Morocco’s traditional crafts combine influences and elements from a number of different cultures and societies. There are aspects from age-old Berber traditions, Moorish elements from Andalusia, Arab influences, Jewish impacts, and influences from Europe, particularly from nations that once had colonial powers in Morocco such as France, Spain, and Portugal.
Artisan skills and techniques are commonly passed down through the generations, either from father to son or in a master and apprentice scenario. An artisan master is called a maalem. Morocco works hard to ensure that traditional processes and techniques don’t die out, and there are various government initiatives to promote various crafts and their survival.
Crafts can be seen in architecture, homewares, textiles, clothing, and decorative items, among other places.
Many crafts use local resources, like wood, stone, clay, leather, wool, and metals, though you’ll also find items that use imported items such as silk and marble. Common designs include geometric shapes, Arabic calligraphy, and things from nature.