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July 23, 2021
For countless reasons, Moroccan rugs still hold a major space in the rich Moroccan heritage even after centuries of their existence. A fact that could be explained by the important influence of the Berber culture and the mesmerizing traditions, know-how, and craftsmanship it brought with it.
We all came to know and admire Moroccan rugs for their unquestionable quality, various styles, unique designs, and of course their timeless usefulness and practicality. But did you know that besides all the obvious functional and aesthetic reasons, Moroccan rugs were also used as means of communicating mystical, societal, and conceptual messages?
Be it in color choices or the distinct woven symbols, ancient Berber tribes created and employed their precious rugs for several purposes. Other than the obvious usage of providing physical protection from the elements, rugs held a deeper value among the tribe members as they served to provide spiritual protection, send subtle social messages and political values, and even depicting relationships between males and females.
So, let us dive into the mysteries of ancient symbols and what they meant for past societies because when we say each rug tells a story, it is truly meant in a literal sense.
The most common geometric symbol on Moroccan rugs must be the intriguing diamond shape, it is meant to represent femininity, fertility, and symbolizes the female body and its attributes along with the chevron and the "X" shape where the latter is thought to represent a female body with spread out hands and legs.
The male symbols however tend to be more subtle and are generally represented with lines or twig-like figures and are almost never woven on a carpet without the presence of female symbols. Interestingly when both male and females symbols are teamed together on a rug, the male symbols are often seen bordering and shielding the said female symbols as if protecting them.
The symbols are generally related to fertility, sexuality, security, and protection and are meant to tell a story in a series of the usual major life events, from singlehood, marriage, pregnancy to childbirth.
According to the customs of each Berber tribe, rugs are supposed to serve as symbolic social companions for each major life event, especially in a woman's life. For example, it is typical for local women to weave a carpet with superimposed male and female symbols as a wedding gift, or dedicated rugs with only female symbols to indicate fertility for young women of marriageable age.
In order to grasp the meanings of all the complex symbols present in Berbercrafts, it is important to have a deeper knowledge of the ancient and preserved arts and legends of the Berber culture.
Unfortunately, and even with the deep sense of ownership and belonging that characterizes this valuable cultural heritage, much knowledge regarding the symbolic motifs was lost nowadays with the evolution of written language and social norms.
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We have all heard it before. Skincare is important. No matter how much we judge that level of importance or how interested we are in the topic for some of us, even with all that theoretical knowledge and all the preached advice about how to take care of our skin. We just cannot be bothered, because we are simply lazy!
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When describing Moroccan rugs, the word classic and timeless comes up a lot, and that is for a reason. In this rug-loving community, we all know by now how special Moroccan rugs are, in terms of their ancestral weaving techniques, their impeccable quality, their design variety, and also their historic aspect.
So when getting hold of such a valuable interior design item, it is wise to learn how to take care of it and keep it in pristine condition for it to turn into a loved vintage piece that can be kept and passed down to the next generation. Again they are timeless.
Armed with unparalleled ancient know-how, the tribal women in the heart of the Atlas mountains work tirelessly to transform wool and other natural fibers into the famous Moroccan rugs we all love and admire.
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