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Meet the Artisans of Cooperative chourok
About Cooperative chourok
Hidden away deep in the Eastern High Atlas Mountains of Morocco is the wind swept village of Tounfite – the home of Cooperative Chorouk. Tounfite is a fitting name as it means hidden, or unseen, in the local Tamazight dialect. Rabha Akkoui, founder of Chorouk, sadly felt that the word Tounfite also defined the women of her village. In the fall of 2009, Rabha set out to change the fate of women in Tounfite and founded Cooperative Chorouk. The meaning of Chorouk - the first ray of light that turns the darkness of night into dawn - stems from Rabha’s vision of creating a better future for women in Tounfite. The cooperative now provides meaningful income and training for the women in the village. The path hasn’t been easy for Rabha and the cooperative; the women have met resistance of all types in order to officially organize. Yet throughout the challenges, Rabha learned how to adapt, and most importantly to innovate, in order to fully realize her vision for the cooperative. The mentality of innovation permeates throughout all of the cooperative’s work. The cooperative began by making small handbags but were disappointed when sales fell flat. Instead of giving up, Rabha and the women looked for new opportunities, and focused on what they knew best: their traditional skills of weaving passed down through hundreds of generations. The women were ambitious, and bolstered their already impressive skills with natural dye techniques that enabled their carpets to reflect the colors of Tounfite and the personality of the women who made them. Throughout the Chorouk’s store, you’ll find a wide range of carpets made with 100% natural dyes and wool. Not only is each carpet unique to the women who made it, but is also unique to the land from which it came. Natural dyes, made from poppy and other flowers and plants that grow in the region, change their color every year depending the amount of rain and sun – ensuring that no carpet is ever alike. With each purchase, you’ll not only be mailed a piece of Tounfite, but be actively supporting an incredible group of women and their bid to shape their village’s future.