OUR HANDS: Rug Making

Week 5 of Our Hands focused on Moroccan women artisans through Rug Making. This art form is an ancient Moroccan tradition that has been passed down by generations of women and families across the country. Unlike most of today’s goods created by machines, the rugs made by women in Morocco are the product of countless hours of intricate design and work, all by human hands. The craft is specifically found in Amazigh communities, where mothers and grandmothers teach new generations of women to bring designs that represent their culture, history, and traditions to life.

Leslie Grueber began Rug Making week with a post from the new rug making and sewing cooperative near Kelaa M’Gouna:

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“The inaugural rug: women in Ait Yahya prepare a loom for the first weaving classes at their local Women’s Center. After perfecting their craft through 6 months of training, the women intend to form a cooperative to secure financial independence.”

Next up was a photo from Rachael Diniega, whovisited a fellow PCV at a cooperative that works with Anou. You can check out their story and products on their website.

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“Visited @jay_l_s last weekend to meet with the women at a #rug cooperative that works with @the.anou – a collective started by a #peacecorps volunteer that enables cooperatives to directly sell their products internationally. Check out their work!”

Lastly, chokran to Alena Klimas for hiking up a mountain to showcase Ikhefnighir Berber Carpet Cooperative in the Atlas Mountains. You can read more about this amazing cooperative and shop their products on their Facebook page.



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“Ikhf Nighir Cooperative is a carpet making co-operative located in the High Atlas Mountains. The village is located on a mountain side and the co-operative sits at the top. Above the village, 20 women work on traditional carpets made of wool. The women use many traditional amazigh designs and sometimes they create their own. In Ait Bougamez, wool carpets are a must. It is one of the coldest places in Morocco. تعاونية اخف نغير لنسج الزرابي، تقع في قلب مرتفعات الاطلس الكبير،بالضبط في دوار اخف نغير ب ايت بوكماز. ويوجد مقرها فوق جبل بجانب الدوار، تعمل فيها ما يقارب عشرين امرأة. ويعملن بالطريقة التقليدية المعتمدة بالاساس على الادوات التقليدية ك الة النسج (اسطا) وهي عبارة عن اوتاد خشبية علوية وسفلية وجانبية،المشط، خيوط النسج، الصوف… ويستعمل كذالك في نسج الزربية البوكمازية التقليدية عدات تصاميم امازغية قديمة جداً. تعتبر هذه الاخيرة من اجود الزرابي في المغرب، لانه يتم نسجها خصيصاً لقسوة البرد في فصل الشتاء، لان ايت بوكماز من ابرد المناطق في شمال افريقيا.

[Arabic translation courtesy of Khalid Outeglaouet]

Thank you to all who submitted photos and videos! Keep following along on the GAD Instagram, and be sure to post your own photos using the hashtags #ourhands2018 and #gadmorocco.

Posted by Caroline Hayes


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