Handicrafts are part of the historical heritage of Morocco. It is also an important point for the Moroccan economy. Indeed, without this craft, many families would find themselves condemned to poverty, with all the consequences that go with it. The past, migrations and traditions have enabled this country to acquire a certain notoriety in the manufacture and creation of trades linked to this art. More than seventy trades derive from Moroccan craftsmanship. It is constantly increasing, to meet the needs of the local population, the export of products to foreign countries, but also to satisfy the many tourists who come each year to visit this beautiful country.
The first inhabitants to have introduced crafts to Morocco are the Berbers. They began to work wool for carpets, to shape iron and silver for jewelry, to put their hands in clay for pottery, in order to make various utensils. A little later, other artisan trades emerged. The Moroccans began to make copper table utensils and ornaments, but also to work with wood such as acacia, alfa and sorrel. Handicrafts are present throughout Morocco and each region has its specialties. If you go to the Fez side, you will find many small shops and on the stalls in the souks, leather objects like belts, bags, copper dishes and decorations, silver and gold jewelry, different kinds of hand-made fabrics embroidered with gold threads.
In Marrakech, the craft industry will turn to the work of leather, copper and wool for carpets. In Essaouira, it will be wood, carpet and money. Rabat will be the artisanal center of pottery. Only one city practices damascening, and that is the city of Meknes. Craftsmen practice the art of engraving on steel to make vases, jewelry, engravings on certain pottery, ceramics, jewelry and others. It is meticulous work that requires a lot of patience and know-how. This profession is passed down through the generations. Some fabrications will be more suitable for women, such as embroidery, fabric work. In Morocco, we are craftsmen from father to son.
Ceramics, a Moroccan specialty
The most important of the craft specialties in Morocco is ceramics. It requires a certain technique. It can cover objects to decorate them, furniture, tables, it then takes the name of aesthetic ceramics. Enamels and glazes are part of decorative and architectural ceramics, to dress mosques or hotels for example. Craftsmen practice the double firing method. In many cities of Morocco, you can attend the manufacture of certain objects, at the craftsmen who have a small shop in the center. In all the markets of Morocco, in the souks, in the alleys lined with small stalls, you will always find a souvenir to bring back, among the multitude of artisanal products on offer, or simply buy a piece of jewelry, a piece of clothing for your greatest pleasure.
Handicrafts in Morocco are one of the main family activities. The materials used are wood, wool, leather, silver, metal, earth, textiles, ceramics, clay, stone, doum. We find everywhere in the world and at home, without really knowing it, the work of Moroccan artisans. Who has not tried to prepare tagines, and for that you need a specific dish, and of course it comes from the Maghreb. Morocco wouldn’t be what it represents, if it weren’t for the dizzying bustle in the souks, which give tourists a feeling of intoxication, and a sense of delving into the past of Moroccan culture.