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

Sunday, June 15, 2008

MOROCCO SOUKS: PART 3 - THE TOUR CONTINUES

Morocco’s souks have modernized. After all, the residents of Fes and Marrakech don’t live in the past. They expect to see watches and radios and CD players for sale. But a good deal of the souks are still traditional and one can get a feel for what Jade experienced in her 1920 adventure, The Serpent’s Daughter. So this week, I want to give my readers a chance to see some of this for themselves.

One area of the souks belongs to the metal workers. As can be seen in the above photo, copper pots and knives can be found here. While many of these goods are no longer made in this district, it’s not hard to imagine the clang of hammers on metal as the smiths enlarged a pot or put an edge on a blade.

Spices were sometimes sold for food and sometimes for medicinal purposes. In the second photo, notice the different spices and herbs for sale. But note also the cage of turtles on the bottom right and the lizard in the cage above it. Today these are sold for pets, but at one time, a chameleon might be sold as part of a charm instead of something good at catching insects. To really experience this shop, open a jar of cumin and inhale that fragrant scent. It's what I do when I want to recall Morocco.

Butcher shops sell a wide variety of meats including horse, rabbit, chicken, ducks and geese, mutton (sheep) and beef. In Jade’s time and in the ancient times before that, a butcher would be certain not to salt his meat because jinni shun salt and the jinni, appearing as humans, might be his best customers without his knowing it. As can be seen in photo four, the kitty would like a share, too.

Leatherworkers made saddles and bags, and Moroccan leather was and still is, highly prized. Many an old book was bound in red Moroccan leather. Some of those beautifully crafted bags can be seen hanging to the left in the souk stall while a lad carried two metal lamps down the street. Look to the right and notice the tiled entrances to someone’s home. Now imagine stepping out your door every morning to the aromatic scent of leather.


[Note: This week’s “Monday” blog is appearing Sunday evening as I’m on the road to give some writing workshops on Monday and Tuesday.]

NEXT WEEK: THE TANNERIES

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