Beni Ourain Rugs: It's all in the Family

 

 

The women weavers here are all related. There are aunts and cousins, mothers and sisters, all working together at their own speed. It is quite evident who has the most experience, by the speed her fingers work the wool threads through the loom. The women sing and gossip, keeping a rhythm as they work weaving these beautiful Beni Ourain Rugs.


The women depend on merchants from the souks in towns four to five hours away to come to their village, much like rug weavers and artisans of other products in villages across the country. The merchants bring money, of course, to the buy the rugs, as we did, but they also barter with cutlery, medicine, and other necessities that the women sometimes prefer over a cash payment.


Beni Ourain rugs are most commonly recognized by their thick pile and natural cream colored background and a geometric diamond pattern, in black, blue, or pink wool. Traditionally these rugs were not used to cover the floors of their nomadic tents but rather as a protection against the cold as bedding or even capes.


The Beni Ourain tribes also produced flatweave rugs, and in fact, it is in their flatweave creations where their technical weaving skills were the most pronounced. Whereas the thick pile rugs were functional in the cold, the flatweave rugs, traditionally women’s shawls or capes, had more intricate designs and motifs. This ancient tradition is still present in many of the Beni Ourain kilims and flatweave rugs that exist today.


We are proud of the Beni Ourain treasures that we found in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Our includes some beautiful traditional Diamond motifs on cream-colored backgrounds, a modern-take with polka dots, runners, and flatweave styles. If you do not see what you are looking for, please get in touch with us at hello@souksdumonde.com to let us know. Beni Ourain rugs are not made to order, but we would love to try and find something that suits you!

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