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Quick Cuts: The Boujmaa Brothers’ Moroccan Lutherie Shop

Quick Cuts

The Boujmaa Brothers’ Moroccan Lutherie Shop

by Bruce Calder

Originally published in American Lutherie #82, 2005

While in Marrakech recently, my wife and I discovered the “Ensemble Artisanal,” a government-sponsored complex of shops located outside the medina in the Ville Nouvelle. Here you can watch artisans at work as well as buy their products. These range from carpet makers to makers of babouche (the typical Moroccan leather slippers) to jewelry makers to woodworkers of several types. It’s a great alternative to the heavy sales pressure to be found in the souks, and if you’re not the haggling type (an art form taken to its highest expression here in Morocco), so much the better — prices are fixed, and the things you buy are always of the best quality. Even better, the money goes directly to the artisans.

It was a most pleasant surprise while in the Ensemble Artisanal to discover brothers Benaddi and Blad Boujmaa’s lutherie shop. Makers of both traditional Berber and Arabic instruments (“We make both, since we are half Berber and half Arabic, just like most Moroccans,” Blad told me), their atelier has been in its present location for about ten years.

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