Marmoucha ( Middle Atlas Hanbel )

Late 19th or early 20th Century
5’10”x13’2” ( 1.78m x 4.0m )
NOA special collection ( Item# HAN7050 )

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History

There are regional differences in the name used for flat weaves within Maghrib (Morocco) itself. North African textiles are also known by other names that refer specifically for their use, which again vary from group to group. The flat woven rug or blanket (Hanbel) of the Marmoucha has its counterpart among other tribes of the Middle Atlas.

The design origin for this type of flat weave is mostly spontaneous based on the weaver imagination and tailored to the size of the kilim that is being woven. The proficiency of the artist is based on her ability to minimize repetition of patterns within the bands and to convey a mosaic of colors and pattern movement. Several types of the patterns are common. This piece displays a superb patterning based on crosses, circle, lozenges and oblique lines that correlate to other surrounding ethnic groups like Zaiane and Beni M’guild.

This piece belongs to the end 19th Century or early 20th century. Hence, the use of organic dyes and hand-spun wool puts this Kilim on top of its class.

This “Hanbel” was woven with the sequins incorporated into the composition, which is usually done when the tribal women prepare for their wedding. They are afterward displayed in the house or tent to reflect the light of the stars. The reflection has a metaphysical representation of the soul in its journey to the spiritual world.

  • Design:

    Field: Heavy overall patterning and decoration with areas of intense design forming compartments that are filled with very narrow stripes
    Size and shape; Large and rectangular

  • Material:

    100% hand spun high quality wool

  • Structure:

    Weft faced patterning, plain weave

  • Colors:

    Dark purple, white, orange, green and many others

  • Fringe:

    Plain knotted

  • Selvedge:

    Plain

  • Remark:

    This weaving group is among the best of middle atlas groups. Condition is excellent with some sequins being lost. Fringes some are missing but the kilim is secured.

  • Providence:

    This Kilim was acquired in Marrakech in 2008 from the collection of Mohamed Jouti the son Hajj Ahmed Jouti, a renowned connoisseur of rare collectable antique rugs, with the guidance of professor of history at University of Mohamad V in Rabbet, Dr.Abd Al-Rahman Ellmauddin, and professor of geography Dr. Taufik Agoumy


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