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Title: Weaving and the value of carpets : female invisible labour and male marketing in Southern Morocco
Author: Naji, Myriem Natacha
ISNI:       0000 0001 3438 7328
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Whilst there have been important publications on material culture studies in recent years, this literature tends to accept the prior experience of objects as given material facts. This thesis aims at providing a contribution to the conception of materiality through an ethnography of production grounded in long-term fieldwork. The research took place in the Sirwa Mountain, to the South East of Marrakech, Morocco, where the best selling carpets in Morocco are exclusively produced by women, and marketed by men. This thesis develops an ethnography of weaving framed within the francophone anthropology of techniques (Technologic culturelle). Particularly, I use the emphasis of the Matiere a Penser group on the role of the moving body mediated by material culture to examine how particular embodied relationships to specific materialities shape particular gendered subjectivities. Grounded in participant observation, I put myself voluntarily in the situation of a learner, as well as observed the motor and sensory actions of weavers. This allows me to explore how women construct their female moral self, partially through the disciplinary techniques of immobility and confinement, involved in the process of making beautiful carpets. In producing objects that are exchanged by men, weavers contribute to shaping male agency. This thesis aims at exploring the specificity of making and the social meaning of carpets for those who produce them and their communities. I thus locate the Sirwa weavers value in an aesthetic and ethic of doing, in which the physical enjoyment and the mastery of matter, is the place of both the construction of a stable and fulfilled self and the production of others.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available