Imilchil

is a small town in central Morocco, in the Atlas Mountains with a population of about 1858.

It is located at an elevation of 2119 m in the valley of Assif Melloul (“white river”). The area

of Imilchil is home to the Ait Hdiddou tribe, belonging to the Ait Yafelman confederation,

and the inhabitants speak Central Atlas Tamazight. Some locations to visit are the caves of

Akhiam, the Agouni waterfalls, the Ziz Gorges and Valley and the ksars of the area.

The town of Imilchil represents a symbol of Berber culture, known for its festival, officially

known as Betrothal Festival – the Souk Aamor Agdoud N’Oulmghenni. The legend goes that

two young people from different tribes fell in love, but were forbidden to see each other by

their families. The grief led them to cry themselves to death, creating the neighbouring lakes

of Isli (his) and Tislit (hers) near Imilchil. The families decided to establish a day on the

anniversary of the lovers; death – when members of local tribes could marry each other.

Thus the Imilchil Marriage Festival was born.

In reality, the region is a large scattering of tiny villages, and when young person needs to

find a partner, they can’t simply go and look for one, due to the conservative social norms.

Thus, the festival allows for fathers to show their daughters and find husbands for them.

When a woman accepts a mans proposal to marry, she says "You have captured my liver .

(Tq massa n uchemt) Up to 40 couples take their vows on the same day. The festival is rich

with music, dancing, feasts, and colorful clothing. The celebrations attracts many tourists to

the area, and though contributing to local economy, there are fears that the rituals can be

affected by the foreigners.