The Beni Ourain style of Moroccan rug has seen a rise in popularity recently but this style of rug was first made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright and Alvar Aalto as early as the 1930's. Alvar Aalto's Mairea house & Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water are examples of this. These rugs complment modern and contemporary interiors because of their simplicity and primitive patterns.
Alvar Aaltos Villa Mairea (*2)
The carpets were originally produced by the Beni Ourain Berber people near Taza, Morocco.The tribal patterns are mostly geometric symbols with some organic shapes. The Beni Ouarain rugs may date back as far as the tribes history in the region which is up to one thousand years ago. Traditionally, the rugs were used for warm beds and bedding. The patterns on the rugs depict life in the region with symbols for farming, protection, nature, birth, fertility, tools, and animals. Some believe the rugs themselves are protection against evil spirits.
The majority of this style of rugs are typically made from un-dyed, natural wool, in a white or beige colour with tribal designs in darker brown and black hues using natural dyes, with a pile height of 2-7cm. Below are examples of the typical Beni Ourain rugs found today.
As seen in the charts below, symbols on the rugs depict barley, spiders, frogs, snake and fish skeletons, seeds, metal workers, birds and much more.
Check out my pinterest page for more symbols and images.