Ethnographic Museum in Tetouan – ‘Museum of Indigenous Arts’
The first Ethnographic Museum in Tetouan was founded in 1928 and was known as the 'Museum of Indigenous Arts' or as the 'Muslim House'. However the museum and its endless variety of exhibits was moved to the old military fortress of Sultan Moulay Abderrahman in 1948, which had been renovated to house the new and improved Ethnographic Museum in Tetouan. The Ethnographic Museum is an attraction in Morocco that visitors should not miss out on as it exhibits and educates the public on the traditions, culture and artistic history of the community.
The Moroccan community, especially in Tetouan, can be seen as an extremely natural artistic community. Every object is important and their creative abilities are evident even in the most insignificant items. Baskets are decorated in bright and lively designs, bowls are painted in a variety of colors, pillows are embroidered and every design that can be seen on the traditional clothing has a specific message or meaning attached to it.
The Tetouan Ethnographical Museum has been divided into specific sections and has authentic recreations of a Tetouani kitchen, celebration rooms, bedrooms and living areas with each displaying their own fascinating collection. From antiquities and costumes to weapons and crafts, each features the detailed and handcrafted designs and decorations commonly seen. One of the most popular rooms in the Tetouan Ethnographical Museum is the Trousseau Room. Here visitors will be able to view the traditions related to one of Morocco’s most important celebrations – marriage. Linens, clothing, bridal trousseau, marriage chest and other symbolic items are on display in this room.
Sewing and embroidery is a significant part of the Moroccan tradition, as it is a form of individuality and identity. Visitors will be able to feast their eyes on spectacular linens, silks and materials. The intricate stitches and braiding techniques are also on display, as are different items of clothing made from wool, cotton and even camel hair. The museum also has magnificent exhibits of jewelry, mosaics, headdresses, bridal bed covers and pillows, paintings, furniture, woodcrafts, weaving, traditional instruments, firearms and weapons. The kitchen also proves to be an exciting exhibit, as visitors are able to get a little taste of true Tetouan cuisine and even try the non-alcoholic drinks that are made traditionally on the premises.
Walking through this spectacular museum in Tetouan is a wonderful journey. It brings visitors and guests much closer to the culture of the city and gives them a glimpse into personal moments and celebrations in the community that most foreign visitors will never have the opportunity to experience normally.