February 18, 2017

2954 ALGERIA - National Carpet Festival in Ghardaïa

Located in the Sahara Desert, Ghardaïa is part of a pentapolis, a hilltop city amongst four others, built almost a thousand years ago in the M'zab Valley (Wadi Mzab) by the Mozabites (At Mzab), a branch of a large Berber tribe, the Iznaten, which lived in large areas of middle southern Algeria. After the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, the Mozabites became Muslims of the Mu'tazili school. After the fall of the Rostemid state, the Rostemid royal family with some of their citizens chose the M'zab Valley as their refuge. Besides, the valley was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Comprised of ksour and palm groves of El-Atteuf, Bounoura, Melika, Ghardaïa and Beni-Isguen, the M'Zab Valley has conserved practically the same way of life and the same building techniques since the 11th century, the residents preserving the original medieval architecture remarkably well. The Wilaya of Ghardaïa is also well known for its weaving, dinanderie d'art, basketry, pottery and carpet weaving (tapestry). The rugs of the area so popular that every year the National Carpet Festival is held in March-April, an opportunity for celebration, competition, as well as sales.

Ghardaïa carpets are woven from goat hair and although the patterns are geometric and simple, they are brilliant masterpieces. Thousands of weavers from all over Algeria attend the Ghardaïa Carpet Festival in a bid to win the crown of the best weaver of the year. The atmosphere is enlivened with music and dance by Karkabou bands, as processions entertain the crowd. The 48th edition was held in April 2016 and the opening show featured a parade with about 35 electric floats decorated with carpets.

About the stamps

The first stamp was issued on October 28, 2016, to honor the journalist Aissa Messaoudi (1931-1994).

The last stamp, issued on January 4, 2015, is part of a series of definitive stamps designed by Ali Kerbouche and depicting Fort of the Water in Alger.

Ghardaïa - Wikipedia
Ghardaia Carpet Festival - Algeria.com
Ghardaia Carpet Festival - Afro Tourism

Sender: Karim Felfli (direct swap)
Sent from Annaba (Annaba / Algeria), on 24.01.2017

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