Creating funeral plaques

In Morocco and elsewhere in North Africa, people pay for memorial plaques to honor loved ones who have passed away.

In America, the time consuming and labor intensive task of carving letters and figures into marble and granite is now done with machines.

But in the old Medina of Fes, and elsewhere in Morocco, that task is still done by hand, with meticulous effort and skill.

This craftsman, who was making a memorial plaque for a customer, allowed me to video his work, thanks to the help of my riad host Adel.

Smithing copper like 1500 AD

We Americans like to refer to ourselves as “hard working,’ and many of us are. But with the exception of some blue collar folk who actually do labor hard each day, American’s can’t hold a candle to the hard work I’ve seen in parts of Morocco.

Just about everything in much of the country is produced manually. Food, personal care products, medicines, furniture and rugs and woodwork, utensils and kitchenware, art and music. Created every day, the way it has for hundreds of years, for more than a thousand years.

I’ll post three examples tonight. A coppersmith. A marble sign carver. And the women who labor at making carpets and wall coverings.

Below is a young man who spends his days in the old Res medina meticulously pounding out copper pans. No stamping press here, just careful human workmanship.

“Marrakech’s Eleven”

The synchronized water fountain at the south end of the Menara Mall in Marrakech. Draws a crowd every night.

Not as good as the Bellagio in Vegas by a long shot, but then again, the only money I lost while in Marrakech was on wine and caviar. (Very affordable caviar).

And ya know… for just a moment there I thought I saw Elliott Gould offering George Clooney and Brad Pitt cigars.

Now that I’ve remembered how to embed videos on You Tube, I’ll take much longer videos, since I don’t have to worry about MB size.