The Preservation and Continuation of Sephardi Art in Morocco

in European Judaism

While it is widely known that the Jews of medieval Spain carried with them their language, literature and other traditions to the countries in which they settled following the Expulsion in 1492, little research has been conducted on the preservation of their material culture and the visual arts. In this article, these aspects are examined vis-à-vis the Judaic artistic production and visual realm of the Sephardi Jews in Morocco, who adhered to these traditions perhaps more staunchly than any other Sephardi community in modern times. The materials are divided into several categories which serve as an introduction to specific topics that each require further research. These include Hebrew book printing, Jewish marriage contracts (ketubbot), Hebrew manuscript decoration, clothing and jewellery relating to the world of the Sephardi-Moroccan woman and the interior of the home, and ceremonial objects for the synagogue.