Project with Alexandra Kollarova, anthropologist

Khayma, seffa, henna


Khayma came to being during Caravan Tighmert , a cultural laboratory in the oasis of Tighmert in South-West Morocco. In the region they create patchworks from old Melfa, large batik fabrics imported from Mauritanië that women wear. The patchworks were one of the last products the caravans brought to Morocco and are made in the form of tents or shelters to protect from the sun. During a wedding for example, two families join to create a Khayma, a tent, in the courtyard.

We started the project by knocking on doors and asking (using a recording in Darija) for a piece of old melfa and to stitch together, as a way to connect to the women of the oasis. After a week of collecting and collectively stitching this khayma, we organized a maarouf with Soukaina Dabbah and Rachida Dabbah, two women from the oasis. A marhouf is a meeting where women come together to eat and celebrate. Also in the pictures the women are absent, they don’t like to be photographed but they let us record the dancing and music at the end of the evening. 

Read 'On Representation, Cultural Appropriation and the Ethics of Artistic Collaborations in the Postcolonial Context of Morocco' written by Alexandra Kollarova, published in The Journal of Culture vol. 9 / No 1 / 2020 Institute of Ethnology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University.

P 43-45: The Khayma Project