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Return to Tamazgha

Film by Alia Kate

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The art of weaving in Morocco is one that is championed by women living in the mostly rural areas of Morocco's Middle and High Atlas region. This short documentary tone poem, compiled on a recent buying trip to Morocco, chronicles the process of weaving from start to finish, highlighting artisan groups that Kantara has worked with for many years.

Wool to Yarn


The sheeps wool shuffle : from raw wool to spun yarn

Sneak peek of a video installation for our next exhibit of Untangling Threads: Women Artisans in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry

Breaking Bread with Moroccan Artisans


All of the weavers from this cooperative in the Middle Atlas of Morocco gather in the home of an artisan who has just given birth to a healthy baby boy. The mother and her newborn rest in the next room while the rest of the women share an afternoon snack of Moroccan mint tea, recently-pressed olive oil and freshly baked bread.

This photograph by Anna Beeke is part of Untangling Threads: Women Artisans in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry, a traveling exhibit that displays the documentary photographs of the life and lifestyle of women artisans beside handwoven Moroccan rugs woven by the same women. This exhibit has been shown in a wide variety of places, from New York galleries, college libraries, high schools, and street fairs and offers the viewer a glimpse into rural Moroccan life as it documents the life, culture, and craft of female weavers, while specifically focusing on artisans from rural weaving communities in the Middle and High Atlas mountains.

Moroccan Family Portrait


A glance into rural Moroccan family life.

This photograph by Anna Beeke is part of Untangling Threads: Women Artisans in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry, a traveling exhibit that displays the documentary photographs of the life and lifestyle of women artisans beside handwoven Moroccan rugs woven by the same women. This exhibit has been shown in a wide variety of places, from New York galleries, college libraries, high schools, and street fairs and offers the viewer a glimpse into rural Moroccan life as it documents the life, culture, and craft of female weavers, while specifically focusing on artisans from rural weaving communities in the Middle and High Atlas mountains.

Family Life in Morocco


Jamila and her son Adam pose inside their Taznakht home, which is also the headquarters of a weaving cooperative. Jamila spends most of her day in this room, or in the workshop around the corner.

This photograph, by Anna Beekeis part of the traveling art exhibit, Untangling Threads: Women Artisans in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry. This exhibit displays documentary photographs of the life and lifestyle of women artisans beside their very own handwoven, Moroccan rugs. This exhibit has been shown in a wide variety of places, from New York galleries, college libraries, high schools, and street fairs and offers the viewer a glimpse into rural Moroccan life as it documents the life, culture, and craft of female weavers, while specifically focusing on artisans from rural weaving communities in the Middle and High Atlas mountains. 

Phrases - 'Lousham' is 'Tattoos'

al'Lousham... الوشام

The arabic word for Amazigh tattoos is al'Lousham, but the Tamazight word is Ah-hat-djem. At this point you only see the tattoos on older Amazigh women as it once part of their practice but is currently considered shameful to have them.

One of the first people I met when I moved to Morocco in 2006 was a fulbrighter who was researching the social function and symbolism of henna body painting and tattoos in Moroccan society, focusing on gender relations. She was the first person to describe the symbols in the Amazigh tattoos as being related to the symbols in the rugs. Ever since that day in Fes, I have been fascinated by the symbols in the rugs, the Amazigh tattoos, and the confluence between the two mediums in which they are displayed.

The other day I encountered several older Amazigh women who had the tattoos on their face and hands. They proudly showed off the tattoos to me, claiming that it was their "Berber Passport."