Anzal Weavers

Anzal, Morocco

Anzal, Morocco

The village of Anzal is located in the Siroua region, Ouarzazate Province, in the south of Morocco, but well north of the Southern Sahara. It is 1350 meters above sea level, high desert between ranges of the Anti-Atlas Mountains. The village of Anzal has a population of roughly 1500 people (according to a 2007 count).  Many families also have yearly visitors returning for holidays and vacations. They are former residents of whom some live in Moroccan cities and some in European cities. During the school year, there are also a number of young people from surrounding communities who move into dormitories at the Anzal middle school.

Anzal is an Amazigh (Berber) community. Our native language is Tashelhayt, though many of us also speak Moroccan Arabic. Our region known for its unique and beautiful carpets. We raise sheep for our own weaving but also sell the wool in the local markets. Many of us keep cows and make butter and buttermilk for our own use. Agriculture is also an important economic activity. Besides animal fodder, we grow almonds, saffron, walnuts, olives, pomegranates, grapes, beets, carrots, onions, beans and corn.

Anzal is growing, and currently boasts an auberge (inn), three hanuts (general stores), a vegetable market, two butchers (beef and mutton), a poultry shop, two cafés, a barber, a blacksmith’s shop, a hardware store and a clothing shop. We also have our own clinic, which serves the surrounding communities as well as our own.