Photograph by Nat Geo photographer @massimobassano on expedition in Morocco
At the entrance of the hotel Xaluca Arfoud, a tall black guy, dressed in shiny white, look at the people passing through the main door.
The Alaouite sultan of Morocco, Moulay Ismail (reigned 1672-1727) assembled The Black Guard. The guards, brought to Morocco as slaves, descended from tribes from the South of Africa. So not affiliated, not even by language, with the local Berber and Arab tribes. For this reason, they were considered much more loyal. Mainly in charge to collect taxes and patrolling the unstable countryside, the Black Guards in number of eight, dressed in white and with big scimitar, they were also the personal bodyguards of Ismail.
With the independency (1956), the Black Guard was changed to Moroccan Royal Guard. Today the guards are not more descendants of the black slaves, but selected from elite units of the Moroccan Army.
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