The music of Joujouka has fascinated many outsiders since 1950 when Mohamed Hamri, an artist from the village, first brought Beat painter Brion Gysin to his home.
Gysin later wrote: “My own music turned out to be the hill tribe Ahl Serif (sic) whom I met through the painter Hamri. […] The secret of his mother’s tribe guarded even from themselves was that they were still performing the Rites of Pan under the ragged cloak of Islam.”
The ritual and the beast referred to by Gysin as Pan is called Boujeloud in Joujouka.
The Joujouka myth of Boujeloud, heralding the arrival of music in the village, is paralleled in the Greek myth of Pan. In the Joujouka legend, Boujeloud, the half-man half-goat, gave a flute to a shepherd in return for the promise of a wife. In Greek mythology, Pan, also a half-man half-goat figure, taught the shepherd Daphnis how to play the flute.
The surprise for visitors to Joujouka was and is the fact that the villagers still give annual expression to their origin myth through the Boujeloud ritual, which keeps alive the ancient Rites of Pan. This festival is traditionally staged in Joujouka for a week leading up to the first full moon following the Islamic feast day of Aid El Kebir.
The Wire om Joujouka (pdf)