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University of California Los Angeles (2019)

Gunpowder Women : Gender, Kinship & Horses in Moroccan Equestrian Performance

Talley, Gwyneth U J

Titre : Gunpowder Women : Gender, Kinship & Horses in Moroccan Equestrian Performance

Auteur : Talley, Gwyneth U J

Université de soutenance : University of California Los Angeles

Grade : Doctor Philosophy (PhD) in Anthropology 2019

Résumé
This dissertation primarily aims to document women’s participation in the Moroccan equestrian practice of tbourida, today. Understanding the development of tbourida in historical context is crucial to analyzing this particular intersection of sporting culture and gender from a non-Western perspective. In North Africa, horses, cavalry, and horse sports have a long and distinct history shaping the issues faced by the women’s troupes that I engaged with in fieldwork. I first present a history for tbourida, which situates ideas of human-horse relationships within both the Moroccan tradition and the broader Arabic knowledge of horses and horsemanship that women riders engage with when they ride tbourida. Most importantly, this history is dynamic and changing, demonstrating how the sport has been adapted, reshaped and reinvented over the centuries (Talley 2017). Next, these chapters engage with several years of fieldwork and ethnographic analysis of my fieldnotes of that time. I discuss the techniques women of tbourida use to navigate this male dominated sport. For example drawing on interviews, I discuss how women are recruited or join a tbourida troupe and how familial interest in the sport as well as ancestral horse keeping makes it easier for some riders to participate in tbourida. I also discuss how riders and their horses become co-beings and share a relatedness if they share a close bond. Finally, I discuss the visuality of tbourida starting with Orientalist narratives in paintings and early ethnographic photographs. I conclude with my own photo essay to create a counter-narrative to the typical images of tbourida. The addition of women riders in tbourida represents a new twist in its long history, one that shapes their individual experiences navigating the contemporary scene and enriches our understanding of horse-human bonds, kinship, and the visuality and visibility of women in Moroccan culture.

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Page publiée le 17 janvier 2023