FOUM ZGUID – FROM SALT TO THREAD

The opening of the exhibition “Foum Zguid-du Sel au Fil”, a unique artistic meeting rich in color; took place on Wednesday at the “Dar El Bacha” Confluences Museum in Marrakech. Organized by the National Museums Foundation (FNM) until January 10, 2021, this exhibition presents a selection of beautiful weavings from the region of Foum Zguid, considered to be a true showcase for the know-how and life of the South of the Kingdom. This selection, it is pointed out, belongs to the collector Lucien Viola who kindly shared his passion with Moroccans and visitors to the “Dar El Bacha” Museum of Confluences.

Morocco has been at the centre of an important commercial and caravan network accross the Sahara in the past. Trade betwwen sub saharan Africa and Morocco was carried through roads traced for centuries by caravans that transported salt, ivory and gold. Throughout history, from antiquity to the Middle Ages and up to early 19th century, a large flow of people from different ethnicities resulted from this trade. Sub Saharan communities first settled in South West of Sijilmassa and Draa, in the Merzouga desert, in Foum Zguid, then thoughout Morocco. These communities introduced a pronounced African rooted style to the production of indigenous women who lived in tha Arab and Berber villages of Oulad Hlal in the Foum Zguid region. They still produce embroidered shawls, as well as woven and dyed bands and veils that bear the imprint of a spirituality originating from Sub Saharan Africa and reflect a deep historical, ethnic and artistic Afro-Moroccan intermingling.