SPENDING A DAY and night with a nomadic family, isolated from the rest of civilization, is an educational experience. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do something similar on the Mongolian steppe, riding horses and sleeping in a traditional ger (yurt).
Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate, on their last trip to Morocco, captured some sights and sounds while visiting a nomadic family in the Todgha Gorge and set it to an atmospheric soundtrack. I find it has an ethereal quality to it; I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.
In an interview with The Splendid Table, they discuss the experience.
Mirra: We hiked about 3 hours up the Todgha Gorge and were able to spend a night with a family of nomads in their camp, which is essentially their tent where they’ve lived for 12 years. They built caves in the mountain. We got to sleep in one of the caves, which was amazing.
When we got up there, it was strikingly beautiful, this simple and austere way of life. Then a windstorm happened. We’re up there and the wind starts blowing, and we have camera gear with us, which is pretty nerve-wracking. Pretty much the worst thing you can do to a camera is expose it to a windstorm. Your eyes get full of dust. You see these 4-year-old kids just endure it and still be playing.
We got to try a little bit of the food that they make. They herd goats, and we met with the herders, their daughter and their son. It was so cool because at sunset all of a sudden, hundreds of goats just came over the horizon in this beautiful scene.
Daniel: Then the daughter came and milked the goats. They took the goat milk and they put it in the skin of a goat and proceeded to shake it for half an hour or something like that. Not fast, just a little bit more casual than I would have thought. They untied the neck of the goat skin and out plopped — “plop” is the word because they had a little ball and it just fell. It was this fresh goat’s milk butter: