Rug production requires obedience to rituals that are still observed today by the weavers.
Carpet making begins with weaving, which is done on simple vertical looms that are easy to assemble and transport, consisting of a wooden beam frame, reed rods and cords. The patterns are inscribed on the warp in order to form a pattern that will be reinforced or softened by the last step of the manufacturing process: the knotting. The density of the knots depends on the technical quality of the carpet, but also on its aesthetic value. This density depends on the size of the carpet, but it is mainly a function of the precision sought in the reproduction of the patterns. The height of the pile also contributes decisively to the sharpness of this pattern transposition and makes it possible to conceive in advance the softness or hardness of the contrasts between the colors as well as between the designs.
The motifs used in the carpets are based on the arrangement of basic geometric patterns (the line, the square, the rhombus, the triangle). More than a naive art, they constitute the grammar of a graphic and symbolic language. Each motif is associated with a meaning derived from a set of beliefs found throughout Amazigh art, referring as much to protection against the evil eye (diamonds) as to the “baraka” or fertility.
The arrangement of the motifs on the carpet is the specific work of each weaver. On the basis of an invariant technical and symbolic framework, it therefore refers to the weavers’ own language. It results from a mixture between tradition and creativity, and it is associated, beyond the weavers’ know-how, with their sensitivity and what they seek to express through their production: a “writing of silence”, a tale born of the weavers’ patience and inner world.
The carpet of Taznakht can also be considered a specific work of the Siroua mountain: in the midst of the austere gravity of this parched mountain, the carpet brings a note of luxury and gaiety. The motifs are common to the entire Amazigh world, but the dominant colors are specific to the region: if the dark red dominates the carpets of the Middle Atlas, the yellow sparkles here with all its fire (bright yellow, straw yellow, saffron yellow). This vivacity of colors, associated with the raw character of wool and the inventiveness of the weavers, is the signature of the carpets of Taznakht. Beyond the personal messages contained in each carpet, the set of pieces produced reflects all the states of the mountain and its valleys, its wheat fields, the golden head of its sunny houses. It is the result of a history, mythical and historical, of the tribe that refers to past generations, close or more distant, to their know-how as much as to their religious culture or their artistic inspiration. It appears as a particular narrative genre that actively participates in the social construction in all its dimensions: cultural and ideological, economic, territorial.