About the Anti Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains in Morocco are divided into 3 ranges. The Middle Atlas in the north, the High Atlas in the center of the country and the Anti Atlas in the south. You can see all three in the map below.

AtlasMapThe Anti Atlas were formed from the collision of two continents, Europe and Africa, about 300 million years ago. Erosion has reduced the range so that the heights average between 6,000 and 8,000 feet. As you saw in the photo from yesterday, the mountains can be very craggy. Rain is only about 8 inches a year, so the inhabitants tend to live on the north and west slopes, along rivers, and around desert oases. Herding is common. Since few crops can be raised here, the souk (market) is a way to sell and buy what is needed. The souk is common all over the Morocco. I shopped them when visiting around Beni Mellah. They are held on a specific day each week, so people can travel to the one closest to where they live.

soukIn addition to the rugs I’ve shown here, they also use henna to dye patterns onto cloth. And there are silver workers found here in the south as well. The necklaces and bracelets are very popular. I have several myself, though my favorite bracelet is made of such soft silver that it can’t be worn anymore. 

jewelryMost of this information and the map were obtained from Wikipedia.

Also, go to http://www.kantaracrafts.com/Taznakht.html where Alia has more rugs from this area. Her blog about her recent trip to Morocco to visit the cooperatives there has wonderful details about the people and places there.

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3 responses to “About the Anti Atlas Mountains

  1. Wonderful info – thanks! It always amazes me what beautiful textiles are produced in those high, isolated mountains. The Peruvian textiles have been of special interest to me – waaaay up in the Andes. “To Weave for the Sun” with the Incas. It just proves that the human soul needs beauty, and creativity will find a way.

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