The old masters, "guardians of tradition “of the Gnawa of Morocco are conscious of the fact that the choice of Bilal as spiritual ancestor was a way of preserving heterodox practices in an Islamic context. According to them, these practices originated from the land of Habashat (Abyssinia) where they were widespread well before Bilal was born and before the expansion of Islam. The kingdom of Habash was located in a strategic position along The caravan routes whith directed merchandise traffic and migrations of peoples and cultures between Black Africa and the Middle East.
          The heritage of the ancient civilizations of the Fertile Crescent is preserved in the structure of the Lila and in the names of certain "djinns " that are conjured during the ceremony. The memory of the ethnic groups that made up the genetic and cultural heritage of the Gnawa of Morocco is preserved in their songs and dances: we can thus name among the ancestors of the Black Moroccans of today: Bambara of Bamako, the Foulani of Sokoto, the Haoussa of Nigeria and Niger, the Sereres of Senegal, the Mossi of Burkina-Faso, the Barma and the Boussou (Bouzou) of the kingdoms of Bornou and Baguirmi (Chad).

          ( Antonio Baldassarre)
          You will find more documentation on the CD recorded in 1993 at Casablanca, Marocco by Antonio Baldassare.
          :: Gnaoua Lila – Gnawa Leila – Volume IV
              Les Maîtres du Guembri
              The Master of Guimbri