MORROCCO, TISSARDMINE | HANDWOVEN NOMAD CUSHIONS
I bought these shaggy woollen hand-knotted cushions at a small community centre in the tiny community of Tissardmine in the Sahara desert not far from the Algerian border. This community consists of just 12 mud brick houses - no shops or even a mosque. The women were weaving or knotting carpets. One woman was weaving a tent with goat wool - a task that takes many months - on a loom made of wooden branches.
The nomad cushions I bought from them are electric neon colours and have the sacred (Berber) Amazigh symbols for female, womb, and fertility on them. I have filled them with acrylic stuffing and hand stitched them closed as they are all different sizes and do not fit standard cushion fillers.
The sale of the cushions, rugs and shawls these women make are the main source of income of their families. I never barter with artisans and pay whatever they ask. There are always smiles and hugs afterwards.
The four photos below show the front (diamonds) and the completely different back in yellow and brown. The triangular symbols can denote 'female', house or tent.