The Atlas Region

Our unique wooden gifts are hand crafted in the Western foothills of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, North Africa.


MOROCCO

Magical Morocco, a land of contrasts. Vibrant, seductive and exciting, a place where shadows merge with sunlight, where sky and sea meet at the horizon.

Contrasting colours dissolve into flickering kaleidoscope of blue, copper, red, green, ochre, silver and gold. A land bursting with the colours of life where festivals happen all year round. Morocco, a place where magical colours blend in an irresistible pageant of light and shade. Everyone has heard of Casablanca, Marakesh and the Atlas Mountains.


WESTERN ATLAS MOUNTAINS

The Atlas Mountains generally run southwest to northeast to form the backbone of the countries of the western part of North Africa. They extend more than 1200 miles from the Moroccan port of Agadir to Tunis the capital of Tunisia.

The Atlas mountains holds many fertile valleys, as the high peaks force the clouds to yield large quantities of rainfall, and is therefore the perfect surrounding for the growth of the Thuya Tree or officially Tetraclinis Articulata. In the Atlantic Coast where the Western Foothills of the Atlas Mountains meet the sea is the historic Town of Essaouira where many Craft Co-operatives use their traditional skills to produce gifts in Thuya wood.


ESSAOUIRA - THE HISTORY

Essaouira was inhabited as early as the 7th century B.C. In 1506 the Portuguese arrived and built an imposing fortress called Mogador.

In 1760 the Sultan of the Alaouite dynasty constructed a port to compete with Agadir. The activity was so intense and trade prospered to the point that the port of Agadir had to close. The Sultan wanted the city to be larger and better equipped than Agadir and therefore he entrusted a French architect to construct a new beautiful city called Essaouira.

Morocco was colanised by the French but won it's independence in the 1930's. Political colonialism has gone today, but the traditional skills of the arisans are alive and well.


ESSAOUIRA - TODAY

Nowadays, the magic of Essaouira comes from its artistic influence. The tranquillity of the city, the beauty of the site, the splendid light... have always attracted and inspired artists.

Essaouira is a healthy fishing harbor and beach resort. Although tourism has grown steadily, Essaouira retains its laidback atmosphere and local color.

The Medina is full of cobbled streets and winding alleyways of the old city. Tucked away in white buildings with their doors customarily finished blue are the galleries and handicraft shops for which Essaouira is famous. Cadwyn works directly with the Craft Co-operatives which create these beautiful gifts in Thuya wood.

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