We are excited to bring our love of Morocco to you through our online store. Morocco was colonised by both the French and the Spanish and is an exotic place, with a magical, other-world feel. Walking the souks and meeting local craftsmen, we took the road less travelled to discover interesting and unique pieces.
When we told our children of our plan to set up a business importing from Morocco, they were concerned. How would two mature women manage such an adventure? It reminded us of our parents reaction when we were eighteen and headed off to drive across the Nullarbor Plains from Sydney to Perth. That was in the seventies, when there was still 300 miles of dirt road!
Fortunately we had the help of our wonderful Moroccan guide Moh, who ensured we were safe and supported on our quest to discover treasures and to learn more about the fascinating culture and wonderful people of Morocco.
Morocco is a bridge between the western world and the Moroccan world. It is Africa and the Middle East rolled into one! Close your eyes and let your imagination take over. Inhale the pungent smells, listen to the loud chatter in the medina and hear the clip clop of donkeys on the bricked alleyways..
Our adventure started in Casablanca and we travelled to Marrakech, to explore the souks which are the largest in Morocco and divided into specialised sections. A treasure trove of goods include rugs and jewellery; copper, brass and silverware; leather and linens and colourful ceramics, all tempted us to buy. Haggling with the stall holders was all part of our shopping experience.
Our journey took us to the Chouara Tannery, the largest leather tannery in Fez. Built in the 11th century, leather goods have been produced there using the same methods for more than a thousand years! We will share with you the fascinating process of tannng the hides in a future blog. The dye colours are produced using natural products, red from the poppy flower, blue from indigo and yellow from saffron. Leather goods in these rainbow hues, made from camel, sheep, cow or goats hides are on offer and after a lengthy process we selected our new range of leather bags and backpacks.
Moroccans take pride in their work and we will share with you our stunning pieces of Moroccan jewellery, which are crafted by hand. Berber necklaces and bracelets, with bold combinations of beads and semi precious stones such as amber and coral, turquoise and malachite. Chunky silver bracelets, embellished with bone and engraved with Tuareg tribal designs and even traditional Berber bracelets decorated with beads and colourful enamel work, that also convert to a jewellery box with the addition of a top and base piece!
We have a selection of both old and new pieces and are certain to have something that will appeal to every taste.
We have purchased some stunning Beni Ourain rugs, hand woven by the Berber tribespeople from the Atlas Mountains, in the softest sheep wool. The Berber people have inhabited North west Africa since before recorded history, at least 4000 to 5000 years ago and traditionally wove these rugs for warmth over the extreme winter months. Our rugs are as individual and unique as the landscape from where they originate. Beni Ourain rugs are still woven by the Berber women. Each rug has hidden stories that are expressed through their patterns and motifs. Adding warmth and vibrancy to any interior, they are an incredible addition to any home.
In an era when most goods we own are mass produced and disposable, we believe it is important to buy something that is the result of generations of tradition and the skill of an artisan.
We will share with you some stunning Mirrors and a fabulous range of Dowry and jewellery chests. These have been crafted in both cedar and acacia wood and inlaid with camel bone or horn, brass, copper and silver, turquoise and coral. Selecting the pieces in the labyrinth of souks (markets) from Marrakech to Fez and learning about their history was all a part of our exciting journey!
We have also selected an interesting range of trinket boxes, decorated with tribal engravings, filigree metalwork, enamelwork and camel bone, from villages on the edge of the Sahara desert and from road side stalls in the High Atlas Mountains.
The Kingdom of Morocco is renowned for it’s pottery and our hand-made and hand-painted ceramics from Fez, have been decorated with complex geometric motifs and abstract flowers. The mixture of traditional Arabic and Moorish designs, combine to create an extensive range of ceramics for the home. We selected each of the beautifully decorated platters, bowls and vases in our range from the pottery manufacturer in Fez. They are certain to make a statement in your home, or are perfect as a special gift. Each piece is unique.
Morocco embodies the rich colours of the Middle East and the vibrant red, pink and orange inspired by amazing African sunsets. A land of dynamic contrasts, traditional patterns and uniqueness of decorations, we hope you will enjoy sharing our journey from the ocean to the snow capped Atlas Mountains, the Sahara desert to the kasbah studded valleys; and be enticed by the range of products the Caravanserai Trading Company have brought to Sydney. Each piece in our range has been carefully selected for it’s uniqueness, beauty and function.
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