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The Wacda of Sid Ahmad Majdūb and of Sidi Yahia: The Intangible Heritage and the Semi-Nomadic Tribes of the Algerian West

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This article focuses on two feasts traditionally linked to the pastoral and nomadic world of the Algerian West: the wacda of Sid Ahmad Majdūb (daïra of Asla) and that of Sidi Yahia (daïra Sebdu). Organised in honour of local saints, these events reflect at once the vicissitudes of the rural world of the high Algerian steppes, the transformations of identity and the local socio-political relations as well as the effects of the heritage enhancement policies of the local culture. Nomadic and pastoral populations, in Algeria and elsewhere, are increasingly confronted with various heritage enhancement processes initiated by the political authorities in the wake of international recommendations. Using these two examples, we wish in particular to illustrate the idea that the pastoral and nomadic populations both use and preserve heritage-oriented actions.
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Keywords: Algerian West; celebration; identity; intangible heritage; pastoralism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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