”Think of it as an adventure into a land of desert warriors and distant caravans, majestic mountain peaks and ranges, fertile plains and vast stretches of the sahara, exotic walled cities and Berber fortess towns, of a strong but friendly people and, best of all, of a world filled with the fresh and living colors of their rugs and art.” – Pickering
Ait Bou Sbaa carpets is the Ouled Bou Sbaa (means literally “of the lion”) are a tribe of Nomadic Moors of Hassanya language living in Morocco and Mauritania, as well as in the territory of Western Sahara. They trade from Senegal to Marrakech. The tribe most recently arrived in the region, claim an origin Chorfa or Maraboutique.
Many Moors consider Ouled Bou Sbaa as a tribe without strong roots in Mauritania, closer to its origins or in Senegal. The Mauritanian part of Ouled Bou Sbaa, although distributed throughout the country and in Senegal, is mainly associated with the city of Akjoujt, in the region of Inchiri. To the north, they are present in the Moroccan city of Marrakech and the city of Western Sahara of Smara.
Admittedly, the rugs, for people accustomed to the familiar Oriental designs could be upsetting. A carpet from the Oulad Bou Shaa tribe, for instance, has its major motif woven just off center. Fiske said Sollie barnes, the museum’s longtime installer, could hardly stand to hang it. But the rug is beautiful, and its very lack of symmetry adds to its charm. Another Oulad Bou Sbaa carpet shows the same divergent spirit, with three stick figures who seem to have just wandered into the rug’s pattern without asking. Some of the pile carpets are intended to be used with the pile side down.
In Berber culture, blue represents wisdom, yellow eternity, and red strength and protection. Beside the color symbolism, the pattern of Ait Bou Sbaa rug has its own story to tell. The shapes around have their ancient sacred symbolism, and it’s this combination of base colors, magic symbolism and utility that gives Ait Bou Sbaa rugs so unique appeal. Place a Berber rug in your living room and watch how this story-filled piece of art becomes a part of your everyday life. The rug can enhance your living area’s exotic ambiance and bring soothing and comforting feeling after a hard work day.
Berber women, who are the maneuvering leaders of the Moroccan carpet, spend weeks and sometimes months setting up a carpet. This time is justified by other household and family tasks that Berber women assume. It is only after a long day of work, raising the children, preparing to eat and then carrying out the home, that the Berber women go to their crafts set up in one of the narrow rooms of their houses to weave or tie mats. In general, the average time of weaving or knotting is two hours per day for each woman.