Hassira of Morocco: The art perishing under polyester

Culture Contributor
Hassira of Morocco

Moroccan artistry has various aspects and gems to offer to the world, and one of these gems is the natural straw rug Hassira. This rug, Hassira of Morocco, is the most unique and authentic rug made in a traditional way. Apart from basket making, pottery, jewellery making, textile, and tannery… this natural carpet really made people wonder throughout the years. But, presently, this artistry, is facing some crisis.

The history behind Hassira of Morocco

The origin of Hassira dates back to the 8th Century. This classic rug was originally designed to represent the old Moroccan heritage. According to historians, the designs usually stated the oral history of the Atlas mountain region. It was an innovative way to preserve the tradition and those stories.

Usually, the craftswomen of the small villages of Atlas mountains crafted these artistic pieces. It is said that they use to tell stories to each other and little kids while weaving these great rugs. A few examples of this great artistry reached in West Africa via the travellers in the 15th century. Some historians believe that Hassira has originated in Spain, as it has a resemblance with the old rugs of that country.

The beauty of Hassira of Morocco

The amazing unicity of Hassira is the usage of different geometric shapes and patterns along with rich hues of colors. These attributes give the rugs a magical touch. The colors are made from completely natural sources. These rugs have a mild scent, which refreshes the rooms. It has a unique way of storing dust at the bottom, thus a simple wipe with a wet cloth can clean this rug very easily.

Hassira is usually designed for the summer months. In winter, you have to spread a woollen rug above it to get the warmth.

The usage of this unique rug

Moroccans have used these rugs from the ancient era. Usually, the floor, walls, and pillars of the mosques are covered by Hassiras. The mild scent evoked from them inflicts peace and serenity in the premises. The Moroccans use these rugs in their homes too. You will definitely see a Hassira lying in a true Moroccan Muslim home.

But Hassira is dying…

Presently, the usage of the Hasssira is getting replaced by synthetic rugs or rugs made of some different materials. Thus, the age olf heritage of this artistry is dying. The art is dying itself. According to the experts, there are layers of problems that this unique art form is facing.

1. Inadequate successors

Usually, an art form transfers from one generation to the next. This is not happening in the case of Hassira. The new generation is simply not interested to learn this art. They have their own logic, the designing of Hassira is too time-consuming… but less paying.

2. Support and backing

Creating a Hassira is nothing but a minute art. It takes time. And what the present business patterns lack is time. So, this unique art form is quickly losing its backing and supports. The replaceable synthetic materials are slowly creeping in. The soft touch of cotton is changing into the bling of uncomfortable polyester.

3. Price

A synthetic machine made Hassira is way cheaper than an authentic one. Also, the synthetic one is easily available. We live in a time when everything we want is instantaneous and affordable. Therefore, the real Hassira is getting the tag of expensive. People are becoming interested in uncomfortable yet cheap synthetic rugs.

Due to these difficulties, the manufacturing of Hassira has declined a lot. In reality, this unique art form is dying. For example, previously in Sale, there were 146 Hassira artists. But now, it has declined to only 2 of them. It won’t be wrong to state that polyester and nylon are suffocating the age-old rich art form of Hassira of Morocco.

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