“Tamurt inu”: A New Siyada Network documentary

pastoral systems that are interwoven with the social and economic structures of the communities dwelling in these highlands, Ait Alaham are such a community. Many of these agropastoralists gave up on their livestock and continued to subsist on traditional farming. Their subsistence agriculture, mainly rainfed, follows the rhythm of wheat and barley crops as well as olive arboriculture. In addition to their ‘bour’ (rainfed agricultural land) they have irrigated perimeters on the banks of Asif Sliliou.

Members of the community used to manage their land and resources autonomously through horizontal endogenous institutions and customary rules. The assembly of Ajmu’ (sometimes referred to as Agraw), to which all male heads of families contributed, served as the highest decision-making body. Matters such as the distribution of irrigation water between members, the division of communal land, resolving disputes, infrastructure maintenance and the like were addressed inside the assembly. However, their social and economic structures deteriorated and were subjected to a long process of institutional erosion with the consolidation of central government authority and under the influence of market economy and climate change.

Uncle Moh and Soulaiman, who represent two successive generations of Ait Alahem farmers, share with us their stories and concerns through Tamurt inu, and give us an insight into the Eastern Middle Atlas Agrarian space.

Elias TerrasAuthor posts

Independent researcher, photographer and filmmaker. He works on topics related to rural studies and food sovereignty.