The carpets from the southern Moroccan Jebel Siroua region and the Pre-Sahara are in general the finest examples of Moroccan rural weaving. In the past they have been traded under a quite misleading attribution to the “High Atlas” while the Rugs from the Azilal province – really originating from the High Atlas – have been almost unknown to the market until the late 1990s. As the climatic circumstances on the northern end of the Sahara and the central High Atlas are far less severe than in the more northern mountainous regions, the  southern Morocco Rugs tend to have a fine structure and a more noble appearance due to their extremely lustrous wool and an almost cloth-like touch.

Atlas Rug in interior Design
Atlas Rug in interior Design

The tribes of the Ait Ouaouzguite confederation are the keyholders of the most sophisticated textile culture in rural Morocco. There is significant evidence for a mutual influence of the weavings from the urban centres of Rabat and Salé and the ones from the Ait Ouaouzguite at least from the early 19th century on , based on one side on the closeness of the trans-Saharan trade routes to the region of the Jebel Siroua and on the other side on the cultural relations between the Jewish populations among the Ait Ouaouzguite and in the capital of Rabat. The highly skilled textile culture of this region is also expressed in various flatweaves and in a specific type of mixed technique textiles.

Atlas Rug in interior Design
Atlas Rug in interior Design

While polychrome carpets with field compositions related to Rabat carpets from the late 18th and early 19th centuries are known only from some of the central Ait Ouaouzguite groups, more simple Rugs types are known from all over the Jebel Siroua region  and the southern neighbouring areas of the Zenaga and Sektana. While the Ait Ouaouzguite developed an organized tradition of distinctive designs and motifs , which sometimes used central medallions and borders, the more southern tribes  tend to free floating forms, improvisation and a very individual formal language.