FROM THE BERBERE TRIBE TO YOUR HOME (ATLAS RUGS )
Long passionate about Berber rugs and artwork, ten years ago we positioned ourselves at the base of the Atlas Mountains in the small town of ATLAS, in the province of Zaïane, Morocco. By foot, we have explored the mountains-home to nomadic tribes with immensely rich artistic traditions and uncovered authentic Berber carpets and ancient , unique and precious, in the hope of providing a link between the artists and you, future guardians of their work.It is therefore from the cradle of the Berber artistic tradition that we offer you this marvellous pieces directly and without intermediaries, from our farm to your house, anywhere in the world.
AUTHENTICITY AND TRADITION: A STORY TO TELL
We believe that Berber carpets speak to us about the lives, work, and emotions of their weavers. It is the Berber women, with their expert hands, who patiently craft each carpet for their families-be it a precious marriage offering or a large bed blanket to keep a whole family warm. We select our carpets with an eye to their artistic quality, privileging originality over commercial viability.With enormous respect for the hard work that Berber families bring to the creation of a single carpet, we not only guarantee the authenticity of what we offer but will also tell you the story of each piece. Beni Ourain Carpets To browse our current collection of Moroccan Beni Ourain carpets visit our online shop.Originally woven by the Beni Ourain tribe for use as bedding, our collection of one-of-a- kind pile carpets are hand-woven from the long curly wool of an ancient breed of Berber sheep. From the eighth to the twentieth century, this nomadic tribe lived in the remote region in the Middle Atlas Mountains of North Africa secluded from the influence of Arab aesthetics. As a result of the centuries of cultural isolation, the Beni Ourain tribe carpets represent a pure strain of abstract magical utilitarian art that was created to protect the human spirit from negative energy and to protect the human body from the elements. In the early 20th century, with the conscious inception of Western abstract art, Beni Ourain carpets began to be appreciated and incorporated into interiors by visionary designers such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Alto, Ruby Ross Wood and Frances Elkins. The subdued yet bold presence of a Beni Ouarain tribal carpet blends beautifully with the clean lines of modern furniture and architecture.In the 21st century, Beni Ourain carpets continue to be collected and appreciated by architects and interior designers. With its natural warmth durability and sparse elegant black and white designs, each unique hand-woven tribal art carpet in our collection brings true modernist style to an interior space. We invite you to visit our Beni Ourain Moroccan rug souk in the Chelsea Market or explore our online shop filled with a special collection of unique modern & vintage Beni Ourain carpets and runners. We have collected a wide variety of original Beni Ourain carpets: lattice patterns, criss-cross patterns, wave patterns, diamond patterns, jewel patterns, zip patterns, Greek key designs, monochrome designs, modern Moroccans, and vintage Moroccans…This hand-picked collection of one-of-a-kind Beni Ourain rugs ranges from refined Beni Ourains with a luminous sheen to rustic Beni Ourains with a deep ‘flokati style’ pile, traditional odd Moroccan sizes to contemporary extra large sizes ….all hand-woven in Morocco from 100% sheep’s wool I. Moroccan Rugs General Information Morocco’s history, and the story of Moroccan weaving begins with the Berbers, the indigenous people of North Africa who had inhabited Morocco for centuries before the first Arab invasion in the seventh century. Today, the major weaving groups of the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountains are Berber tribes, many of whom still live much as they did centuries earlier. While remarkably diverse, Moroccan flatwoven and knotted pile rugs are almost without exception bold in colour and lively in the pattern. Designs are made up of geometric motifs arranged in seemingly endless variations. Each tribe has its own distinct repertoire of designs and colours significant to the ceremonial and day to day life of the group. These same patterns can be seen in the art forms relating to other areas of tribal life such as in ceramics, architectural decoration, and tattoos worn by Berber women. Although a weaver draws from the vocabulary of designs particular to her tribe, she works at her loom without a diagram or pattern to guide her. As a result, each rug is a unique creation, a celebration both of her tribal identity and her own artistic imagination. II.
Moroccan Berber Rugs and 20th Century Design The colours of North Africa have been celebrated for centuries by well-known fine artists from the West – Delacroix, Matisse, Klee come immediately to mind. Somewhat less widely known but no less significant is the historic connection between Moroccan art, and rugs in particular, and 20th-century western design. The late nineteen nineties have brought about a renewed appreciation for mid-century modernism as well as elements of sixties and seventies style and colour. The brightness and warmth of oranges and saffron yellows in Morocco’s High Atlas rugs or the neutral beige ground Beni Ouarain and talsint and beni M’Guild rugs, their thick pile sometimes reminiscent of sixties shag, are still accessible and are being utilised anew in contemporary interiors. With their hand spun wool and authentic indigenous character, these one-of-a-kind rugs have an organic quality not found in their factory-made counterparts from other areas of the world. With Atlas Rugs, Ismail and Hannah have curated a distinctive collection of hand-woven vintage Moroccan Berber carpets. Their aim is to connect the rich history of the rugs’ origins and patterns with today’s modern interiors. Whether laid on a floor or mounted on a wall, these carpets are art pieces whose inspiration, including archaic symbolism, and bold color stories, is just as pronounced now as when these one-of-a-kind pieces were originally woven.