Wedding Blankets


 

Known as Moroccan wedding blankets, handira are woven out of sheep's wool, cotton and linen by Berber women in the Middle Atlas mountains of Northern Morocco. Berber wedding blankets are woven in anticipation of a wedding, by the bride's female relatives. It can take many hours — even weeks — of work to attach those hundreds of mirrored sequins. After the wedding ceremony, the bride wears the blanket tied around her neck as a kind of cape. It might be associated with her trip to her new marital home.


For Berbers, objects and visual motifs contain myriad meanings and purposes. The process of hand-weaving, itself, when undertaken mindfully, is thought to endow the textile with baraka, or blessings. When complete, the wedding blanket serves not only as warmth and decoration for the bride, but also to ward off evil and bestow good luck upon the newlyweds.