In Aït Barra, the weaving tradition has been carefully nurtured by a woman named Rokia. At almost 100 years old, Rokia has taught nearly all the women of the Village to weave. Because of her seniority, the artisans trust Rokia to house and sell their rugs. As her memory has started to fade, Rokia’s daughters, Rabha and Latifa, have stepped in to run the Village rug sales for the collective of 15 artisans. The rug styles range from Flatweave and Kilim to Handria.
Known to westerners as wedding blankets, Handiras are usually made by a bride’s female relatives or the women of her Village. Traditionally, brides wore the blankets as capes on their way to the wedding but these days, they’re used to wrap gifts for the newlyweds.
The blankets are a symbolic blessing for the marriage, and after the wedding, they’re often passed on to other couples to continue to share the blessings and joy.