The journey of our Vintage Boujad Rugs
The importance of the Boujad rug to the tribes who make them can be guided by their core values of resourcefulness, pragmatism and preparation, key traits needed to survive the harsh climate of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
The art of rug making is passed down from mother to daughter as a traditional pastime to give use to idle hands while teaching core, Berber values. In making these rugs the families are preparing the equivalent of bed linen and blankets for future guests, or for the cold winters by making the traditional Aït Atta shawl. The women need to become resourceful to decorate rugs, learning which plants in their environment can be mixed to make the dyes to apply to the wool, which in turn fosters an opportunistic pragmatic mindset of being alert to their environment and what it has to offer and how this could be useful.
With so much human energy put into creating these rugs, it is of little surprise they are built to last. For the nomadic Berber tribes, life is a continuous journey, from one place to another in the cycle of life. Boujad rugs are an important companion in this journey, and are often made to commemorate milestone events. As the rug ages, it becomes softer as the fibres release their lanolin oils and the vibrant colours soften into waxy pastel tones. A parallel is drawn between the mellowing of the rug and the mellowing of the mind. It’s as if the rug is reflecting the culmination of years of experience since its commemorative birth and the richness and wisdom added in that time.
A true Vintage Boujad Rug has had pride of place in a Berber home and has seen the comings and goings of several generations. The colours will be pastel tones and the fibres extra soft. The maker of the rug by then will be old, and their values have changed on their journey to appreciate the family they have built. It is about this time, the grandmother will decide to sell this prized possession so that they can give something to the younger generations to make their life easier. In a way, Grandma is distributing her inheritance in her lifetime.
Surplus Boujad rug have been sold in the Souks for time immemorial, but the Vintage Boujad rug, with all the experience and life it has absorbed, usually makes for a special sale. Grandmothers will have taught their children how to sell rugs at the Souks already, so the vintage rugs are usually reserved for those traders who have given a little extra to the community over time – someone who knows the true value of the rug, not just in price but in what is in it.
These Vintage Boujad rugs are regarded akin to a guardian watcher. They have been witness to the love, happiness and excitement of family life. During this time it absorbs the high vibrational energy, so it is able to give that back in the form of comfort on the dark days, reminders of happy memories on the sad days and warmth on the cold days. This rug was birthed through the motherly love of the Berber, and so that is all it knows, and it spends the rest of its life returning that love back to the owner. The rugs themselves have intricate charms woven into them, to ward away evil spirits and to bring good times to those around. When a Vintage Boujad rug is sold, these charms are bestowed on the next household it goes to – and so these rugs are passed to the traders who really understand this.
Benisouk is active in the Rug Communities it trades within. We offer our Berber families above market prices for their valued rugs, and when we sell them we also return a portion of the profits to invest in community projects – improving their schools, infrastructure or communications to the betterment of these communities. Benisouk is respectful of the fact the Berber tribes give us the opportunity to better ourselves through their business, so it is only right we return this opportunity so they can better themselves too. Our business with these tribes are not one off transactions, but part of a common journey to improve the communities we are part of.
It is through our partnerships with the Berber tribes that Benisouk is given the honourable privilege to be able to sell Vintage Boujad Rugs. Our shop has a vibrant display of both fresh Boujad rugs and also of highly prized Vintage Boujad rugs, with all the pedigree that comes with the original product.