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The Moroccan Berber Rug For Your Home

The next decorative statement piece for your home might be found beneath the bottom of your feet when you roll out a beautiful Moroccan Berber rug as the starting point of any room. These rugs are handwoven by the Berber tribes of Northern Africa, primarily living within the Atlas Mountain range and the Ourika Valley outside Marrakesh, Morocco. The many different Berber tribes have long-standing traditions of hand weaving carpets from locally-sourced wool, and though the designs may differ between the tribes, the rugs contain an unmatched level of craftsmanship and quality.

Berber tribes have a very long and storied history that spans nearly 4,000 years, but high-quality handicrafts have remained a constant throughout the centuries. As a people, they experienced changes and shifts in leadership and religion but maintain a traditional language and many cultural customs, including music, dance and handicrafts. The pace of the Berber life today maintains a traditional rhythm, where men rear livestock and migrate to graze their flocks and seek sufficient water. Berber women raise the family and practice the traditional handicrafts of wool dying and tapestry weaving. This is often still a labor-intensive craft that is not only handmade, but made within the home, and then brought out to be sold in local markets or in the global marketplace.

A Berber rug from the Beni Ourain tribe of the Moroccan mountains can be the perfect foundation on which to build a sophisticated room. The rugs are steeped in culture, dating back centuries to the Paleolithic era, where long strands of wool were handwoven to make a quality heavy-weight cloth that had the original purpose of providing warmth during cold mountain nights, as the weaves were primarily used as bed coverings by the nomadic tribes of the region. Today, they are still used as bed coverings but are also popular as floor coverings. The traditionally woven rugs feature a recognizable knotted weave and a rich texture distinct to this area. Though the origin of these pieces was to provide a very utilitarian function, the woven patterns of the Berber rugs are a visual treat in their stunning simplicity.

The rugs of the Beni Ourain tribe, in particular, provide a subtle sophistication for any decor, with a classic shaggy pile and a myriad of striking two-toned patterns. Using the natural ivory and white tones of the wool, mixed with naturally dyed darkened strands of wool, the two contrasting colors are woven into pleasing patterns that are notable for having both a contemporary feel and an innate purity. The patterns are often basic diamonds, lattices and zig zags, that will ground any room with ease, and allow for a true versatility in other design elements. The rugs are finished with a knotted, tasseled fringe, providing another aesthetically pleasing element to each unique rug, and making each a true handmade work of art. A Berber rug can unify both a room of bright and bold patterns, by providing an element of modesty, or the rug can be the bold element in a more subdued environment.

 

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