Agga: Reed Mat Makers

Date: c. 1962

Gavin Maxwell (d. 1969) gives a first-hand account of reed mat making in Agga, which is in the marshlands of Iraq. Each of the collected reeds is split with a short, curved knife. They are then spread flat and hammered using part of a palm log, and can then be stored or woven into mats. These mats are sold widely across Iraq, and the Marsh Arabs of the region (Maʾdan) rely on this craft for use and income. See also: Construction Worker; Woven Tray Maker; Basket Maker; Weaver.

Citation: Maxwell, Gavin. A Reed shaken by the Wind (London: Longmans, 1957), pp.

Also: Milwright, Marcus. Islamic Arts and Crafts: An Anthology (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), p. 137.