Ouarzazate is located at 1,160 meters above sea level in the wadi of the same name. This city is home to a craft center exhibiting and marketing products of local crafts including the famous carpet “Ouzguitas” bright colors woven by the tribe of Ait Ouaouzguite which includes twenty families.
The rural weavings of the region of Ait Ouaouzguite are executed by certain tribes such as Ait Ouaya, Ait Tidili, Ait Abdallah, Ait Semgane, Ait Zenaga, Ait Tamas sin, Ait Maghlif, Ait Khouzama, Ait Oubiel, Ait Ouagharda, Amer, Ait DOCHEN.
The wool used is taken from sheep belonging to the Ait-Barka breed. The artistic composition of these carpets is very varied. The carpets made are much lighter than those of the Middle Atlas and are true works of art. Generally, these carpets are blue or golden yellow with geometric designs
Tetouan located in the extreme north of Morocco is undoubtedly the city that most reminds Andalusia as well by its architecture as its crafts both inspired by Hispano-Moorish art. The two main specialties of this city are woodwork and pottery.
The wood covered with a plaster plaster is entirely painted in red or blue. Then, previously drawn patterns are painted and varnished. The flowery patterns are the most common and are sometimes lined with geometric shapes.
Pottery Tetouan is particularly famous. The patterns used are usually simple and geometric. However, the pottery is sometimes decorated with stylized elements. The traditional colors used are red, yellow, blue and green.
The city of Tangier is not really a city specialized in the field of pottery, however the potters innovate in the field by drawing inspiration from the pottery of other cities. Zellige motifs are often used as well as contemporary drawings or Berber geometries. Pottery utensils have floral or feather motifs.
Salé, a neighboring city of Rabat and located on the other side of the Bou Reg reg River, produced skins, wool and ivory in the past. Currently Salé is famous for the quality of its ceramics as well as for other craft activities.
The Potters City of Salé allows artisans to optimize their ceramic production while continuing to craft quality items with traditional shapes. The raw material used is obtained by mixing at the foot of a mixture of three lands: brick clay, white clay and a soil of alluvium. The potters use three wood ovens: one for bricks, the other for ceramics, the last for utility pottery.
The Slaoui pottery is known as much for the sobriety of their forms as for the discretion of their colors. The outlines of the motifs that are most often eclectic are engraved in hollow.
In Salé, the weavers are settled in the city of potters and realize objects and furniture wicker and rattan as well as rush mats.
The embroidery of Salé is generally monochrome or harmonized in two or three tones.
The city of Safi is famous for its pottery which is a variant of that of Fes. The potters of Safi used polychrome because of the texture of the earth of this region very limestone and rich in iron oxide. The polychromy, abandoned in the 19th century and replaced by the blue and white used in Fez, is again reintroduced in 1923.
Rabat, the administrative capital of Morocco, is also home to an important handicraft center where handicrafts are produced and sold throughout the country. But the predominantly red “r’bati” carpet is undeniably the most important and most popular artisanal production in this region. Rabat carpets are the flagship of urban carpets in Morocco.
The carpet of Rabat consists of a field framed by several bands, their number generally ranging from 3 to 7 in the old carpets. The central medallion that characterizes some Oriental carpets is completely modified to give birth to a very long ratio seedling.
Rabat is also famous for its embroidery which is an exclusively feminine work and which stands out from that of other cities as well by its colors as by the motifs used.
Meknes, the imperial city is renowned for the finesse and quality of its crafts in many areas: embroidery, ceramics, damascene, brassware, leather goods, wood carving and weaving.
In Meknes, as in most major cities of the North, embroidery is a recognized art. The Meknes embroidery, although inspired by its neighbor from Fez, is nevertheless distinguished by its colors and by the variety of its points: point of line, dot braid, point of cross. Bathing scarves and tablecloths are the most striking pieces of Meknes.
Damascene, a delicate art from the city of Damascus, consists of inlaid smooth or twisted copper, silver and gold wires into the metal. The Orientals remain the undisputed masters in the art of damascene. The use of damascene iron exclusively for arms in Syria was subsequently extended to the creation of decorative objects.
Azrou, city of the Middle Atlas located at the crossroads of the roads of Fes, Meknes, Khenifra and Midelt, became famous thanks to the dynamics of its artisanal cooperative. Traditional fabrications such as weaving of Berber carpets and woodworking have experienced unprecedented expansion.
The Berber carpets of this region are produced by the Sanhaji tribe of Beni M’Guild. These brown or black wool carpets consisting of rows of knots-80,000 points per square meter are renowned for their quality and dyeing. The patterns are geometric and are not framed. Although the rhombus is the main motif used, some tribes however opt for checkerboard or band compositions. The most common carpets are brightly colored and made on a reddish background. The other rarer ones have a white background and a long fleece.
