The Amazighs first weaver of North Africa

The Amazighs first weaver of North Africa

The Amazighs have lived in Morocco for more than five millennia. The origin of carpet weaving by the Amazigh populations also goes back several millennia. The Amazigh carpet is emblematic of the culture, these carpets are handmade by women, their patterns and meanings are part of a very ancient tradition. The hand-spun fabric they created bore the name of the tribe concerned, and they used natural fibers to create coats, carpets and other fabrics.


Amazigh carpets originated in the Middle Atlas and the plains around Marrakech. It is said that their origins date back to the 2nd century B.C. These carpets are the traditional rural art practiced by the women of nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples. They are made from the virgin wool of the sheep and goats of their herds. The women make them during their rare hours of leisure in order to use them as mattresses and blankets. It is their most precious possession and their pride. In short, it is their work of art through which they have been able to express their creativity.


At the time, the loom was considered an animated being that was revered and feared. Empty, it was dead, but as long as the threads were taut, it was alive. It was forbidden for men to use it. When it was time to remove the carpet from the loom, the women would sing because it meant death and the need to mourn.


The indigenous Amazigh populations created a specific knot called the Berber knot. It should also be noted that contrary to oriental carpets, they are never made on model but according to the desire of the woman who makes them.


The lines represented on the carpets evoke symbols found in rock art. The lattice, the diamond, the succession evoke each in its own way femininity, mating and procreation. 


the integration of these forms in Le Corbusier's architecture. Henri Matisse (1869-1954) called them "white giants".

In recent years, it has experienced a boom, especially the carpet of Beni Ourain. All decoration brands make copies and sell the carpet "Berber style". Faced with this popular success, many Amazigh carpet experts share more of Timothy Wealon's thoughts:
"I don't see them as a passing trend, but rather as a decorative element that will always be present in interior design."