Les Cheikhat: Aux Sources du Raï album cover
Les Cheikhat: Aux Sources du Raï

Various Artists

Les Artistes Arabes Associés

The daughters of port workers and peasants, the women that would later be known as “Les Cheikhat” had always been shunned by other parts of Algerian society. Perhaps it’s for this reason that they felt free to challenge conventions and rules, singing about sex, freedom, and the rights of immigrants and workers. They were viewed as a threat by the establishment, but have left an indelible mark on Algerian society, inspiring women to challenge limitations and prohibitions on their freedom. This compilation collects some traditional Raï by the queen of Raï herself, Cheika Remitti, as well as other prominent Cheikas from the same period, their weathered, powerful voices accompanied only by percussion and serpentine reed flutes.

Megan Iacobini de Fazio

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