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The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

12 Mar 2019
The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug - Benisouk

Every Moroccan rug is a unique and trendy item, handcrafted by skilled individuals who take pride in every weave that they make. Each rug tells a different story and can truly speak to you.

Just like the Moroccan Middle Atlas, Berber culture can be isolating in its remoteness, giving precious little opportunity for Berber women to express what was hidden in their hearts and to tell their stories. The craft of making rugs has long a precious avenue for Berber women to express their inner feelings and thoughts to the outside world. The personality of each craftswomen transcends into their rugs and you can differentiate the shy craftswoman to the outgoing craftswoman through the wonderful, or sometimes cryptic stories told by the rug.

Berber women are painters where the rug is the canvas. Although these women are illiterate, they can write on the rugs with their hands. They feel free to express, to write, to paint the stories they face in their lives or the feelings in their hearts.

Most stories are told with symbols. Tribal life focuses the mind on what is really important. Often there will be repetition in symbols to reinforce their importance or a minimalist design, to focus only on what is important. The combination of magic symbolism and minimalist utility gives the Berber carpets their unique appeal. Each carpet carries the weaver’s desire to protect the human spirit from negative energy and shield the human body from the elements. Whether we lay them on our floors or hang them on our walls, these story-filled pieces of art become talismans for our everyday lives.

Here you find the stories behind some symbols on the Berber rugs

The symbols on the Berber rug

The meaning of many symbols has been lost over time, and although mothers and grandmothers have passed specific motifs and designs down through generations, weavers might say they simply weave what they learned and can’t express what it means. Berber designs, even when reflecting certain tribal traditions and beliefs, were intensely personal, and to that end, they must be interpreted with care, as we simply don’t know what certain designs were intended for or how to translate them. And to do so, we would also need to understand the songs, cultures and legends of different tribes. For example, Berbers use these symbols in tattoos as well as rugs.

Typical symbolism in Moroccan rug

Berber rugs are a form of storytelling in Morocco. Each is designed to protect the human spirit and shelter the body from the elements. The colours of Berber tell a tale as well, with red symbolizing strength and protection, blue indicating wisdom, yellow representing eternity and green symbolizing peace.


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

A rectangle filled with a chequered pattern of light and dark, a symbol of fertility. As we see in this picture.


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

Resembles a cross made of intersecting rectangles. It’s to carry baraka, a sort of divine power they believe that is to ward off misfortune, heal the sick or bring good luck


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

Concentric diamond pattern that symbolizes protection against the evil eye. A cross in the center or arrows at the edge deflects evil in four directions.


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

An ornate diamond design featuring small diamonds on top (head) and bottom (tail) with two legs coming out on either side, the frog represents fertility and magical rites.


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

This X shape is a symbol of metal workers and offers respect to metal to ward off Djorn. You can often see a series of cross shapes joined together to make a geometric pattern which also includes lozenges.

Snake and Fish Skeletons

The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

There are several variations of these, but generally they are either a vertical line that intersects a column of chevrons or they are a vertical series of triangles or diamonds. This design represents a holy person and has magical and medicinal skills.


The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug

The finger Resembles a hashtag or tic-tac-toe board and is a symbol of protection.

As you can see, the symbols, motifs and arrangements of Moroccan rugs can weave a rich tapestry of the messages and desires of the women who made them. This combined with the durability, quality and uniqueness of each rug means that it will continue to add value to your home for many years.


Moroccan rug offers style and history, making them such an incredible design asset in any space. They are versatile and you have so many different options that you can choose from. If you are looking for an amazing selection of Moroccan rugs, you can find so many options by visiting our website: click here . Feel free to browse around and admire the stunning craftsmanship that goes into each rug.

The Secrets Behind The Symbols On The Berber Rug - Benisouk


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