MOROCCO: INTO THE ATLAS –PART 10: CHILDREN OF MOROCCO
Very few of the earlier authors mention the children. Perhaps, they weren’t interested in them, or perhaps the children were not noticeable. In the case of the shopkeepers and artisans, the sons probably worked the business, apprenticing to the father, from an early age. This conjecture has some merit based on the fact that working in the tannery district was a job passed from father to son. Daughters of the Arab city dwellers, would have remained hidden away in the harem of the household until they were of a suitable age for marriage.
Berber children worked. According to Mountains Forgotten by God, by Brick Oussaid (1989), children helped in the fields and tended the flocks among other chores. Girls also learned the domestic duties of cooking, spinning, weaving, and pottery making from their mothers. Mr. Oussaid mentions little time for play although he came from one of the more impoverished families.
It’s hard to imagine that children, with their natural energy and lively imaginations, didn’t invent some sort of games, if only while watching the flocks. The Berber children didn’t go to schools before Jade’s times. Now there are schools in the larger villages and not far from the smaller.
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com