The Foundation for Safeguarding the Cultural Heritage of Rabat presents an exhibition “The Art of the Rabat Carpet, in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication and Maison de l’Artisan, in the framework of events organised in parallel to the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This event aims to present a stunning element of the heritage of Rabat, the host city for this session, celebrating the tenth anniversary of its inclusion on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
The Rabat carpet embodies the importance of the transmission of technical prowess, in a process that has been developed since the 18th century and even earlier. The practioners, mainly comprising women weavers working in domestic or community spaces, exercise their refined skills with a manual dexterity handed down from generation to generation. They create increasingly high-quality carpets that have become luxury objects, suitable to offer or purchase as wedding gifts for example.
The Rabat carpet appeared in Morocco at the end of the 18th century. Associated with urban life, it is inspired by oriental carpets, notably by its borders composed of multiple bands that frame a central field cornered by four triangles – or spandrels – and decorated with floral motifs. The Rabat carpet has nonetheless kept all its originality, thanks to the local taste, skill and knowledge of Moroccan women weavers. This is demonstrated in the design, a luxuriant corpus of floral and geometric ornaments, consolidated by the finesse and strength of warp and weft yarns, and knotted wool.
The Rabat carpet has become a symbol that expresses a history of secular feminine creativity that continues to drive the culture of today.