In the following blog article you will get an insight into the impressive, traditional craftsmanship of the Berber women. The importance of craftsmanship and with it the importance of tradition in Morocco is as big today as it was centuries ago…
The Berber culture of Morocco consists of more than 100 different tribes of different sizes, which are spread over the whole country. Every tribe has its own cultural rituals and unique characteristics, which differentiate it from the others.
In terms of the craftsmanship it is in particular the carpet weaving, where each tribe has its own style. Based on the craft of the carpets inferences can be drawn about the origin of the carpet and therefore about the tribal affiliation.
These days many Berber are found in big cities, such as Marrakech or Casablanca, in which they came to work. In rural areas people still lead a simple life, in most cases in lower-income circumstances.
The daily life of the Berber is nomadic: The men take care of the livestock and the fields and the women take care of the family, their home and handicraft. Most of the things are still being made traditionally by hand, with few or no technical help. Every morning the women bake bread in a traditional way, collect and transport wood for the oven and feed for the animals. Craftsmanship and tradition play a very important role.
Wool and yarn are self-made and dyed with plants from the closer surrounding. From these the Berber women weave their different carpets. The woven patterns are distinctive and unique for their tribe and region. The women use the carpets to tell legends and to share their family stories. Furthermore self-woven scarves and handmade silver jewelry are not only made by the Berber women, but are still proudly worn by them to this day.
These days the craftsmanship of the Berber women can also be found in the various markets, the so-called souks in larger towns and especially in cities: carpets, pillows and blankets, embroidered textiles and silver jewelry often come from traditional craftsmanship of the Berber women. Local craftsmanship such as ceramics, leather goods, wood carvings and lamps are still mostly made by men until today and also sold in the souks. But be careful: Today, among many goods in the souks, there are far too many imported and imitated cheap goods from Asia.