Ksar Hedada Hadada Pictures, Images & Photos, Tunisia { 74 images } Created 31 Dec 2015

Pictures, photos & images of Ksar Hedada or Hadada, Tunisia.

The Berbers are a North African peoples whose civilisation stretched from Tunisia to the Atlantic Ocean in Morocco. For 500 years they ruled in Spain creating great Palaces like the Alhambra at Granada. Along the edge of the Sahara in Southern Tunisia around Tetouine Berber nomads built Ksour which are fortified villages individually known as Ksar. Ksar Hedada is typical of these Berber fortified villages. It consists of ghorfas which are vaulted rooms used by the Berber people for storing grain. Each ghorfa is a self contained unit and they were built on top of each other in continuous circles or squares with doors only opening on the inside to create the 3 or 4 story high walls of Ksar Hedada. It is entered through a double wooden fortified gate. Ksar Hedada would have been easy to defend from raiding parties as the lack of wood in the desert meant that building ladders or siege equipment to scale its 4 storey high walls was impossible.

From Ksar Ksar Hedada the Berbers would have traded across the desert with their camel trains that would take several months to do the round journey returning with high value goods to trade for food that would be securely stored in the ghorfas of the Ksar. Keeping their food safe was important to the Berber peoples survival as in this region it may only rain once every 10 years and areas suitable for cultivation are severely limited to oasis dotted along the desert edge. The Berber nomads could head off on their great journeys across the Sahara knowing that when they returned their food supply would be safe in the Ksar. Summer resting camps would be set up around the Ksour as travel in the Sahara in July and August is too dangerous with the extreme heat.
From Ksar Hedada the Sahara spreads away south for 1000 miles across and endless flat arid plain where it might only rain every 10 years. To live in such conditions the desert peoples had to adapt strategies for survival and the Ksar played a crucial part. Although the Berber Ksar has a very distinctive style, similar mud brick villages can be found in Mali and the Yemen showing that the desert peoples learnt from each other over great distances. The Ksour of Tunisia may look very familiar and there is a good reason for that. George Lucas recognised the evocative style of Ksour and used them as locations for his Star War movies. Ksar Hedada was the setting for the Slave Quarters Row of Mos Espa in Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, where Anakin Skywalker lived as a boy. With money generated from George Lucas part of Ksar Hedada has been restored into a hotel which can be booked by groups no doubt in search of a Star Wars experience. Download as royalty free photos.

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