The Tankkacht of the Medina – Moroccan copper-work

Marrakech is a ancient city which has acted as a hub of trade and commerce for nearly a thousand years. One of the most fascinating aspects of the cities rich and diverse history that is well worth your attention is it’s relationship with the arts and crafts.

From leather, textiles and especially metal, craftsmen and apprentices in Marrakech to this day use the skills that have been passed down generation through to generation in the various trades.

This is certainly true in the case of the ‘Tankkacht’, or copper workers of the Marrakech Medina. On or way down Rue Riad Zitoun Kdim, five minutes from Riad Dar Habiba and the cities central square, resident video blogger Jamie Horton and I encountered this Taankacht, whose name is Soufiane.

Soufiane explains that through years of practicing this traditional craft, he is able to inscribe any kind of pattern, lettering or symbol onto various designs of copper with his hand tools. Soufiane goes on to explain to me that to get to his level of expertise, it took him 3 years to learn to inscribe in Arabic, then a further 3 years to master the technique in the Latin languages.

After only 5 minutes Soufiane had inscribed my name into both English and Arabic onto a copper design shaped into the hand of Fatima. For only 30 Dirhams (2.35) this is the ideal souvenir which will allow you to take a piece of Morocco back home with you!

 
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