The art of the Moroccan Berber carpet

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The carpet has always been an essential element of human life. If the oldest traces go back only to 2500 years, in the regions of China and Iran, it seems that its appearance everywhere on the planet coincides with the manufacture of the first clothes. This sheep wool floor covering was gradually going to climb history to become a common, everyday object, but a carrier, refined and proud, of the cultural singularities of its creators. Thus in Morocco, in the imperial cities as in the Berber regions, the carpet became an art craft that finds a place alongside the great traditions of the weavers of Europe, Persia, Asia and d ‘East.

The art of the Moroccan Berber carpet

In Morocco, this carpet craft has developed along two lines. If the carpets made in cities, such as in Rabat, Fez or Médiouna, unequivocally affirm their oriental inspirations which appeared at the end of the sumptuous Andalusian period, when the Muslim craftsmen then present in Spain had to join Morocco, the carpet of Berber tradition seems to register its roots in older times. There are indeed correspondences between certain traditional motifs and the rock drawings that dot the region.

MOROCCAN BERBER RUGS AND CARPETS

The moroccan rugs Berber , also called Azetta, is the carpet of the Berber tribes. From one of the three great Berber groups (Masmouda, Zénètes and Sanhadja) or of Bedouin Arab origin, each tribe has developed during its history and its peregrinations a particular aesthetic and technical style in the weaving of its carpets. More than a utilitarian craft, weaving has thus become the standard of the name of each of these tribes, in the expression of their respective qualities, their simplicity, their rusticity and their sobriety, but also their liveliness made of good humor and almost naive melancholy.


The Berber carpet is also that of Berber women, those of the countryside and the Atlas mountains, who, from mothers to daughters, pass on techniques like patterns in a sibylline language where abstract and enigmatic geometry mingle. symbols of the Tifinaghe script in the expression of the Amazigh identity, or even the universal imagery of scenes from everyday life (animal figure, drawing of birds, camels…). Carpet weaving is a vital activity for these Berber families of pastoral tradition who find one of their main sources of income.

Finally, the Moroccan Berber rug is the echo of the territories that have welcomed these tribes to the point of becoming over the years and especially from their sedentarization the showcase of their identity.

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