While the other books provided a great insight into crafts of various regions at the time of publishing, this book of Moroccan crafts spent a lot of time speaking about history The textiles section was very thorough, but other sections such as metalwork were brief at best The photos throughout the book were mainly of antique crafts, and look like they were taken at museums.
That said, this may be nice for the amateur collector to cruise through, but if you re looking for a book to read to gain some insight into what you can find and purchase today, you may find yourself as disappointed as I was You may be better off with a Fodors guide or some other such book.
I d probably give this two and a half stars, but it s not offered and I wanted to be fair the book wasn t awful, it just wasn t what I expected.
My students loved looking at the pictures We tried to make some of the necklaces and they turned out great.
I was surprised when this book, which I purchased several years ago at a bookstore before traveling to Morocco, popped up on the list of recommendations for me with only a 3 star rating And I was bemused when I read Simonson s review, for the author s intent was not to help tourists in their hunt for souvenirs.
As is succinctly noted on the book s fly leaf, The text describes traditional artistic forms and techniques, and provides a comprehensive analysis of the belief systems, festivals and ceremonies to which the arts are linked And as the author explains in his text, It was my intention in writing this bookto underline the exchange of influences on artistic traditions and belief systems between Moroccoand sub Saharan and West Africa because modernization is fast proceeding in Moroccoand the traditional or antique pieces are vanishing Those who are looking for a book that will give them background in and thus an appreciation of Morocco s artisan traditions inspired in form and content by the tribal lifestyle and powerful animistic beliefs of the nomadic artists as well as by the aesthetic traditions of the Moslem world are fortunate that this well written book with over 150 beautifully photographed objects is available.
Because Morocco has few museums and those are often closed, you may have to scour the souks in order to see examples of Morocco s traditonal arts and crafts Thus if you find this book before going to Morocco, photocopy examples of the things that interest you so that there will be no language barrier Because I did, I enjoyed many glasses of mint tea as shop keepers brought out treasure after treasure for me to admire, even though I had stressed that I had no money to spend Not to worry, was the gist of their responses That I, thanks to this book, appreciated and knew the value of the objects I was shown was clearly what was important to them, for without exception, I was allowed to photograph the many things I wish I could have afforded, including a beautifully crafted camel harness.
If ARTS Arts and Crafts of Moroccoto find the same book, albeit with a different cover, publisher and higher price tag.
Note The editorial information about Morocco s arts and crafts is sandwiched between India s and Thailand s because cannot change it.