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HistorySociety

The traditional purpose of the Moroccan hammam

The bath house or hammam has traditionally been a cornerstone of Moroccan society. Marriages in Morocco had a lot of involvement from parents but new technologies such as dating apps have recently been changing the dynamic. In the past the hammam is where marriages were facilitated.

A bachelor would tell his mother of his desire to get married. The mother would then go to a hammam to scope out potential brides. Once a potential bride was selected, the mother could speak to the owner of the hammam to learn about the woman’s family; asking questions about the family’s status and reputation.

The hammam would also be a place where the mother could do a more thorough check of the woman’s physical characteristics; given it’s a place where they’d be wearing no clothes! Once the criteria were met, and the mother conveyed this to her son, the bachelor would pay a visit to the woman’s household to offer his hand in marriage.

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