper occupy a small space in the specific southeast sector. Generally they come from Fez.

Ironmongery in the market of Tineghir.

Ironmongery is also present, with any sort of tools for carpenters, for masons, for welders, for plumbers and even for farmers. Most of these materials are made in China and they arrive by truck from Casablanca.

Ironwork from Tinghir.
Ironwork from Tinghir

But there are also craft tools made by blacksmiths from Tinghir, including sickles, picks, peeled, hammers, hoes and tools to weave carpets.

Scrap metal and used items in Tineghir market.
Scrap metal and used items

The shelves of used miscellaneous items brought from Europe by the emigrants are also of great importance. The whole set of these products is known by the Spanish word Chatarra, scrap, and includes a wide variety of objects: boom boxes, pans, shoes, toys, sewing machines, lamps, suitcases, computers...

Bikes in the market of Tineghir.

In this category of objects brought by emigrants, used bikes occupy a fairly important place. There are all qualities and all sizes, at fairly reasonable prices, because buyers are mostly young college or high school students, with very limited economic means.

Trees and plants in the market of Tineghir.
Trees and plants

Almost in the middle of the market, but sometimes also outside, are trees and plants. For most they are fruit trees: olive trees, apricot trees, peach trees, orange trees, almond trees and others for agriculture. But sometimes there are also flowers and ornamental plants.

Alfalfa seeds in the market of Tinehir.
Alfalfa seeds

And, of course, we also see the seeds for any kind of vegetables, as well as for different species of alfalfa: the one from Todra valley, the one native from Tafilalet and even a quality imported from China...

Dates in the market of Tinehir.

Dates take up a prominently place in the northeast area, especially at the time of recollection, in October. There are very different qualities, at prices also very different.

Date pits in the market of Tinghir.
Date pits

And even the date pits constitute a commercial product, used to feed cattle. They are sold, such as the grains, by measures or Abrat.

Black olives in the market of Tinehir.
Black olives

The olives allocated to the production of oil fill the place left by the dates in the month of December, but some sellers remain in the market all the year. They are also sold by measures.

Spices stall in the market of Tinerhir.
Spices stall

Spices, however, are sold by weight, with high precision balances. Most popular are black pepper, red pepper, cumin, saffron, cinnamon and ginger, each one of a different color, which gives a very attractive appearance to its stalls.

Salt rocks in the market of Tinehir.
Salt rocks

The mineral salt is sold in rocks, especially for livestock (to water the cows and increase its milk production) and various craft work.

Eggs and poultry in the market of Tinerhir
Eggs and poultry

The eggs, the poultry and even some rabbits occupy a special place in the northeastern area, not far from the former entrance of the market, today closed. Animals are sold alive to be sacrificed by the buyer at home.

Grease stall in the market of Tinerhir.
Grease stall

The grease is another product quite requested by Tinghir people, who use it in the cookery, to prepare some dishes. It is sold by kilos.

Henna in the market of Tinerhir.
Henna leaves

The henna in leaves or in powder is also in high demand by women, who use it to soften their hair and protect their hands and feet.

Walnut bark in the market of Tinerhir.
Walnut bark

Another traditional cosmetic product very used is the bark of walnut, with which people rub their teeth and lips.

Scarves and makeup products in the market of Tinerhir.
Scarves and makeup products

The presence of women is minority in the market of Tinghir, where almost all traders and most buyers are men; but, in the area of cosmetic products and personal beauty, all buyers and even some sellers are women.

Bellows from Tinerhir.
Bellows from Tinghir

Local crafts occupies much of the northeast area. Craft specialty from Tinghir are bellows, high demanded by the inhabitants of the region and especially of the mountains.

El Hart pottery in the market of Tinerhir.
El Hart pottery

It is also in the Tinghir weekly market which the pottery of El Hart n’Iaamine is sold: couscous dishes, buckets to knead bread, ashtrays, candlesticks, jars and other objects of daily use.

Saddlebags and baskets in the market of Tinerhir.
Saddlebags and baskets

Braiding of hemp, palm leaves and even plastic is also very abundant, including saddlebags for donkeys and big baskets for multiple uses.

Rubber buckets in the market of Tinerhir.
Rubber buckets

Rubber buckets for raising water from the wells or for the construction are made with old car tires.

Skins for whey in the market of Tinerhir.
Skins for whey

The goatskins are very used to make whey, attached among three sticks; although some plastic containers with a mechanism which rotates them began to substitute the skins.

Antiquities for tourists in the market of Tinerhir.
"Antiquities" for tourists

The market of Tinghir also has a few stalls for tourists. The presence of a merchant covered with the blue scarf from the Sahara announces his specialty.

Cafe in the market of Tinerhir.
Cafe in the market of Tinghir

And finally, to rest during the long journey through the market, some popular cafes covered with networks and other built by concrete around the enclose offer to visitors attractive teapots.

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