Aït Ouarda. Woman´s old Berber silk belt

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A woman's outstanding old wool and silk woven belt -hzam- from the Berber tribe of the Aït Ouarda a sub-group pf the Aït Ouaozguite inhabiting the region of the Siroua between the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas mountains in Morocco. They get the material for their characteristic woven pieces from a breed of sheep indigenous to that area and well-adapted to the harsh environment. Ouaouzguite women have always being reputed for their outstanding weaving skills and inventive combining color, textures and motifs. Natural dyes for their pieces were obtained from flowers, roots, etc. growing in the surroundings and indigo was often obtained from the not far away Dades Valley. The use of this latter dye was very demanding and complex but was mastered soon by Jewish members of the community. Broad wowen belts like this one were used on a daily basis by the women of the group. This one though is made of a richer material, silk, and features a wonderful combination of natural dyed colours as well as decorative motifs including the protective eye and other anthropomorphic figures and symbols, often related to fertility and maternity. A piece to grab.

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