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The Baamrani family, in its natural form, is the central unit of the tribe and the basis of the Berber society. Marriage gives origin to a new family which, since its foundation, throughout its development, and even in its ramifications, is governed by a chief who has authority, is morally responsible and is respected by everyone. Women in general have freedom: once she is a mother, she has ascendancy over her children, who are their parents’ happiness. 

Marriage is prepared within the context of total freedom. It is not the father who looks for and imposes a future wife on his son, as it occurs among Muslims (except for some modern couples). The two young people met and were even engaged during their childhood, when they were shepherd and shepherdess; they treated each other as friends, beside the fountain; in this simple way, a romance started and ended up in a marriage and the beginning of a new family, after having their respective parents’ consent.  

If the broom does not find his match, he goes to an old woman of the kin for help. The old woman tells him who the possible women are, and their characteristics that may be of his convenience regarding beauty, conduct and the ability for domestic work; the Ifni woman who does not dominate domestic work, or either make “yilabas” and “selham” (types if bathrobes and cloaks), is underestimated.    

Once the broom accepts one of them, his family visits the bride’s family, taking some presents. During dinner, they start the discussion about the broom’s dowry, which in Ifni is between 50 and 100 duros, barley, sheep, about 20 kilos of butter, 30 of “alheña”, blue cloth and 8 pairs of slippers. Once the date of the wedding is decided, the bride locks up in her house and cannot oppose to her parents’ decision, even if she doesn’t agree. Once she is locked up in her room, she will not be allowed to see anybody, not even his future husband. If the broom’s behaviour makes her parents change their opinion on him, they can quit the contract just by giving back the present that they have received.

On the appointed date, the broom’s relatives go to the wife’s house, carrying the quantities that are anticipated of the agreed dowry, which has to be delivered in front of the “fakih”, who states the conditions of the treaty.

At this moment, days of happiness and rejoicing take place, usually for about a week. With the presence of the agurram and the amegar’s (tribe chief) consent, the bridal couple formulates a mutual consent. Presents arrive from everywhere and, with the sound of the “guembri”, the songs of “haidus” start, (love songs), together with the dancing on thick woollen carpets. The best sheep are killed and abundant cuscus is served. Depending on the family’s economic position, some goats and calves are also killed. The traditional dish, honey with butter mixed in porcelain vessels and glasses of sugary tea, are also present. This drink is so appreciated among the Baamrani that when a shepherd is hired to look after the cattle, one of his conditions is to be given at least two glasses of this tea per day. If the young broom enlists the army, that love will always be in his heart, in spite of his passions and, when coming back to his home, he will be seen beside that woman he loved during his childhood, with the purpose of marrying her.

The Baamrani practise monogamy. The sons depend on their parents until they start their own family. The kinship, as a fundamental unit in the society, is regulated by the ancestral traditions of the tribe. The Baamrani man loves his wife; he frequently sings to natural love. With simple comparisons to nature, he expresses his love and admiration for his wife’s beauty.    

The father loves his sons and daughters; he feels real weakness for boys, especially the first-born, whom he often carries in his arms. Even if they are too young, he takes them with him wherever he goes, initiating them in their respective jobs, tastes and trips. The mother takes care of her children’s education. It is very unlikely to hear that a Berber woman has abandoned any of her sons or has impeded birth or that she has stopped carrying out the duty that her motherly heart dictates. If this happened, it would not be well seen by her family and her tribe.

The Baamrani woman can become, as well as the rest of the Berbers, a “tugurramin” (priestess), who are well-known for their virtues. Among the poor classes, after serving everybody, she eats with her family, husband and kids and, with the guests, even if they are European. On the contrary, among the rich classes, she eats alone with her daughters and is not introduced to the visitors. In spite of that, one may speak some words to them, being like this, the woman and her husband satisfied. She always shares her husband’s works and is a companion in all his joys and sorrows. Works in the collection of cereals and olives, peels corn ears, but her principal occupation is at home. There she cooks food and, always singing,  bakes bread and prepares cuscus. There she spins the wool to weave her kin’s clothing and excellent carpets that will also be used as beds.

Even in the richest families the mother feeds her baby with her own milk and it is very common to see her doing this; she takes the baby always with her, even at work, on her back or on the left side, until he learns how to walk. She feeds him and at the same time, she inculcates him her values, loves, feelings and hatreds. She teaches her son to love his home and, with her singing, she strengthens his bravery, which is one of the most honourable qualities of the Berber race.   

The Berber woman takes part in social life; she shows interest in everyone and is always willing to give her opinion, which is very important if she happens to be “tugurramt” (saint). She can own properties and, many of them who know how to read and write, have more influence than their own husbands.

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