Carved wood and the secrets of Meknes crafts
We can see it at the Bab Mansour door, at the door of the Madrasa Bou Inania … and in thousands of doors scattered throughout Meknes. The carved wood decoration is one of the most attractive artistic attractions of the city since, the style they wear is unique throughout Morocco. This is because Meknes, still retaining the knowledge in the wood carving of ancestral technicians who make it possess unique and unmatched doors.
With more than 50,000 artisans, this art of carved and painted wood, not forgetting the practice of weaving, iron or leather, makes Meknes one of the most traditional moroccan cities when it comes to the craft task. For example, what is known as the “damask” is an exclusive technique in Meknes that consists of embedding inlaid metal wires of copper, silver, gold… to use on doors, vases, figures, bracelets etc.
Returning to the doors, the one of Bab Mansour, of 16 meters of height gives an idea of the amount of work that had to suppose the construction of this piece for the sultan Moulay Ismail. Exactly, his construction lasted 60 years. On the other hand, the Madrasa Bou Inania also reflects very well the style of Meknes wood carving, for example, through the roof of the building carved in olive wood. In addition to the doors, more carved wood works such as panels, boxes or lattices with grilles stand out whose function is to highlight the purest moroccan style glasses and blinds through a work based on delicate geometric patterns unmatched
The wood carving is so given in Morocco and specifically by the Meknes area that, the growing demand for carved products has reduced the resources of the region due to illegal logging that has arisen from the hand of this tourist claim and, by therefore, economical. Although the moroccan Government has incorporated measures for its coordinated and official control and exploitation, moroccan artisans continue to view this situation as a threat.
As we have already shown, Meknes is one of the largest handicraft producers in all of Morocco. The local crafts are very present in the work of the citizens of Meknes, pieces that are sold in the same souks of the medina at a good price. Buying them can be an opportunity to get a unique memory of the city and an occasion to practice your bargaining skills. Although to see a wide collection of these, perhaps, a good option is to visit the Dar Jamai museum, they can also be seen throughout your walk through the Meknes souk. A woodwork widely used in the construction of the city palaces highlighting cedar carvings and their combination with metal.