Hiti (Morocco)

Four of the seven panels of a hiti (mid-19th century). Four of the seven panels of a hiti (mid-19th century). Courtesy Indianapolis Museum of Art, acc. no. 1983.66.

Hiti (hiti, hayti, from the Arabic hayt, ‘a wall’) is a form of wall hanging found in Morocco and sometimes in other parts of North Africa. Basically, a hiti is a long strip of material, about 15 m long and roughly 1.5 m wide, which is used to decorate the walls behind the divans that line meeting halls (majlis) on ceremonial occasions, especially weddings.

A hiti is normally composed of a series of panels, each with a design in the shape of an arch (qus). Above the arches there is a band with one or two rows of geometric patterns reminiscent of a balustrade. The gold thread embroidery on the hitis was worked using underside couching and leather templates. Hence the production of these costly hitis was allegedly supervised by the local guild of leather workers.

Source: STONE, Caroline (1985). The Embroideries of North African, Harlow: Longman, pp. 38-40.

Indianapolis Museum of Art online catalogue (retrieved 23 April 2017).


Last modified on Monday, 24 April 2017 11:15