The craftsmen of this city were the first to create a sculpture workshop where they fashion objects in cedar, mahogany and walnut. The forms chosen are most often those of animals such as the flamingo, the deer, the monkey … There are also sculptures representing various characters.
Marrakech This legendary city, nicknamed “the red city” is the capital of southern Morocco. This city unique in its specificity offers extremely varied trades. The reputation of its craftsmanship goes beyond the borders of Morocco especially in the art of leather goods, carpets and brassware.
The leathers used in Marrakech are calves ‘, cows’, goats ‘and camels’ skins. The technique of leather work requires several stages, including that of the preparation of the raw material. The tanners intervene first to work the leather; they use saffron to get yellow, poppy for red, indigo for blue and antimony for black. Luggage and leather clothing are famous. Similarly it is common to meet more traditional items such as slippers or beanbags.
In Marrakech, the carpets made by the tribes Glaoua and Sektana are famous. The weaving remains exclusively performed by women who spin the cattail and spin the wheel. The small town of Chichaoua located between Marrakech and Agadir is very famous for its carpets.
The brassware is a flourishing craft and practiced in Marrakech. The craftsmen use the same working techniques as those of Fez. However the objects produced in this legendary city are more refined. The brassware deals both with copper work and silver nickel silver.
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Fes, the secular city is undoubtedly the most flourishing city in terms of artistic creation. The population of this city from Andalusia and Tunisia has given birth to many talented artisans excelling in extremely varied fields.
The city of Fes is undoubtedly the capital of faience, blue or polychrome, on a white background. Enamelled and varnished ceramics are the work of craftsmen from Cordoba.
The pottery that was originally only for utilitarian use is evolving to the point where the pieces with the desired and varied motifs become works of art and make the city famous throughout North Africa.
The pottery is covered with enamel on which the craftsmen paint a dominant cobalt blue decoration, color of the city of Fez.
The pottery never had more than five colors; the bottom was in white enamel, to which was added brown, green, yellow gold and blue. Only blue has changed over time to give a cobalt blue.
The main artisanal activities of the city of Taza located in rural area are basketry and weaving. In the countryside, the manufacture of chairs, armchairs, cradles, decorative objects, birdcages by artisans is economical because of the low cost of the reed.
Former Mogador, already famous in Roman times, the city of Essaouira is known for its artistic side. The city is also renowned for the quality of its gold and silver filigree jewelry and for its cedar inlay.
In the past, the jewels were extremely varied and the range made very extensive: bracelets, brooches, belt buckles, necklaces, pendants, tiara … However nowadays, the gold is no longer worked in this city and only the jewels in silver city dwellers are still fashioned. These jewels are usually decorated with symmetrical or floral motifs.
The meticulous work of the marquetry is renowned since ancient times, the tables made in Essaouira were famous in Rome.
The cabinetmakers of Essaouira specialized in the encrustation of cedar. The wood used for inlays is most often lemon, burnt wood, mahogany, Madagascar ebony and walnut. Inlays are made with mother-of-pearl additions, copper or silver threads.
Economic capital of the Kingdom, Casablanca is not really a craft town, however many trades have settled in this city. The small town of Médiouna located in the region of Casablanca produces carpets that strangely resemble the carpets of Rabat.
Mediouna carpets generally have a very large and well-stocked central field. This carpet is very long in relation to its width. This disproportion is due in fact to Hispano-Moorish architecture, which tends to build longer than wide pieces. Generally, these carpets have more medallions octagonal or cruciform. The patterns used are often reminiscent of Spanish carpets from the 16th century. Sometimes the motifs are inspired by Berber carpets.
Agadir is famous for the richness and diversity of its Berber jewels. The neighboring cities of Taroudant, Tiznit or Immouzer, also produce beautiful silver coins. The other bronze pieces are also of great purity of lines.
The shapes used are usually geometric, but sometimes floral patterns are encountered. Semi-precious stones are substituted for wax and glass. Silver jewelry is sold by weight.
Taroudant is renowned for its craftsmanship and Berber jewelry. Copper and silver are the two preferred metals of craftsmen who use the technique of niello in an extremely precise manner. The jewelry in massive agent made by these craftsmen are very varied: anklets, pendants, big bracelets … Some jewels are often carved by hand or cast with lost wax, while others are molded.
Among the silver objects made by jewelers, there are also guns of old fantasy guns as well as butts and daggers.
The town of Tiznit, near Agadir, is famous for its Chtouka fibulae, which often recall the motifs of the Coptic crosses. The craftsmen of this small town excel in the field of manufacturing daggers and sabers with finely crafted sheaths.
The craftsmen of the city of Immouzer located at 1250 meters altitude in the High Atlas is distinguished by their technique; they mix the enamels circled green and yellow, and use niello and engraving. However the technique of enamel has been replaced by that of colored waxes.