The Last Storytellers examines the ancient storytelling tradition in Morocco and particularly in Marrakech’s famous Jamaa el Fna for nearly a thousand years. The legendry square of the city where hundreds of people gather every day has a permanent feature of storytellers recounting ancient folk tales and fables to an audience of young and old. The author regrets that this unique feature of oral tradition that has passed from generation to generation in on the verge of extinction partly because of high tech attractions luring youngsters such as smartphones, videos, games, the internet and satellite television. These have certainly drawn the crow away from the storytellers and few have the urge or desire to learn the stories and continue their legacy. Richard Hamilton who lived in Marrakech for a while has witnessed the slow death of this rich and captivating tradition and has managed to interview a few remaining and aging storytellers and recorded their stories. The captivating stories vary from educational, religious, adventure, wisdom and moral to amusing ones that make people laugh. They tell some of the country’s spellbinding traditional tales. The author has paid a lasting tribute to Morocco’s storytellers by writing about them and keeping their legacy alive for posterity. Hamilton does not only offer his readers a valuable, enchanting, interesting and entertaining read but also launches a Cri de Coeur to rescue this vanishing and traditional form of storytelling as it slowly falls into the abyss of forgetfulness.
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