Like many areas of the red city of Marrakech, the Mouassine district has a history spanning hundreds of years. Previously called Houmat Abi Abidan, the name for this well-known part of the city came to be called Mouassine at some point in the 16th century after a large clan of Jewish settlers came to the area.
‘Mass’ meaning dagger and ‘ssine’ meaning two are words that originate from the Berber language, and they came to be the name of this famous district because the clan that made Mouassine their home were highly skilled craftsmen, with a particular skill for forging daggers.
After the clan established themselves, Mouassine became a thriving souk district, and a hugely significant half-way point for goods coming from the North of Morocco to the Sub-Saharan cities to the south.
The district of Mouassine remains charged with trade, commerce and activity to this very day, and the impact of centuries of activity in the area has meant that it has become a popular site for poets as well as craftsmen.
Today if you take a stroll through Mouassine, you’ll find a huge variety of stalls selling traditional Moroccan commodities alongside modern restaurant’s such as Café Arab and the Bougainville.
Mouassine, and many other famous districts of Marrakech are but a short stroll from any one of our luxury Hotel Riads, discover the magic of Marrakech for yourself today.
Although there are a huge variety of crafts being practiced in Marrakech, one that you’re path will definitely cross as you discover what the souk’s have to offer is the Moroccan tin work. After a short walk to Jemaa El Fnaa, I come across some of the striking pieces the Marrakshi craftsmen have to offer.
To become the finished product, strips of of tin must first be decorated. The process begins by cutting out the traditionally styled designs and shapes on the sides of the ornaments such as in the photo above. This is a painstaking process as each sequence of the pattern must be performed one at a time. However as you journey through the souks and see the craftsmen at their work you will be astonished at their speed and efficiency.
Once this is complete, then comes the process of soldering and welding the tin into the finished ornament. Below is footage of the craftsman Abdel Moniim and his partner using tin to create a striking collection of lamps ready for sale in the Belaarif souk’s.
The skills that go into creating these astounding pieces go back generations and are usually passed down through families. However despite handmade craftsmanship of the highest caliber, these tin pieces are relatively inexpensive and a small lamp as pictured above can be purchased for around 20 Dirhams (£1.55).
Before your visit to Morocco remember to leave some space in your luggage, as the remarkable selection of crafts that Marrakech has to offer will leave you wanting to bring a small slice of Marrakech back home with you!
Anyone who has experienced Marrakech will know that unlike most Europeans, the Marrakshi are on the move 24/7. Be it by donkey, horse, motorbike or car you will see the local inhabitants speeding through the ancient city all through the day and night.
This does indeed give Marrakech a unique atmosphere. At times it feels as though the city is so completely charged with sound, smell, movement and energy that it almost seems fit to explode.
Taking this into account however it’s good to remember that Marrakech uses a right hand system in its winding alleyways and roads. Keeping this in mind will help you avoid a bump from a passing bicycle or mope.
So although you may want to have your headphones in to keep up with your Darija Arabic pod-casts, it’s probably better to have all your senses in-tune with the beat of the city in order to prevent a needless scrape!