Made by a women's cooperative in Northern Morocco, these beautiful scarves move with special grace due to the weight of the silk button tassels fringing the ends. Each silk button was hand knotted using a technique developed hundreds of years ago by Moroccan Jewish women. Now this cooperative is empowering women in Morocco by training them in this and other handicrafts; paying them fair wages in a region where many women are not even allowed to work.
When the Jews were expelled from Spain in the 1490's, thousands fled to northern Africa and lived peacefully with the indigenous population for hundreds of years. They became important contributors to the culture and economy, and developed a technique for hand knotting buttons used on men's clothing. At one point, over 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco, but most left the country in the 1940's with the creation of the state of Israel. Only about 5,000 practicing Jews remain in the country. The button-making handicraft they had created was dying out until Amina, who started this women's cooperative in the Northern mountains, picked it up. She now teaches local women the technique and they use it to create decoritive feminine accessories.
Your purchase directly supports this organization working to empower rural women in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.