The story of a generous rug
The Boucherouite rug is a symbol of generosity, strength, creativity and love, it’s a handmade rug woven out of old clothes.
The Boucherouite rug has always had several functions : from a rug, to a blanket, to just overall decoration, it is sometimes used by some bus and taxi drivers to cover up their seats.
What could have pushed these women to tear their clothes and weave them?
A berber creation
In the Atlas mountains, in the middle of winter, Berber families suffered a lot because of the cold.
The fathers who are usually the providers struggled to find jobs because when the roads were obstruct, with low income and brutal weather it was very hard to get around and afford things, wool was out of the question since it was very expensive, the weavers were empty, the children were becoming more and more fragile..parents often lost their children…
But one day out of fear for their families, women from the village determined to protect their children from the cold had to do something they had to start weaving again they had to fill the frame but how ?
The women got creative and decided to empty out their closets, take out old worn out clothes ,torn wool sweaters, unravel them, stretch them, create a solid warp and then tearing the rest of the clothes into thin strips and slowly adding them to the existing warp to create a weft they started filling out the frames again…they were finally on to something..
And this is how it all started.
Boucherouite weaving: a language,an expression.
In the beginning each boucherouite rug was unique, not one piece resembled the other
It was used for it’s practicality for its weight and it’s protection against the cold, it later became a piece of art, a place for craftswomen to tell their stories and translate their emotions.
Each color and geometric form is a feeling or story told through these rugs.
Boucherouite reflects the patience and the times these women had to endure especially during their husband’s long journeys away, using a daughter’s shirt, a baby’s sock, their own djellabas and their husband’s knitwear, without forgetting the neighbor’s pyjamas to complete their desired design…
These women were very proud of what they created, it was truly a source of joy. They never sold their creations, they passed them on from mother to daughter, or offered them as gifts.
The men, on the other hand, didn’t quite process the whole thing ,it’s recycled and considered a carpet of the poor, what’s so special about it ? They were kind of embarrassed by it. This stroke of pride pushed them to reject it a little bit.
A forgotten story …
Slowly, Boucherouite found itself at the back of people’s closets; “modern” industrial carpets, rugs, throw-ons and blankets have now taken its place.
This did not only harm Boucherouite, but traditional weaving in general.
Several young women who had learned the art of weaving from their mothers moved to the city after getting married, in the city the houses are much smaller, the looms take up space, and are now deemed useless, why bother making a rug when you can buy one? they were thrown out or sold for very little money, this led boucherouite to become increasingly rare.
These young women, who came to the city with their husbands – who were able to find modest jobs – thought they were as strong and independent as their mothers who despite difficulty always managed to push through.
But in a city as big as Casablanca, it was not as easy for them, with little schooling to no schooling, in a douar near the city, it was difficult to integrate into society, they felt inferior.
The neighbors were nice and friendly but everyone keeps their distance.
They felt extremely lonely.
Away from friends and family, living in poverty, they felt very unhappy.
This harsh way of life distracted these women away from their potential, they now spent their time taking care of their children and husbands, all they needed was a little encouragement and support.
Bringing back boucherouite, is now our mission…to be continued.