Before visiting morocco we were asked to research material culture and values, I took a sociological aspect of this and what my previous understanding to material culture and values remain the same. However my experience from this trip has enlightened me and broadened my knowledge through their way of life and behaviors.
Upon my visit I found that I compared the streets of Marrakesh to the streets I know, this included the busy and chaotic roads, the haggling in souks and markets, the lack of supermarkets and more of food markets. The lack of supermarkets was definitely something that I couldn’t get to grips with for a bit because to us in the UK it is somewhere we visit and depend on, on a regular basis as it is our main source for food and drink. However what I did like about this is the community that is created and gained, having very few supermarkets meant that the local farmers in the villages would be able to make a living from their fruit and veg, food is more fresh and local. I especially liked to see how the size, colour etc of vegetable is even more so irrelevant in Marrakesh, whereas here there would be no chance of oddly coloured carrot in our local supermarket.
Further on from the supermarkets I was also very happy to see how the majority of things were completely handmade and many markets I saw consisted of many men weaving their own rugs, towels, scarfs and blankets etc. Each store was their own business and everything they had created was individual, I had enjoyed seeing the process, as a textile designer I feel it is important to stay in touch with this and not always get lost in mass production.
In the UK textiles has this stigma that it is a woman’s course and career path, so to see that the men were mainly the ones weaving and creating pieces for their stores was refreshing, however this is where I began to see the cultural difference between men and women in morocco compared to men and women in the UK and began to dig deeper into their beliefs through the use of the guided tours in the Berber villages.