A Cultural Experience in Marketplaces
Morocco is home to medieval-like cities where merchants sell colorful carpets, musical instruments, sweets, spices and copper urns
A little imagination goes a long way in Fes and this happens everywhere in Morocco. The hustle and bustle of Moroccan souks, colors and smells attract hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world every time of the year. From beautiful changing scenery to medieval-like cities and villages, Morocco has a lot to offer to tourists and visitors that want to know better the life and culture of Moroccans from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the desert and up to the Atlas Mountains.
The country is inhabited by descendants of Berbers and other people of Arab, African and European origin. Therefore, local art reflects the influences of other cultures from Africa, Asia, and Europe. Morocco is famous for the oldest university of the world, Al Karaouin, the leather tanneries of Fez, Casablanca as seen in Michael Curtiz movie and endless markets.
Knowing Morocco through Crafts and Art
Marketplaces or souks are an important part of the country’s culture and they can be found everywhere from major cities like Casablanca, Marrakech, and Fez to remote villages in the mountains. Every urban or rural area has its souk while in large cities they are like labyrinths. Artworks and delicacies are the most sold products. Besides museums, souks are the right places for observing Moroccan art. Carpet weaving, calligraphy, painting, pottery, and jewelry are the common crafts that can be found in Moroccan marketplaces. People express their artistry through applied art while tourists enjoy visiting souks as they make a rare cultural experience.
Rug shops are places that shouldn’t be missed when roaming in the maze-like labyrinth medina of Fez. Merchants will offer to you more than four glasses of tea and many beautiful carpets. The best thing about Moroccan rugs is that they are made of wool and dyed with vegetable colors. There about fifteen types of carpets, rugs, and kilims that can be found in rug shops and not two of them depict the same design. These rugs are woven by Berber people that live far away from urban areas and use colors like saffron, indigo, and henna. Every tribe has its design and patterns, but geometric patterns are used in all carpets. They are durable and their lifespan can surpass 100 years.
All these characteristics make Moroccan rugs more expensive than other types of oriental rugs. Visiting Morocco would be a great idea for knowing better the country. But even a carpet woven by Berber tribes would create a true statement in your home, as their modern designs make them fit in every home decoration style.