Taznakht

Taznakht is a small town located in Ouarzazate province in the south of Morocco. Its located in the High Atlas Mountains and is a bedrock of different crafts.

The economy of the Taznakht tribe

Taznakht tribes are highly artisans. They have been practicing these crafts for hundreds of years. One generation of craftsmen transfers their prized knowledge and expertise to the next. This provides them their sustenance and also ensures the preservation of the local art and craft culture.

Handicrafts of the Taznakht tribe

The Taznakht tribe is known for many crafts. They can mold wood, metal, clay, bone, stone, and even cooper into different shapes and sizes and make beautiful objects out of them. However, if there is one craft they are renowned for that is weaving; more precisely carpet and rug weaving. Womenfolk are considered better adept in it than their male counterparts. The weaving comprises of hand-knots, weaves, loops, and patterns. Part of the reason weaving is so popular in the region could be attributed to the abundant supply of wool. Most of the people of the area herd sheep, goats, camels, etc. This makes the availability of raw material very easy and hence the carpet and rug weaving took off in the region.

The philosophy behind these rugs

As we said that these carpets are mostly made by women and each carpet is a unique product as it is not mass-produced and the design is not replicated. It is the product of the thought-process of the artisan at work at that time. She might be going through some ordeal in her life, or she might be influenced by something positively or negatively…whatever be her mental state of mind, it reflects in the design of the carpet. Therefore, these carpets are much sought-after in the entire world. Art connoisseurs source them for their artistry and display them proudly at their homes and art galleries.

The future of Taznakht tribe and their art

Many international NGOs and local cooperative societies have sprung up in the area to help the Taznakht tribe sustain their craft and also help them economically. They buy their creations at reasonable prices and sell them to the world at a profit. It is a win-win situation where everyone benefits from the deal. These NGOs also help the local community in terms of providing better health and educational facilities. Thanks to the popularity of these rugs, they fetch a very high price in the international market and fuel economic prosperity in the area.

Conclusion

Taznakht tribe has a rich history of heritage, art, and craft. They are a proud race that does not want to let go of their ancestral practices and also brace the modern world. Their carpet-weaving skills have brought them enough limelight already and they are enjoying the fruits of this attention. It is an ideal situation; the one where an old tradition is preserved and used to gain economic ascendancy and prosperity to its people.

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