June 11, 2012


Boucherouite, Berber rugs. 

From the NY Times, Wild, Not Woolly, Berber Rugs 
The style in question is called boucherouite, (pronounced boo-shay-REET) a word derived from a Moroccan-Arabic phrase for torn and reused clothing. The carpets it describes, made by women for domestic use, are basically variations on the humble rag rug, without the humility. With their zany patterns and jolting colors, these household items look dolled up and ready to party; they seem more suitable for framing than for trampling underfoot.

The style developed fairly recently, a result of socio-economic changes. Since the middle of the 20th century nomadic life in Morocco has been seriously on the wane, and production of wool from sheepherding has been much reduced. During the same period, though, Berber culture has come to the attention of the global market, and Berber carpets have been ever more in demand.

... Asymmetrical patterning is the norm in boucherouite work, free-form shapes the rule. One of the show’s more subdued carpets is composed of thin, broken, painterly lines of purple and green that bring to mind traces of beached algae left behind by a tide. In another rug a fairly staid stack of royal-blue and brick-brown stripes is interrupted by a set of nested turquoise and chrome-yellow diamonds that seem to have arrived from nowhere. And things get wilder from there.