This antique kilim is a remarkable example of the weaving traditions of the Berber of the Beni M’Guild tribe in Morocco. It is hand woven with a classic, “Berber Knot” and features an extremely high thread count. This kilim showcases the intricate geometric patterns and vibrant color palettes that have come to define Berber textiles. Stylistically, rather than the flora and arabesque-like designs characteristic of Persian textile traditions, Berber carpet patterns are “exclusively in straight lines, illustrating simple, geometric forms such as triangles, rectangles, zig-zags, stars and crosses…” (Barbatti 2008). The use of natural dyes adds to the piece’s authenticity and highlights the skill of the weaver in capturing the essence of their culture and heritage. This kilim would make a valuable addition to any textile collection, not only for its exceptional craftsmanship, but also for its cultural significance as a representation of the timeless traditions of the Berber people. The process of stylizing and preserving the form of such textiles require a deep knowledge of craft as transmitted via oral tradition through centuries in Berber culture.
Barbatti, Bruno. 2008. Berber Carpets of Morocco: The Symbols Origin and Meaning. Paris: ACR Edition.