Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video

Women Oum Supports

Oum handpicks and purchases each of its rugs directly from the Berber women who design and craft them. We, the Oum Team, are committed to empowering these women and compensating them generously for their labor and expertise.

One such artisan with whom we have forged a special relationship accepted our invitation to sit over tea to tell us more about herself.

Fatima comes from a small town in the region of Fez. Most of the women in her family are also weavers. And like most, she learned to weave at home with her mother. She noted that it was not a choice, but a necessity to make weaving her livelihood. Fatima has no formal schooling and thus is illiterate. Weaving is her only means of providing for her family. Questioned about the future of today’s girls, she said she would prefer for them to receive an education first, and to weave by choice, not obligation.

Fatima currently spends days at an informal collective comprised of family, friends, and neighbors. Of the sixteen years she has been weaving, it took six to seven to become an expert. She is inclined nowadays to crafting Beni Ouaraine rugs with lozenge motifs.

Describing the art of weaving, Fatima confides that she likens her rugs to companions, each keeping her company for the four to six weeks of completion. Sitting at her loom, she is at one with the cadence of its movement. Her habits of concentration permit her skilled hands to tie one precise knot after the other. The rhythm of her action, hour after hour, is restful; her mind, she admits, wanders freely beyond the tight focus of her eyes. She often sings. It is while weaving she dreams.

When asked why she is willing to sell her rugs to Oum, Fatima did not hesitate to reply. Since her initial contact with the Oum Team, she has been met with a courtesy and respect not previously experienced. As her relationship with us grew, so did her trust. After long years perfecting her abilities, she is very proud to have been singled out by Oum for the integrity of her artistic gifts.

Backed by Oum, no longer must she part with her work for a fraction of its value. She is grateful for the opportunity to have her rugs seen and admired. It is a particular joy knowing her pieces, these extensions of herself, will soon grace and embellish the homes of new owners.

At the end of tea, the Oum Team posed a final question. What does Fatima wish for the buyer of one of her rugs? Her answer was threefold. She hopes first that the buyer feels a piece of Morocco is a part of their home (she even hopes customers will visit!). Secondly, she requests that the buyer honor the collective artistry of Berber weavers who carry on this important tradition. And, last of all, she politely asks the new owners to treat her former companions with care, so they can be passed down to future generations.


Continue Shopping

Comments on this post (0)

Leave a comment

Read Also

  • Education For All Morocco

    Very few girls from the rural communities of the Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains have the opportunity to continue their education beyond primary school. Secondary schools, located several miles away in larger towns, are not accessible to them for two main reasons: Their parents cannot afford housing that is in closer proximity to secondary schoo...

  • The Ultimate Home Accent

    The Handira is a traditional Moroccan Berber wedding blanket. It is woven just prior to marriage and gifted to the bride. The Handira is rectangular in shape and dimensions vary according to a bride’s figure. It is worn over the shoulders similar to a shawl and fastened on the chest by a cord or pin. These garments are made of wool and cotton an...

  • Founding Fathers and Morocco

    In honor of the 4th of July, we are publishing the first of ten Journal Entries dedicated to the relationship between the US and Morocco.  In 1776, Morocco became the first country to publicly recognize the independence of the United States in the form of granting US vessels access to its ports. Under the direction of sultan Mohammed III, port ...