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Chouikik Family productions

Mskala, Marocco

Old man Chouikik lives on his farm, an hour donkey ride from the closest road, in the Mskala region. He is a trained sempster, and spent most of his years making traditional leather bags, alongside running his farm. Around 2005 he was contracted to do a sewing job in a small town on the edge of the Sahara. He went there but the leather never arrived, which meant he had no money nor materials to work with. Out of desperation, he picked up some old rice rice and plastic packaging and made up a series of purses and bags. On his route back home, he stopped by in the town of Essouiera, to try and sell his goods to the local merchants, in order to return home with some money for his family. But no one was interested in buying his new production. However, when leaving one of the shops whom had refused his goods, a tourist stopped him, taking interest in his work and bought the whole collection. The shop owner saw this and ordered Chouikik to make more of these new style recycled bags and purses. Now Chouikik buys cut offs from the packaging factories and collects rice sacks from the markets. His two nephews help him to make these items, which he delivers to Essouiera at the end of each month.

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