The Kaftan: Culture to Culture

The Kaftan: Culture to Culture
A Photography and Art Installation
By Kamal Zeghari and Nassim Benkirane
Opening: Saturday, March 27 at 6 PM
ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fez Medina

Artist’s statement
Inside every Moroccan house, the matriarch keeps some antique kaftans that remind her of her youth and her marriage. In this installation, we present some extraordinary kaftans that we photographed in remarkable settings in Fez that have witnessed the transitions between generations.
The city of Fez, from the beginning of the 13th century (around 600 Hijri – the Islamic calendar), was renowned for its textile factories, with 3,046 textile factories at one time.
The word “kaftan” in Morocco is commonly used to mean “one-piece dress.” Alternative two-piece versions of Moroccan kaftans are called “takchita.” The takchita is also known as “mansouria,” which derives from the name of Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, who set the trend of wearing a two-piece kaftan.
Historically, there are many versions of the Moroccan kaftan, which varied depending on the cities: Tetouan, Fez, Rabat, Sale and Marrakech each had their own styles. Kaftans were made of brocade, velvet, silk, and many other fabrics. They can still be worn on both casual and formal occasions, depending on the materials used. Today in Morocco, kaftans are mostly worn by women for special ceremonies such as marriages, circumcisions, and Eid festivities. The traditions of the kaftan are still thriving in modern society just as strongly as when they were born centuries ago.
In this installation, we offer participants the opportunity to explore the journey of the kaftan in its various incarnations, and to draw their own conclusions regarding its forthcoming transformations.
Space is limited
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