Men make tools in Arganland


 

There are set phrases in the Amazigh language (Tachelhit dialect) that meaningfully express the importance of the argan tree in the life of communities living in the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve. Two expressions are particularly common due to their symbolic importance. The first, "argan a'ygan argaz" - "argan is a man", is notably used by women who consider that argan oil could replace a man in the family home from an economic point of view on account of the income it generates for women, which guarantees them a degree of financial autonomy. The second expression, "argan ma wr iga?" - "argan, what isn't it?", means that the argan's benefits are so numerous that it is futile to try to list them.

From a cultural point of view, argan women, also known as "targanin", often come together the day before a wedding to produce enough of this vital oil for all of the dishes planned. On these occasions the women showcase their skills collectively, but above all in a festive atmosphere that also allows them to exchange ideas and village news. In addition, argan oil is the best gift a person can offer on these special occasions, thus constantly contributing to renewing social cohesion.

Oral expressions in particular relating to local poetry prose and proverbs are extremely rich in metaphors in which the argan tree and its oil figure prominently.