Sunday, March 2, 2008

Animal Tiles

These tiles were all made by the same craftsman whose little shop is between the two rue riad Zitouns.

We have been visiting his shop for ten years and are enchanted with his images.
He spends much of his time making markers for tombs.
This camel doesn't look much like the ones I actually see in Marrakech and Essouria which have one hump. Perhaps it is a dromedary (?) - those people who know about such things will correct me.

Donkeys are used for transporting almost anything. In the late afternoon, young men zoom past Cafe France at quite a clip. Apparently donkeys don't have names like Neddy - they are just referred to as 'the donkey'.
Little children, when trying to be very naughty, call each other "Hammar' - donkey - but it's considered very rude - closer to jackass, I think.
Cats, obviously, are everywhere and I've done lots of posts about them.

I've never seen an elephant in Morocco - though this is a very handsome fellow.
These tiles offer a sort of language lesson - French and Arabic.

This bird - species unspecified - is the only one without writing. As far as I can gather the word for bird sounds like "Tweer" which sounds onomatopoeic - if that's a word.
Note the Berber architectural element.


ObsessionMaroc said...

These are fantastic - especially the cat one, of course! I have to go to see this man when I'm in MRK in April - hope you'll be back from NY then to tell me exactly where he is!!!
Joan in Milan where it's like spring already!!

Elizabeth said...

Joan:Yes, I'll be back and I'll take you there - he is easy to find and really charming in person.

Karen Cole said...

Onomatopoeic, boy I am ever out of my element here. Entering a comment on a writers blog is always a challenge for me.

Great tiles.

rochambeau said...

Hi Elizabeth,
So beautiful in a certain innocent yet lovely way! Have you collected any?

Thank you for your prayers for Sophia, You bet I will pray for your friend. Can you please send me her name or initials?
Sending happy thoughts to you!!

Lane said...

Beautiful tiles.
I love the colour of the elephant tile ( and the colour of the wall in the photo on your previous post).

High Desert Diva said...

Love the elephant tile...


I agree with Karen Cole: onomatopoeic...where's my dictionary?

Barrie said...

I love tiles. I have a fireplace built of handmade Mexican tiles. These tiles you've photographed are beautiful.

CaBaCuRl said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and I'm so pleased to have discovered your's, in such a fascinating part of the world.

Marja said...

Oh they are great. I love the camel. My brother collects them. I think they can have one or two humps.

M.KATE said...

oh elizabeth, i am quickly falling in love with Marrakesh via your blog...if i could, i'll buy all the 12 zodiac animals in the chinese calendar and have it in my house, am sure i'm the only one with these tiles, have a fabulous week ahead :)

Elizabeth said...

Dear Rochambeau:
Yes, I have all these tiles in my home and really want to collect his other animals -he even has a pig!
My friend who is sick's initials are K.C. - she is doing a little better though still seriously ill.
Thank you for thinking of her.

High Diva and Lane - yes, I think the elephant is very cool....

M. Kate - when you visit Marrakech you can get all the tiles to take home.Each one is carved out by hand.

Willow said...

Onomatopoetic animal tiles:

Does the sssserpent hiss?

Do the beezzz buzz?

I can imagine the tiles arranged on the counters in my kitchen, holding warm plates and loaves of hot bread.

And of course, my favorite is the cat.

Vienna for Beginners said...

"Onomatopoeic", I've loved that word, ever since I got into a discussion about when to spell it like onomato-poetic. ;-)
In German, calling somebody an Esel seems to be not too offensive, rather endearing way to call somebody stupid. In combination with "stur" (stubborn) it sounds a bit more offensive to me. And then again, I try to call only myself an Esel every now and then. ;-)

Re flights to Venice/Milan:
Besides Vienna (6 hrs by train to Ve), there are 2 airports in Austria that are even closer to Venice, Graz and Villach. Bratislava is also an airport to consider.
Maybe this website helps:

shelley said...

I like the Bird tile - did you notice that the Elephant tile has the same Bird landing on his back?

Jennifer said...

These tiles are so graphically pleasing!

Amera said...

ooh i have to know where these are two days in the souk so far and i havent seen these i want them lol

Elizabeth said...

To get to the tile shop go to the SE corner of Place Djemma Elfna and ask for rue riad Zitoun(lakadim - old) - go south a little way and then ask for rue riad Zitoun djedid(new).. there is a cut through between the two roads( derbs)
There is a laundry on the corner and really near that is a tiny square where the tile man is.
Or go to Cassie and Rebecca's kaftan shop ( see Maryam's blog) and ask them - the tile place is just by that. It should only take you about 6 mins from Djemma Elfna.

sab said...

the elephant is my favorite with athletic ..;all of them are wonderfull with a touch of berber art...

Mary Richmond said...

It was bad enough you have all these wonderful pictures of doors and patterns and tiles but now you have little animal tiles--be still my heart! (I'm a tile maker and designer and these are just so charming and lovely!)