Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marrakech (Part 4): The Souks

The souks of Marrakech were a feast for the senses and a shoppers delight.  Leather, iron and tin work, silks, and textiles all worked by hand.  Artisians worked their craft and sold their goods in little shops no bigger than a US style walk-in closet.  These men were wonderfully talented and the craftmanship was at times exceptional.

I did get an sense of how hard a life these men live.  They work with toxic and caustic materials which leave them in an early grave.  Master tailors frequently go blind due to the years of strain on their eyes working elaborate embroidery. 

Each work of art produced by these hard working men had elements of joy and tragedy.

Tin  Smith

Wool yarn hanging to dry

The boiling cauldren and wood burning furnace for coloring yarn


 A wholesale leather market.  These men are bidding on tanned hides.
These photos were all taken in the souk surrounding the Medersa Ben Youssef, or in English, The Koran School.  Our guide said there were 3,500 artisian shops in this souk alone.  The winding dark alleys went on for miles.  It was the one place in the city I wish we had spent more time.


  1. I am longing for a visual colourful feast for my senses...and you make me want to go to get up and pack my bags, jet-lagged as I am. I can understand the beauty, laced with real hardship. Thanks for giving me a peek....

  2. This looks wonderful. Hope you're doing well and that you'll blog again soon!

  3. Hi just found your blog. We live in Belgium with kids (husband is a diplomat). Love love love your blog.