With an ancient history, but possessing an effortlessly modern minimalist look, traditional Moroccan Berber rugs add a friendly, yet sophisticated look to any room. The most prized type of Berber rugs is made by the Beni Ourain tribes people of rural Morocco. These rugs can be easily identified by their distinctive black or brown geometric patterns set against a cream background. The patterns can be intricate or simple, asymmetrical or symmetrical, but generally consist of thin dark lines ranging over the rug. Diamond shapes are common in these rugs. Authentic Beni Ourain rugs are entirely unique as the traditional weavers do not follow a set pattern.
Beni Ourain rugs were first discovered and introduced in Western design during the modernist period. Geometric shapes and primitivism were two big themes valued by mid-twentieth century modernist designers. Both themes were perfectly encapsulated in the Beni Ourain rug. Famous designers, such as Le Corbusier, began incorporating them regularly in their work. The rugs have been in demand ever since their first introduction.
The history of the Beni Ourain rug is as simple, yet subtly complex, as the designs of the rugs themselves. The Beni Ourain people can be found in the rural region in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. A hardy, traditionally semi-nomadic group, these tribes have long used the wool of their sheep and goats to make rugs, blankets, and bedspreads. Originally valuing the wool of their sheep as a benefit for keeping warm in a harsh climate, now the Beni Ourain almost exclusively create rugs, as the rugs are highly sought after the world over.
The Berber women have a long historical tradition of making these practical coverings into beautiful pieces of folk art. They took the time and effort to weave records of their lives into their rugs. They also wove in lucky patterns to help keep evil spirits at bay. The results were rugs decorated with geometric designs and religious symbols that were unique to each artisan and each tribe.
There is a reason that Beni Ourain used these coverings for warmth for hundreds of years. The wool of their mountain sheep is of superior quality and exceptionally soft and luxurious. Modern owners of a Beni Ourain rug know what the ancient tribes people of the Atlas Mountains knew so long ago: beauty and comfort should go hand in hand. This fact makes them ideal for real, lived in homes as well as heavily styled interior spaces.
Modern homeowners value open, airy living spaces. With open floor plans and an emphasis on light, current design plans rely on design elements that add to the open feel of a room. Beni Ourain rugs are perfectly suited to such spaces with their cream and neutral color base. Assuredly they will remain in style for many years to come.