Typical, topical, showy, exotic, outlandish and worldwide known thanks to the many who teem by the famous Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakesh, the guérrab or water sellers are a regular figure in the major tourist centers of Morocco.
With their red costumes and their huge hats of threads of colors, the watersellers carry one of the most precious assets for the inhabitants of the region, for the dwellers of the Atlas, to the Berbers of the desert… Water is life.
It’s such important in the Muslim world that the Law regulates, from the same Koranic law as a precept, that everything that surrounds the water is a common good. That’s why exists the Chafá Right or Thirst, which allows everyone, Muslim or not, to gain access to the water of any well or spring, public or private, and possess all the necessary water to quench their thirst or for the animals.
At this point, we can understand that the figure of the guérrab passes the concept of unusual character for prints and photographs, to be the custodian of one of the most basic goods for the human being.
The attire of the Moroccan water sellers corresponds to the clothing they wore formerly and that made them easily recognizable to those who needed the liquid element, hosted in large eyewashes hung from their shoulders. Around the neck a string of small burnished vessels to give drinks to the thirsty.
Needless to say, travellers should not drink this water, following the advice of the minimum safety standards to keep gastrointestinal infections away. However, it is recommended to buy a glass of water, although not to drink, but to get the persecuted photography.
Image in Creative Commons or Public Domain: Flickr/Karel Schoonejans