On Wednesday 29th September 2010 we had a lecture on ‘Traditions and Cultures: Middle East’ given by our course head, Dr Keireine Canavan. I found this really interesting, we only get one lecture a week and I would like to have more. I find that it opens up the world into areas that one day I may research as a lecturer myself. Today’s lecture was particularly intriguing to me because it was about ‘The language of Al Sadu Weaving’ in Kuwait. I did English language at A level, so anything to do with the way language forms or is portrayed really interests me. Also over the summer I went to Morocco- Marrakech and looked a weaving machines there. I have attached a few photographs of looms I came across in Morocco. The people are really friendly and enjoyed showing me how to use the looms. However they do try and give you Mint Tea which makes you hallucinate and by many of their rugs.
The colours in the weavings in both Kuwait and Morocco are really similar, lots of oranges and reds. I read through Keireine’s blog about Al Sadu Weaving and found it really interesting. From the lecture I learnt about how the symbols on the weaving mean different things, they are not just pretty patterns. In the photographic example I have taken from Keireine’s blog you can see that running full length down the sides of the weaving are white and red triangular groups of dots, these I’ve been told are to symbolise piles of dates, which are very important in the desert way of live in Kuwait. Dates were a great part of Moroccan culture also and we ate them for breakfast every morning. I visited a rug outlet and weaving factory which is situated between a Marrakech and Essaouira (coastal town) here I walked through rooms and rooms filled with textiles, it was like a very colourful paradise. Al Sadu textiles use Camel Hair as do Moroccan weavers. In Morocco there were a lot of wall hangings and rugs and it seems in Kuwait traditionally in the desert life the ‘tents’ were made from long strips of weave. On the end of the middle section, which separates the women and the men there is a hand embroidered piece called a Ragom, which is meant to attract visitors who are going through the desert. The people are known as being very hospitable and would give a stranger their last date in times of need.
Both countries have a high standard of weave and they each have their own different styles but the core tradition is very similar. Reds, oranges and blacks with symbols and patterns, I would love to learn more about the weaving of Morocco.