Wall Hanging (msimsim)

Wall Hanging (msimsim)

1800s

Silk and dye

Overall: 314.9 x 62.5 cm (124 x 24 5/8 in.)

Gift of The Textile Art Alliance 2003.86

Location

Did you know?

Some scholars believe these checkerboard fabrics were traded, and eventually influenced patterns in some West African strip woven textiles.

Description

Msimsim wall hangings were one of three standard marriage gifts (ṣdāq or mahr) from a groom to a bride in Tétouan, Morocco, as recorded by marriage contracts from 1794 to 1894. These gifts indicated the financial commitment of marriage: divorce occurred if they weren’t promptly received! This msimsim was made from silk harvested in Tétouan, or from raw Asian silk imported via Marseille. Its traditional design is a double-sided gridded brocade (raised woven pattern), navy on one side, crimson on the other. When this was woven, at least 25 professional silk workshops flourished in Tétouan, producing bridal gifts and other goods that outsold European imports.

See also
Collection: 
T - Islamic
Department: 
Textiles
Type of artwork: 
Textile
Medium: 
Silk and dye

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