Weaving in Boujad is an ancient tradition, but its style is similar to contemporary art. In the past, weaving was an ancestral tradition handed down from mother to daughter. Despite such a rich heritage, many weavers have abandoned this craft. Carpets and textiles from Boujad are now a rarity today, and are sought after by connoisseurs and collectors. Many of these handmade crafts are in danger of being permanently lost and that’s why it’s necessary to protect and preserve their memory.
The Moroccan Ministry of Crafts and Region of Sardinia, in Boujad have collaborated and undertaken a series of initiatives aimed at the revival of this important artisan tradition, which includes the new Craft Center that offers training to new weavers. Weavers of the Cooperativa de Femmes Nouasser have participated in the project and have focused on the design and creation of a small collection of rugs that meet the market's needs, but respect the designs based on local traditions. The project was implemented by the Region of Sardinia as part of a broader project APQ Mediterranean countries, with the participation of the Association Beni Zemmour (ABZ).
The initiative was conceived by the Italian designer Roberta Morittu, who supervised and coordinated the entire project. By joining design and craftsmanship, Roberta has created a collection of modular fashion rugs. Each rug is composed from three modules of equal size and shape, interchangeable, two of them solid colored and one with the traditional geometric designs of Boujad.
Thanks to the skill of the women artisans, the processes related to the wool industry have been revived, such as the use of the best hand-spun wool dyed with natural pigments and other elements combined to create a high quality woven fabric. In this area of research, photography has been a key tool by which it was possible to capture all phases of the process, from procuring the raw materials, to creating a new product.
The Boujad Project is available to view online: “The Archive of Knowledge of Mediterranean Handcraft Skills.” The Archive hosts an “accessible“ memory that's vivid and dynamic, where recollections and knowledge related to people and artifacts are subject to new and unprecedented interpretation. It can be used as a tool to assist communities in their growth, and is available to anyone wishing to embark on a path of knowledge. More concretely, it will be an essential source of information for training new artisans.