Vintage Beni Mguild Berber Rug

Circa 1960
Middle Atlas, Morocco
312 cm x 197 cm
10'2" x 6'5"

The Beni Mguild tribe is located in the mountainous region of the Moroccan Middle Atlas. Together with the Beni Ouarain, they represent the earliest Berber presence in that region as well the tribe with the longest documented legacy with the past. The second volume of Prosper Ricard ‘Corpus de Tapis Marocains’, written as a research conducted during the French Protectorate and published in 1926, is entirely dedicated to the carpets of the Middle Atlas. Ricard focuses in extreme detail on the weavings of the Beni Mguild, differentiating between the ivory ones with lozenge patterns (ichdif) and the richly coloured carpets on an all-over diamond grid substrate (tazerbit). The present example is on a warm red background, woven in such a way as to partially cover the pattern in other colours, which can clearly be seen from the back (see the image detail). The back is actually the front of the rug as these rugs were used with the pile down, which actually acted as an underlay. This perhaps accounts for the fact that these rugs are often sourced in close to mint condition. Characteristic of Beni Mguild carpets is the dense quality of the weaving, imparting a unique sturdy texture. An authentic Moroccan tribal weaving of outstanding quality.

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