Like any cultural, artistic and folkloric act, the berber Rug is an object of art based on a knowledge of ancestral civilization of peoples who have, throughout history, expressed their knowledge through decorative means, sculptures, poems, drawings, colors, etc ...
The berber Rug is therefore an artistic object made in families of great pastoral tradition and who generally live from breeding and agriculture (therefore rural families). The manufacture of traditional berber Rugs, in all their forms, requires the presence of certain conditions, means and basic material, including:
- pure and good wool, as a raw material that will be transformed into yarns of various sizes and properties, natural dyes ...
- a suitable material (loom) of different shapes, depending on the desired use
- Knowledgeable staff mastering traditional weaving techniques and decorative patterns.
Berber Rug weaving is an essential activity in some settings because it plays a vital economic role in the livelihoods of families. It is then part of a traditional marketing mode, based on barter. In a household the man and the woman work in cooperation. The wife takes care of the weaving and modeling of the berber Rugs and the husband takes care of the marketing in the weekly markets, and makes, on the other hand, the purchase of the food products and other products which they need to live.
From an artistic point of view, the best berber Rug is still made in some Berber regions based on local natural products (dyes). The decorative motifs used are the expression of the culture of the tribe from which the product originates. These reasons relate the spirit of cohabitation that has always existed in these tribes since a distant history with people of different convictions and different civilizations (Muslims, Jews, Berbers, Christians). The Berber tribes are the most striking example of this spirit of tolerance and cohabitation.
The mastery of the art of weaving berber Rugs is transmitted from mother to daughter, which is a tradition of learning in rural areas. The common traditional visual language of the community as well as the techniques for skillfully knitting the threads of weaving are also learned on the job, in confrontation with reality.
The decorative motifs on the various weavings are very significant, and differ from one tribe to another, which makes this art a true mosaic. The berber Rug is a Berber-speaking tradition because it is in southern Morocco, in the Upper and Middle Atlas, that it has flourished (under the name: Tazarbit). The Ait Ouaouzguit Center, in the province of Ouarzazate, is one of the main cradles of this artisanal production (Moroccanrugs4u.com) . This world-renowned center is located in the High Atlas, where berber Rug making predominates. As a center of craftsmanship in general and berber Rugs in particular, Ait Ouaouzguit is in turn composed of several points of production including:
- Tamassin - Ait Semgane - Ai Waya - Ait Ougharda - Tidili - Taznakt - Ait Ouchen - Ait Ameur, Znaga and Sektana as adjoining points.
The region known as "Thousand Kasbahs" has two main cooperatives:
- The cooperative of Ouarzazate (Moroccanrugs4u)
- The Taznakht Cooperative.
The Berber tradition berber Rug is the largest and most representative category in the world of Moroccan Rugs. It is a typical Atlasic production with exceptional decoration and motifs, specific to each tribe. It can be subdivided as follows:
- the middle Atlas berber Rug (region of Meknes, Rabat), tribe Zemmour-Zaer-Zain-Bani Mtir-Ait Sgougou-Beni M'guil.
- The Middle Atlas berber Rug (Fez - Taza region). : Beni Ouarain Tribes - Ait Ighezzrane - Beni Alaham - Ait Halli - Ait Youssi - Ait Seghrouchéne - Marmoucha
- Ait Youb - Ait Izdeg - Ait Yaâcoub.
The Haouz berber Rugs of Marrakech are part of the rural berber Rugs. The gnarled berber Rug tribes that surround Marrakech are almost all of Arab origin; Here are mentioned the Rehamna berber Rugs, the H'mar berber Rugs, and the Bousebaa Ouladas berber Rugs. In these three tribes, the node used is the symmetric node. 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 of red wool, the weaving of these berber Rugs is loose, we find the same number of nodes in length and width. One of the characteristics of the Haouz berber Rugs is their sawtooth edge, penetrating the knotted velvet, these edges are woven into goat hair.
In general, the artistic composition uses simple patterns that take all possible forms.
The Berber kilim Rug is associated with the art of weaving, embroidery, but also nomadic Berber art, mountain art of the Atlas. The embroidery patterns emanate from meaning and tattoos specific to each tribe and each family.
Kilims can be made of wool or silk; the patterns, transmitted from one generation to the next, vary according to regions, such as colors. A good Moroccan berber carpet can count up to 480,000 knots per square meter and can take up to nine months of work, for example a Taznakht berber Rug, Berber stitched model with natural colors such as saffron, henna, mint and others.
Renowned among the oldest berber Rugs made in Morocco, Taznakht berber carpets and those of Zayane, with the hanbal of the same region, are today the pride of Moroccan craftsmanship. Originating from the High Atlas, the Taznakht berber carpet is made of knots on two lines; their background is yellow, their designs are geometric, dense red, dark green and off-white. The hanbal is a woven piece, lighter and less thick than the berber carpet. Its use differs from one region to another: It is used as a blanket, as a sofa or as a decoration during national or private holidays. He sometimes replaces the berber carpet. The centers of its production are: Zayane, Zemmour, and Ouazguita.
The raw materials used in this kind of berber Rug are pure wool or good quality cotton. The yarns are distinguished by their sophisticated spinning and their cleanliness. The Hanbal is predominantly red with yellow of green, black, and brown. These colors are obtained from existing plant in the region that produces it. Berber of origin, the hanbal necessarily carries patterns sometimes borrowing from nature its shapes and features, sometimes to the Amazigh alphabet as to its contours. Glaoui hand-knotted woven knitted rug represents a unique style of its kind, it combines in itself all the arts of berber Rug weaving, it is both woven, knotted and embroidered, threads tend to on the sides, the Berbers fold it in two, tie these threads together and get a bag for their travels. Colors like wool are from natural origins.