Carpet for Attribution: 1
Dear Mr. Hunt,
Thank you for your informative essay.
Perhaps you, and the other turkotekers out there, might suggest an attribution for this carpet.
thanks to Itzhak Mordekhai for the digital imaging.
Variations on a Theme
Hello Richard- This rug is from the collection of our own Patrick
Weiler, and is from the High Atlas region if memory serves. Much in common with your rug- borders,seeming residual prayer columns and vestigal arches, hanging lamps,ect. This central octagonal medallion and the flanking rosettes in your rug suggest- will get back with more info- Dave
Bonsoir David and Richard
The rug that Richard has dispayed is certainly a Rabat carpet made recently in an urban workshop in Rabat. Traditionaly the weavers of Rabat are reproducing motives from other weaving tradition as Turkish. The field composition of this rug with the niches at each side and with a blue ground and with lanterns hanging in the "mirhab" is quite classical in modern Rabat rugs.
The border is typical of Rabat carpets as we can see it in older rugs. But with same composition we can find caucasian borders as we can see in the exemple I found in a Moroccan book (Du signe à l'image, le tapis Marocain, Abdelkebir Khatbi and Ali Amahan, Lak international publ.).
I believe that the attribution that is given by David is not good, this is not a high atlas rug. I have found a rug made by an high atlas tribe (Aït Ouaouzgit, from the Siroua montains) that imitate in a naîve manner (and with some humour) the Rabat carpet with taxis on the field (a real "urban rug" made by a nomade, see the Pickering catalog for the Textile Museum Washington 1980).
Agree to Disagree
Bonjour Louis and All- While I understand what you are saying, I can not say
I agree. Most of the city carpets which I have seen in
morocco tend to be, I believe, of more sophisticated design than
Richards. I have seen carpets such as Patrick's described as
High Atlas, and all three of these rug share common characteristics of columns, stylized arch/mihrab, and a field sprinkled with symmetrically arranged geometric figures.
And let's not forget the common border.
I am entertaining a theory which would state that the Fatimids passed the prayer rug format to the Mamluks, from which it spread to the Ottomans and hence to rural turkey. As such, the prayer rug tradition may well have passed to Morocco via the Fatimids and hence of indigenous origin; thus the format and design motifs are of origin common to both Turkish and Moroccan
weaving. The distinct possibility of the tradition being of Arab origin/culture I will leave be for now. I will pursue further this
Fatimid theory in Steve's Prayer Rug thread in a day or two- Dave
For me a "high atlas rug" is a berber rug with beber design reflecting the berber tradition. Some other designs, as the "prayer like turkoïd" can be made in tribes, in the moutains but I think that these forms are "alien" to the tribe culture.
The Ouaouzguit rug, with the flying cabs, I have shown, is a real tribal interpretation of this foreign design (note how the vocabulary is tribalised, in design and in colours). If tribes weave such rugs as the Ricard's this is, in my opinion, rather a copy work than an original work anchored in their culture. The berber culture is not an islamic culture.
Louis and All- I understand what you are saying, but I think it important to remember that today the Berbers are Muslims and have been for centuries. Hence, according to your definition, no Berber carpets exist. These prayer derived format rugs are made in the High Atlas and qualify as High Atlas rugs. I understand your position, but I think the circumstances can defy most broadly based definitions.- Dave
A different Perspective
Dear Louis and All- A statement above is, I believe, of importance
to both Moroccan weaving in general and to the discussion at hand.
You state that "traditionally the weavers of Rabat are reproducing motives from other weaving traditions as Turkish", and while I don't believe all motives of Rabat carpets to be of sources external to Morocco, there was an attempt to revitalize the carpet trade in Morocco, within the last couple hundred years, which seems to have consisted of producing loosely interpreted versions of Turkish rugs.
I will admit that this could be the source of the prayer format High Atlas rug, but without corrobarative evidence this is just conjecture. It is my impression that Morocco has a long history of weaving, but that it is poorly understood.- Dave
The production of carpets in town workshop in Rabat begins in the XVIII°
century. These carpets where woven to provide the local market in rugs that do
not look "rural" as the rugs from the tribes and the deep country. The buyers
were urban "bourgeois" who priced the turkish carpets that were however rare and
expensive. The weavers were native weavers with their own vocabulary and
technics. The Rabat carpet is traditionnaly a copy of foreign exemples but with
a heavy "moroccan accent".
Attached are two pictures of a Rabat rug from ACOR7. I thought these may be interesting to the current salon.
I will not be able to post them myself due to leaving the country for 10 days for my long-delayed trip to China this morning!
Would yo post them for me?
Patrick- What an interesting rug! What I would give for an image of that central medallion. They don't make them like this any more- at least to my knowledge. Whoa!- Dave