Tazoukt: the traditional artisanal craft of wood painting

In Marrakech, there are many traditional artisanal trades that have been practiced for centuries, passed down from generation to generation. One such craft skill is the art of Tazoukt. Tazoukt is a form of woodcraft in which wooden items – including panels, boxes, ceilings and furniture – are painted in intricate patterns. The designs are often use traditional Moroccan colours of red, representing Marrakech, and blue, representing Fez, in a colourful design that is not dissimilar to the swirling Arabic carvings.

Whilst exploring the Marrakech Medina we met Taoufik, a 37 old year craftsman who specialised in artisanal craft of Tazoukt. Taoufik owns a small shop (atelier) situated in the heart of the Marrakech souks. He explained that he had left school in 1992 to train as a carpenter. Indeed, before you learn the art of Tazoukt wood decoration, you first need to train as a carpenter.

Taoufik explained that he had worked a few years as a carpenter. These years spent in carpentry are very useful to his practice of Tazoukt decoration as can he choose and manufacture his own objects and small pieces, before decorating these objects. In his atelier (shop) Taoufik makes and sells many small items including boxes, stools, frames, panels and more. He also works on larger commissions, often designing and painting wooden ceilings in traditional Riads.

Tazoukt Wood Painting

Indeed, it is possible to see Tazoukt wood painting in out own luxury Riads, here in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Many rooms have wooden ceilings or small pieces of furniture that feature this ancient artisanal craft. Alternatively, it is also possible to purchase some traditional Tazoukt painted items from the world famous souks.

Just like the traditional art of Tazoukt wood painting, a fantastic range of craft skills are thriving in the Souks of Marrakech still today. To help visitors explore these artisanal crafts, trade associations and local authorities have signposted four walking routes through the medina themes to reflect the districts they take you though. You can follow these Medina Walks on our free MarrakechRiad app. If you have any questions about the Medina Walks our Riad staff would be more than happy to assist you.