Beni M’Guild refers to a confederation, or group of tribes, which was originally part of an even larger confederation called Oumalou, meaning people of the shadow.
This name came from their home: they once lived in the northern slopes of the high atlas, whose tall peaks cast shadows across them. Also part of this group were the Zayane, and you can see the similarities in their rugs. Eventually the Beni M’Guild moved to the western part of the Middle Atlas, to lands rich in summer pastures.
This richness is visible in their work, which is lush with deep ombré colors and peppered with bright accents. The rugs have a fairly heavy pile which will ultimately reveal asymmetrical compositions of bands of diamonds or lozenges.
They used bright yellows, blues, and reds with more somber hues, dominated by chestnut browns and occasional oranges. Dyes were originally made with madder root and sorrel and green grapes, and wefts is normally black or brown.