Chouwara Tannery, Fez Medina

Chouwara_Tannery

 

Chouwara Tannery, Fez Medina, Nov 2013

Fez is one of the oldest surviving imperial Oriental cities, founded in 9th century. It is the fountainhead of Morocco’s cultural and religious life . It’s fascinating medina, classified by UNESCO as part of World Heritage defies all attempts at cartography due to the intricacy of its layout which is as curvy and indecipherable as Islamic calligraphy.

Here, in one of the largest Tannery, the process of making leather from hides is at its primal best, with the process very much unchanged for centuries. It is quite a sight to watch men at work. The stench and odor is something that needs getting used to primarily because of the use of organic materials for the tanning process: tree bark,  quick lime, chrome and – quite surprisingly cow urine and pigeon poop.

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