Berber Carpets Symbols: Discover the Mystic Meaning of drawings
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Berber Carpets Symbols

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In Morocco, Berber carpets symbols have millenium roots and raise rural folk art. It is exclusively the work of women who work their lost time and home, for a purpose always utilitarian, since this Berber rug will be all at once cover, mattress, decorative hanging for the holidays. In no case is it intended for commercial use, and one separates only by necessity. The work is rustic, the decorative themes, essentially geometric patterns and symbols that are left to the free appreciation of the weaver, which explains its richness, diversity and freshness.

Quick Moroccan Rugs Distinction

Moroccan rugs occupy a special and prominent place in Moroccan crafts. They are distinguished by their great variety and originality

The production of city carpets is concentrated in Rabat, Salé and Casablanca. 

Decorated with floral motifs, they are characterized by the density of their carpet, and the delicacy of their composition. 

The repetitive motifs frame a central surface adorned with medallions or decorated with straight lines. They contain at least seven vibrant colors. 

Berber carpets are mainly from the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas, Haouz or eastern Morocco. They are decorated with geometric patterns, diamonds, zigzags, rectangles or checkers, bands or central medallions. These rural rugs are admired for their warm, bright colors and thick, solid weaves.

The Mysticism within Berber Carpets

 

Aside from Berber Carpets, the historical, cultural and traditional Berber heritage represents a real wealth that is often unknown. 

Much of this wealth consists of a very diverse material heritage where we can find items such as pottery, weaving, real estate art and wall decorations but also jewelry and tattoos have a valuable aesthetic value.

Indeed, these objects that are part of the daily life of Berbers are distinguished by the appearance of signs having a great symbolic, raising them well, well above the decorative dimension.

A study published in 1958, following a survey of Berber women, reveals that the symbols appearing on the interior wall decorations of the houses of the Berber tribes recall the means of attack and defense for the preservation of happiness. 

They are also magical and superstitious rites with the power to make a household happy or unhappy.

Berber rugs signs loss

 

Today, the meanings of these Berber carpet symbols are lost. While being likened to elements of the surrounding landscape, for example, chevrons, triangles, rhombuses and zigzags are motifs that have survived the ages since Neolithic times. 

It is often considered that these signs have a magico-religious intention: conservation of the self and the species, fertility of the earth and men, worship of the dead and protective magic. 

For these reasons, this heritage has long been denied in the end, to arrive gradually, to be analyzed and to be recognized.

The that means of many symbols has been lost over time, and despite the fact that mothers and grandmothers have handed specific motifs and designs down by means of generations, weavers could say they just weave what they have learnt and can’t be very specific regarding the meaning.

Berber designs, even when reflecting specific traditions and beliefs, have been intensely private, and to that end, they need to be interpreted with care, as we simply don’t comprehend what some designs have been supposed for and we may ignore the best way to translate them.

Berber carpets symbols and sexuality

 

Almost all motifs of Berber carpets have their origin in sexual symbolism. They represent in different ways the woman, the man, the meeting of the two sexes, then the pregnancy, the childbirth and never come out of this perimeter.

And to do so, we would also need to understand the songs, cultures and legends of distinctive Berber tribes.

The feminine symbols are the most numerous and often the most recognizable.

They are the same since the Paleolithic period:

– The sign X expresses an open woman’s body, ready to conceive

– The chevron is close to the X sign symbolizing the legs apart

– The rhombus represents the uterus, the belly of the mother

Male symbols are no less numerous but just less visible, as they occupy the space differently and generally frame female motifs. These are usually patterns in strips or bars:

– Ladders

– Feature 

– Right

– Fishbones

These patterns are often associated with the number three (three-tooth comb, triple bar, two rings around a ring).

The snake is the recurring and very legible phallic symbol, as it is found everywhere in the Mediterranean and in the East.

The cross is the sign of mating, while the double-hooked diamond is one of the most common birth symbols.

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