W.I.P: Moroccan Marabout

From the Oracle (Wikipedia):

[1] The term Marabout appears during the Muslim conquest of North Africa.  It is derived from the Arabic word “Mourabit” or “mrabet” (one who is garrisoned). [2] religious students and military volunteers who manned the Ribats at the time of the conquest.  [3] Today marabout means “Saint” in the Berber language, and refers to Sufi Muslim teachers who lead lodge or school called a zaouïa, associated with a specific school or tradition, called a Tariqah (“way” or “path”)Many cities in Morocco got their names from local “marabouts”, and the name of those cities does usually begin with “Sidi” followed with the name of the local “marabout.” (Such as Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria).

A marabout may also refer to a tomb of a venerated saint, and such places have become holy centers and places of pious reflection.  The roots of this tradition can be traced back to ancient times when the Berbers believed in the polytheistic religions. The slides below show a couple dozen photo’s I gathered off the internet as a reference tool for military hobbyists who might consider building a similar piece of terrain for their wargames.  These small structures are ubiquitous throughout Algeria and Morocco.  They are prominent markers and reference points for travelers in the same way as a caravansary or a fondouk (like a Saharan version of a Motel 6) .  They appear on military terrain maps of the region as “tombs” or “shrines”.

I also posted a work-in-progress picture of my small 1:72 scale marabout.  I’ll post the finished product and some instructions and tips on how I built it in a couple of days once it is all painted and detailed.  (10 internetz points if you spot the skull! in the W.I.P. pic)


About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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