Women Artisans of Morocco - Susan Schaefer Davis
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Their Stories, Their Lives
Morocco: Ancient cities, adobe fortresses of centuries past, fertile plains of wheat and olives, carpets of wildflowers, endless deserts, wild mountains, and isolated rural villages. And of course, the fabled open-air markets framed with stacks of woven rugs and other handicrafts, exotic scents wafting through the aisles, the hum of Arabic, Berber, French. Within this diverse land and confluence of cultures, many rich and ancient craft traditions carry on—women spin and weave, make buttons, embroider designs passed down through generations, and sew stunning native costumes. Women Artisans of Morocco tells the stories of twenty-five women who practice these textile traditions with an inspiring energy, pride, and fortitude. For the first time, we have a book that focuses on the artisans of Morocco themselves, those who produce these beautiful textiles that contribute substantially to their family's income while maintaining households and raising children.
You will step into the lives of these Moroccan women artisans and gain an appreciation for their artistic skills and ingenuity but also for their strong roles in this supposedly male-dominated society, their fierce independence and determination as they work to improve their economic livelihoods. You will be welcomed into their homes in rural Berber villages, in bustling cities, and in a remarkable desert oasis. You will begin to learn truly what it is like to live as a woman in Morocco and to be part of a rapidly changing society. Most of the women presented here are rug weavers whose ancient skills and designs vary from region to region. You will also meet Fes embroidery artists, women who needle-weave buttons that have decorated native costumes for centuries, and a contemporary seamstress. Joe Coca’s award-winning photography, guided by his curious and reverent sensibility, captures the beauty of the women, their work, and Morocco.
Photography by Joe Coca