Simply put, culture is the way people live in a particular place. It can also change over time. However, most try to keep their culture because it is part of their identity. This is still the case for Morocco. The latter has a strong relationship with the Berber culture since time immemorial until today. In addition, it is not hidden. On the contrary, it shows it through these carpets.
For thousands of years, Berber carpets have been inseparable from Moroccan culture. They influence each other. Concerning the origin of these masterpieces, it is the traditional rural art practiced by women of nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples. They are handcrafted from the virgin wool of the sheep and goats of their flocks. The women make them during their rare free time to use them as mattresses and blankets. It is their most precious possession and their pride. Each rug takes about 20 to 30 days to be woven by hand and the design is always completely original, no two rugs are ever the same. In short, it is their work of art through which they were able to express their creativity.
More than a carpet, it's a story
If we look closely, the inseparability of these Berber carpets and Moroccan culture are omnipresent throughout history.
First, in the sixteenth century, for example, Jean Léon L'Africain (Hassan al-Wazzan) explained that the carpet was one of the gifts of the brides of Fez: "We always give a wool carpet of about twenty cubits and three blankets, one side of which is a sheet". At the same time, these same Berber carpets were also sold at auctions in Fez and exported, notably to Black Africa.
Then, the carpet is a perfect gift and, in the 19th century, the Moroccan carpet was one of the most exported products to Europe. There were many of them in France during the World Fairs of 1867, 1878 and 1889. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, carpet weaving was a very important activity in almost all Moroccan cities.
For the non-nomadic peoples of Morocco, textiles could be used as furniture or interior decoration such as a bed, chair, blanket, coat, pillow, trunk or saddle. For the nomads, the carpet could become the roof, doors, walls or partitions of a house.
We can now confirm that the Moroccan Amazigh have a long and illustrious tradition of making hand-woven rugs and carpets. With one of the largest Amazigh populations, Morocco is today one of the most prolific producers of rugs. Each of the forty-five or so Amazigh tribes scattered throughout the country has its own distinctive design as well as its own style of weaving and embroidery and its own art.
As in every art worthy of the name, the artists always put a part of his person in each of these works. Berber carpets are no exception because through their art, they show where they come from. The decorative motifs used are an expression of the culture of the tribe from which the product originates. For example,
- Middle Atlas carpets (Meknes region, Rabat): Zemmour, Zaer, Zaiane, Bani Mtir, Ait Sgougou and Beni M'guil.
- Tapi of the Middle Atlas (region of Fez - Taza): Beni Ouarain, Ait Ighezzrane, Beni Alaham, Ait Halli, Ait Youssi, Ait Seghrouchène and Marmoucha;
- Tapi of Ait Youb, Ait Izdeg and Ait Yaâcoub.
- The carpets of the Haouz of Marrakech are part of the rural Amazigh carpets, we find the Rehamna carpets, the H'mar carpets, and the Bousebaa carpets. In these three tribes, the knot used is the symmetrical knot. The warp threads are made of goat hair or a mixture of goat hair and black wool, the rows of knots are separated by four to twelve weft threads, the weft is often made of red wool. The weaving of these carpets is loose, with the same number of knots in length and width.
NOMAD33: more than a website, it's a passion
Nowadays and from an artistic point of view, the best Amazigh carpet is still made in some regions from local natural products (wool, dyes, patterns, etc.). However, this tradition is threatened, because the Amazigh women unfortunately do not earn much from their art.That is why our website tries to popularize, to make accessible and to promote these authentic handmade Berber carpets. These women are not only artists; they are also the guardians of a thousand-year-old civilization. Through your purchases on our site, you would also become in turn an important actor for this noble cause.
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