On the main street in the city, a road signs warns about the distances southwards :
Ghardaïa, 190 km
El-Goléa, 450 km
In-Salah, 850 km
Tamanrasset, 1,600 km
And last but not least,
Capetown, 13,000 km
If you plan to go all the way south, do not forget gas, water, food ... and passports!
A third instrument accompanies the dance. It is not a musical instrument but … a gun! It is obviously a very old gun. The man pours some black powder inside the gun, then he adds pieces of paper and packs hard with a rod. Once there is enough, e shoots in the air and there is a rain of small parts of paper falling on every one! Kind of confettis! Moreover, the noise made by the gun warns those that are further that there is a show going on.
The dancers are accompanied by the ghaita and bendir. The bendir is made of a goatskin taut on a wooden frame made with the wood of the "micocoulier" (Celtis integrifolia ), local species of Nettle Tree also known as Hackberry or Lote Tree
The ghaïta is difficult to see on the second photo. I have enlarged it (third photo). It is a kind of oboe.
On the one hand, women living in Laghouat are heavily veiled but on the other hand, Ouled Naïl woman coming from the nearby Monts des Ouled Naïl are well known as unveiled dancers. Their dance has nothing to do with belly dancing, which is traditionally practiced in the Orient and not in the Maghreb. There are usually two women that dance together, face to face. The audience gives banknotes that they slide into their waist belt.
Favorite thing: Just south to Laghouat, driving to Ghardaïa, this is the beginning of the true desert. The landscape is made of hills half stony, half sandy, standing on a reg made of small stones that hide more or less the sand that show as soon as there is some wind, which happens most of the time!.