Zemmour rugs are a type of handwoven carpets made by the Berber women of the city of Zemmour, which is a fertile territory located in the Northwest of Morocco, somewhere between Meknes and Rabat cities, exactly on the Atlantic Ocean’s banks, known for its moderate climate and fertile lands, suitable for the grazing of different types of herds, which results in the production of high quality and excellent pure wool that is used in combination with cotton to produce different sizes of rugs. In this region, Berber women make a type of rugs which is considered to be excellent. Zemmour means in Berber language ‘olive’. Before, they were renowned for their warlike and plundering temper. Foreigners had to negotiate a payment to cross their territory to ensure their passage.
Zemmour rugs are one of the most reputed types of handwoven carpets in Morocco. The authenticity of these rugs is unquestionable and their value increases as the time goes by. Each item is a valuable piece of art representing a cultural heritage passed on from generation to generation.
What makes the weavings of this region so unique and amazing is the use of many details, while at the same time maintaining the wonderful rich red color as a base, which is a characterization of Zemmour rugs The weavers use geometric motifs to decorate their rugs, but most importantly as a form of expression of their own stories, hopes, secrets and dreams that they cannot express verbally. Every single motif has a symbolic significance and tells a story of its own.
For instance, the lozenge form is a pattern symbolizing the mother’s body or the whole female figure. Sometimes, we find in these weavings lozenges with extended sides, which may be interpreted as open sexual readiness of the woman, with sometimes a small element between one of the extended sides (representing the woman’s legs) which indicates a birth and represents a woman and her new born baby.