Origin & History



The Berbers call themselves the Amazigh - Free men, which has their own symbol to describe them. Berber is a name given by the Arabs and comes from the Latin ”Barbaros” ; “foreign, strange”. The weaving skills of Berber rugs are known to date back at least to pre-Islamic times, probably much further back. By weaving rugs, women maintain their cultural heritage.

Nomads have made nomadic rugs for their own many uses. The carpets are knotted in wooden vertical looms that are certain small to medium size, as they must be easily carried with them, for the nomadic lifestyle. Therefore, in the old Berber rugs, the width is limited to two meters, instead the length can be as long as needed. Berber rugs knot density is not nearly the same as in the oriental rugs and this is typical for nomadic rugs, as they have to be easily moved from one place to another, and thus they are also converted for many uses; as a warmth like a cloak or jacket, as a beautiful element on the wall or floor, as an individual or whole family sleeping place and as a seating pad or as a universal piece of furniture. The winters of the Atlas Mountains are cold and snow may rain, so warm wool rugs are needed. In summer time, the Berber rugs are typically turned fluff down. Small rugs have been made for children and as they have grown, the rug may be extended. When a child moves away from home, he gets a rug with him. The rug also makes a good saddle when riding a donkey or a camel. Boucherouite or Kilim rugs are mainly for this purpose. Each rug is fascinating and unique, and that’s where their charm comes from. They are truly works of art that we at MADesign want to maintain.

Moroccan rugs are an important part of Berber women self-expression. Berber women learn to weave rugs from an early age, it is a matter of pride for them and when the first rug is ready, they feel strong. Berber women weave rugs intuitively, designs are not typically precisely planned in advance. Sometimes a rug is like a diary, in which they use their own thoughts and life events, such as the birth of a child, using various symbols and patterns. Nature is often the source of inspiration for rug patterns. For example, on the surface of the fine soft sand of the Sahara you can see, for example, the footprints of a desert mouse that end up in a pattern on a carpet. Certain symbolism is often repeated in Berber rugs because they are strongly associated with beliefs. For example, the so-called “diamond pattern” is believed to have a protective effect. The Berber letter, which corresponds to the letter z, means Amazigh, the “x” refers to fertility, many symbols are related to the circle of life. Symbols familiar from Berber rugs appear in villages ranging from door carvings to women’s facial tattoos. Sometimes a weaver may be inspired by a neighbor’s skilled weaver’s rug. Amazigh women are free-spirited and Berber rugs originate from pure imagination without influences from Western style. That’s why Berber rugs are so unique, and there’s nothing like it.