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Vegetal Material in Moroccan Children's Toy and Play Culture. Printed in Dasen V., Vespa M., (eds), Toys as Cultural Artefacts in Ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Cultures. Anthropological and Material Approaches, Mergoil, Monographies Intrumentum, in press

Rossie Jean-Pierre

The contribution discusses information about girls, possibly boys, between two and twelve years of age. I have not always gathered this information through personal observation but also thanks to Khalija Jariaa and Boubaker Daoumani, my two Anti-Atlas collaborators, since 2003. A preliminary remark seems necessary because I do not use the term small children. The reason is that putting an age on categories like small, older, young, and adolescent girls or boys is questionable. In any case, Moroccan girls and boys going to primary school would not like to be called a small child. Moreover, extending the concept of small girls and small boys to children who continue playing is not feasible as fourteen-year-old ones do this. Different types of vegetable material are often used by girls and sometimes boys when making toys. These children speak Tamazight or Tashelhit and belong to the Amazigh populations of the Moroccan Middle Atlas, High Atlas, Anti-Atlas, and Pre-Sahara.

Vegetal material is used as a central tree in a child village, for making a whistle, for magical protection on dolls, for dolls to implore rain and fertility, or a doll to participate in a traditional dance. This kind of natural material is also used to play farm life, weave a dromedary, make a horse, give a head to a doll, create a tourist train or cars, make colours, and glaze clay toys. A 30-months-old girl made a doll with a piece of cactus.

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