RED THE COLOUR WHICH PROTECTS AGAINST THE EVIL EYE
Countless tones which change with the passing of the hours and seasons, Morocco offers an extremely rich and varied palette. Blues, reds, ochres, greens, yellows, oranges and pinks: the Moroccan landscape exudes colour as far as the eye can see, brought to life by lights and shades. The souk are flooded by colours: reels of silk threads and colourful cottons, leather or silk babouche slippers, rugs, fabrics glazed ceramics, rolls of fabric, bundles of wool….a tapestry of colour developed on a backdrop of architectonic decorations hidden inside sumptuous palaces where colourful engraved woods alternate with vibrant mosaics. Lively colours which unleash their vitality during festivals where women wear dresses made from splendid fabrics, embellished by embroidery with thousands of patterns and scarves with silk fringes. The blue-mauve of the walls of Essouira and Chefchauen to ward off evil spirits. Indigo, a noble colour of the Sahara, used to make turbans worn by men to protect them from sandstorms and from being burnt by the unforgiving desert sun. Cobalt blue of Fes, Majorelle blue, a unique blue-purple with which a painter covered his atelier inside a luxurious garden in Marrakesh.
The white of façades of ancient Andalusian villas, draping the long veils of women from Rif, worn by men on days of mourning and knights during their “fantasy” and of the stucco embellishments of Koranic school buildings. The red of rugs and fabrics. Red, the colour which protects against the evil eye. All markets in the kingdom are an array of warm tones, sweet and savoury flavours arranged in pyramids of powder. Women whose fiery gaze framed by the red, blue of black of their veil.
Ochre, the brown of kasbahs with its lofty silhouettes, the colour of the earth burning under the scorching sun, which insinuates itself into the architecture of houses of the Atlas and the south, the labyrinths of medinas, Berber terracotta, nomad tents, or dates, the symbol of hospitality.
Green, the colour of Islam, of Muslim paradise, of the miracle of water in a desert country. The green which refreshes oases and buildings. In the Spring Morocco comes to life in a striking array of greens, emeralds, blues and greys. The peaceful, green symphony of palm tree groves, with a barely perceptible trickle of water. Greens which shine out on the enamelled tiles of royal and religious buildings as well as rich abodes. At all hours of the day, whatever the season, the greenness of mint tea which quenches the thirst and refreshes travellers.
Orange, like the scorching sands of the Merzouga dunes, like the leaves of trees in the Atlas during the Autumn, like the fire which heats the skin of bendir during evenings of celebration. Orange like the spices sold at markets, a golden triumph of saffron, curcuma and cumin. Orange like the honey pastries served on evenings during Ramadam. The magic of henna, a brown or greenish paste which dries and traces beautiful orange patterns on the skin.
The mimosa yellow of traditional babouche slippers made from soft leather. The yellow of small bananas from Sous, near Agadir, and of the lemons which flavour the finest tajines. The golden yellows of belts and embroidery of women’s dresses. Pale and brilliant, the chiselled yellow of lamps which illuminate a souk. Black like forged iron grilles, calligraphy or kajal used to embellish the eyes of women.