It did not occur to the American anthropologist Susan Schaefer Davis when she first visited the countryside of Morocco in the 1960s that for more than half a century her life would be linked to the experience of Moroccan women in making handmade rugs.
Her goal at the time, as a Peace Corps volunteer, was to enable women to manage their own affairs in feeding the children and to train to pass on their skills to the younger generations. She fell in love with Morocco, learned the language and became an ambassador for craftswomen in the United States and the world.
In an interview with Al-Fanar Media, Davis talked about getting to know the rug weavers and their craft. She referred to a passage in her recent book, “Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives”, where she wrote: “The experience turned me into an anthropologist. I wanted to understand why the women were so fun and feisty, not the passive, submissive beings I had read about in the pages of ‘National Geographic’.”