Estrella Jalfón de Bentolila
Haketía: A Memoir of Judeo-Spanish Language and Culture in Morocco is a personalized study of the Judeo-Spanish-Arabic language of the Jewish community in northern Morocco. It was the vernacular language of Jews in the region until recent decades. Haketía dates back to time of the Expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and it is to be distinguished from Ladino, another Judeo-Spanish language, spoken largely in the territories of the former Ottoman Empire.
With the twentieth century diaspora of the Moroccan Jewish population, Haketía was carried to the Americas, France, Israel, and other countries. In these newly adopted lands, the language was not learned by the newer generations, and its use has been declining. Now it is spoken primarily by people of the older generation, who have their roots in northern Morocco.
The vocabulary of Haketía includes a rich array of fifteenth century Castillian words, as well as Arabic verbs with Castillian declensions. Haketía is written with Hebrew characters.
This memoir of Haketía is an ode to the language of the author’s childhood and the memories of the life that she lived in the language. It is a recognition of the cultural creativity and diversity of Jewish populations that have adapted to many different cultural settings around the world.
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ISBN 978-1-935604-09-9. Cloth $28.95. 112 pages
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