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We at loveknits are always reading about these vanishing traditions, that we thought probably can be highlighted a bit. If you want to know about anything or feel like writing, do let us know if you know some art that is vanishing! We will for sure feature it!
‘Exotic’ handcrafted textiles are enjoying considerable popularity all over the globe. This time we want to talk about something we found very interesting, Moroccan Wedding Blanket! The creamy, sequined blankets, or handira, are a window onto traditional Berber culture.
Known as Moroccan wedding blankets, handira are woven out of sheep’s wool, cotton and linen by Berber women in the Middle Atlas mountains of Northern Morocco. Berbers were the first inhabitants of the Northern coast of Africa. Although in frequent conflict with conquering Arab forces since the 7th century CE, the Berbers have managed to maintain a separate culture and language. Despite being an ethnic majority (about 60%) in Morocco, Berbers — Imazighen, in their own language — feel oppressed by the Arabic government, and have been agitating for more autonomy and the freedom to practice their traditional culture. There are several different Berber tribes across North Africa, with different dialects and customs.
Moroccan wedding blankets are woven in natural undyed wool and cotton, often decorated with woven pattern bands of very pretty and colourful talismanic symbols. The numerous sequins give the Handira the finishing touch but are not solemnly esthetical. They are considered to ware of the evil eye and to protect. They also reflect the sun light during the day and the glow of fire at night.
The bride’s female relatives’ weave it for the bride with talismanic symbols to protect and the bride’s relatives teach her all about the birds and the bees, among other marital duties and expectations.
Loved the look, the idea, the style!
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Berber wedding blankets use different kinds of knots and different materials — undyed sheep’s wool, linen and cotton — to create geometric patterns, typically lines or a grid
Moroccan wedding blankets, or handira are popular now in Western interior decor, perhaps for their unique combination of exoticism, glitz, and (mostly) neutral colors
This early 20th-century photograph is of a Tunisian Berber girl, whose mirrored sequins are similar to the ones on the Moroccan blankets; her forehead tattoo is a common symbol used to ward off evil
Often, a handira is accented with colorful bands of woven wool, on the topside or the underside
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