Literature & Poetry

The Hassani poetry belongs to popular poetry and is characterized by various rhythmical and prosodic forms.

As an integral part of the southern culture and populations, the Hassani literature talks about poems, proverbs, history, tales and riddles.

Poetry, the dominant literary aspect of the Hassani culture, is a wide-spread artistic means of expression in the southern regions and refers to various subjects such as the problems of Sahrawi people and their customs and traditions. It contributes to the animation of the social life through familial and tribal meetings and also through cultural manifestations like songs and dances.

Popular proverbs play a major part in the Hassani culture and are considered as a source of wisdom.

These proverbs transmit moral lessons to the coming generations resulting mainly from veracious stories and individual and collective experiences.

Hassani tales are characterized by richness of narrations and imaginary of the Sahrawi population. This type of literature offers to the reader entertaining stories and adventures.

Badi Ould Mohammed Salem, a great professor and poet defines the Hassani poetry as “a speech extracted from the dialect and the wide-spread language and conforms to the five laws of the Charia: what is obligatory (Wajib), what is recommended (mandoub), what is indifferent (mubâh), what is blameful (makrûh) and what is prohibited (haram).
It is also the scattered speech chosen by the poet to compose his subject.

He makes it light or heavy according to the contexts and makes of it a complementary body which accept neither reduction nor increase, thus occupying a position with the other creatures…

As is the case with all Arab poetry, the Hassani poetry, whether expressed in the classic language or in dialect, takes a major importance.

Even if Hassani poets pride themselves of exceeding the classic poetry and poets, dialectal poetry contains all the same many terms and even sentences of the literary Arabic language in addition to some words appertaining to other foreign languages.

It takes also inspiration from coranic verses, hadiths and Arab poetry of different periods