Sources Lalla Mimouna – Tinejdad
Source Lalla Mimouna, history of an open-air museum
Grandiose! Indicates the sign on the road. One might think that the term is racoleur; it is not usurped, we confirm it.
Originally, it is a small source of sparkling water in the open air. In 1973, at the instigation of the Tinejdad authorities, a water analysis was carried out at the top of the ridge, revealing a high quality water rich in magnesium. Sanitary authorisation is granted, the source is recognised as being of public utility and the water is fit for consumption.
The first development works were confined to raising a small building of one room around the spring to provide a framework for water tasting. Finally, a 1×3 m basin with a depth of 4 m is dug, delimited by a small wall where you can see the naturally carbonated water, sparkling.
The initial project lasted a few years and then for a reason that everyone seems to ignore, gradually went from an open spring to an open discharge, ironically enough. This one defiled the water table so much so that each one strived to throw all sorts of rubbish into it.
The authorities closed the spring and everyone remained thirsty. But it was without counting on Zaïd’s energy, stubbornness and inflexible will. The scholar, a child of Tinjdad a few kilometers away, took over the abandoned project in order to revive it and establish a structure.
It gave shape to the most atypical of water museums, of local and regional history, imbued with a real knowledge of the Berber cultural heritage. He rehabilitated the place, first of all sanitized it and dressed it with the most expressive forms of his imagination as an artist in its own right.
Visit of the Lalla Mimouna Museum
From the entrance, the visitor is invited by a harmonious progression of the place, to walk from one alley to the other all that is representative of local history and of Berber and nomadic life in general.
Let yourself be guided along the arrows of the route, while smelling the scents of the groves of Ibiscus, laurel or bougainvillea planted by the owner of the place. A great lover of maxims and a thoughtful calligrapher, Zaïd collects all sorts of quotations lit up on the water. They scatter with the different stops along this pilgrimage evocative of a return to the source…
The visit begins with an alley where flint, arrows of Neolithic and imposing jars, among others, are exposed. At the end of the alley are erected 2 Berber tents, expressive of nomadic life. One of the Middle Atlas, the other of the Saharan type, differentiated by their structure and craftwork of the Saharan tent.
Then it is the approach through a succession of small museums of crafts and crafts, the local life always centered and dependent on water and its source. The “agriculture” one presents nets in date palm palms for the transport of straw, mats and baskets of the same material, measures for cereals, tamarisk wood shin guards, fake sickles, sickles, forks and other common agricultural tools made of wood or iron.
Some photos, paintings and illustrations are hung on the walls, often accompanied by a quotation or fable. Here, the tale of the ploughman and his children, elsewhere a phrase of Khalil Gibran and always water and its symbolism.
The water museum is organized around a large basin from which the sparkling water bubbles of the spring escape, light and few in number. There are jars for water, terracotta gargoulettes, cowhide bottles,”ougkrour”, a kind of automatic draining bottles from Egypt from the 3rd millennium BC.
One will notice a clepsydra,”tanast” in Berber, an ancient hydraulic clock made of a bowl pierced with a small hole in the bottom. The bowl is placed on a container containing water. Little by little, it fills up and eventually sinks. This time period represents a unit of measurement multiplied by a certain number of times gives the precise time allowed for irrigation of a field. It is the “amine” the master of water that supervises the steps. The aim is to count the number of tanast allotted to each.
Then we arrive at the room which represents the “Museum of Arts and Crafts”. It is a large salon where appear, looms, djellabas and burnous in wool from the different Berber tribes of the kingdom. There are also slippers of the Souss,”choukrra”, bags for men and nomads, wedding turbans, fibules and other belts for women.
On the outside wall of the room is hung a basket weaver made of date palm fibre. Finally, the “Museum of Manuscripts” with its ancient books and Koranic slates is reached. The end of the visit ends with the room housing the original spring basin, restored, enlarged and remediated.
The Lalla Mimouna spring water museum is open every day during the hours of the sun…
Location: A few kilometres from Tinejdad by road in the direction of Tinghir
Admission: 50 Dh