Name of Object:



Rabat, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Museum of the Udayas

Date of Object:

Hegira 12th-13th centuries / AD 18th–19th centuries

Museum Inventory Number:

D 239

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silk brocade woven on a draw-loom.


Length 135 cm, width 32 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Fez, Morocco.


This type of long brocade silk belt, or lampas, woven on a draw-loom in the workshops of Fez, appeared in the early AH 12th / AD 18th century. Worn on top of a kaftan by aristocratic and middle-class women, it was wrapped several times around the waist. Folded in half, it could be used on either side. This piece is narrow and flexible like the older examples. On a red background, brocade decoration consisting of five differently coloured motifs inspired by the decorative Moroccan-Andalusian repertoire of is embellished with elements borrowed from Persian and Ottoman art: geometric knotwork whose interstices are decorated with flowers, fleurons and palms, ovoid motifs reminiscent of the fruit of the citrus tree tronjia, and friezes of arcades decorated with flowers similar to the designs found on wall hangings. These motifs appear on their own or combined in repetitive alternating transverse bands.
The two ends of the belt are decorated with several stylised hands and eight-pointed stars, or Solomon's seals, considered in esoteric Moroccan tradition to be prophylactic symbols. Between the large motifs that make up the main decoration of the fabric and the two ends of the belt, a narrow band decorated with small tulips arranged head-to-foot is the mark of the workshop.
The long cords that finish the belt are knotted at the front to keep it around the waist.

View Short Description

This sort of long silk-brocade belt would have been worn above a kaftan by the wives of important dignitaries and the bourgeoisie. It would have been wrapped around the waist several times and could be worn either way around.

How date and origin were established:

By its decoration, the length and width of the belt and the flexibility of the fabric.

How Object was obtained:


How provenance was established:

According to the studies carried out on the subject and the work of historians, brocade workshops were set up in Fez from the Marinid era until the early 20th century.

Selected bibliography:

Golvin, L., 'Les métiers à la tire des fabricants de brocarts de Fès', Hespéris, 1950, 1st & 3rd quarters, pp.37-48.
Vogel, L., Soieries marocaines, les ceintures de Fès, Paris, 1920.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Belt" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;ma;Mus01_B;48;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-BoujibarNaima El Khatib-Boujibar

Archéologue et historienne de l'art, titulaire d'une licence en lettres (française), N. Elkhatib-Boujibar a également étudié l'archéologie et l'histoire de l'art à l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie de Paris, l'art islamique et la muséologie à l'École du Louvre (Paris), et suivi des cours à l'Institut d'ethnographie de l'Université de Neuchâtel (Suisse). Elle a occupé plusieurs postes de responsabilité, parmi lesquels directrice des Musées et de l'Archéologie, inspectrice générale des Musées et de l'Archéologie, déléguée régionale du ministère de la Culture.
Elle a dirigé un chantier de fouille durant 20 ans et enseigné à l'Institut national marocain des sciences de l'archéologie et du patrimoine (INSAP). Elle a organisé différentes expositions sur le patrimoine marocain, au Maroc comme à l'étranger, et animé des cycles de conférence, dont celui sur l'art islamique à la “Villa des Arts” à Casablanca.
N. El Khatib-Boujibar a publié différents articles sur le patrimoine archéologique, artistique et architectural marocain, mais aussi sur d'autres sites islamiques et sur les arts mobiliers. Elle a également participé à la rédaction du catalogue Musée Sans Frontières Le Maroc andalou, à la rencontre d'un art de vivre.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: MO 73


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Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)

Geometric Decoration | Geometric Decoration in Textiles


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