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“Dagger Paradise!”

Azlag Dagger Cooperative
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Attraction details
Owner description: The art of dagger making has over 700 years of history in Morocco. The Azlag Dagger Cooperative is the only one of its kind following in this tradition. The high quality handcrafted designs are a blend of Roman, Jewish, Berber, and Islamic influences. The artisans come from the ancient Berber village of Azlag - which means “come together” and their craft provides a livelihood for over 100 families. The cooperative is located in the famous town El Kelaa M'gouna - host to the annual Rose Festival. It has a large showroom which houses hundreds of distinctive styles that represent the unique talent of the artisans.
Reviewed 5 May 2015

There weren’t many reviews for this place when I was searching before our April trip to Morocco (although I now see a flood of them here), but I knew enough about the Azlag Dagger Co-operative from my research to know that this was one place I was definitely going to seek out - being something of a sword and dagger collector.

It’s an easy place to find, on the main road in Kalaat M’Gouna, and it’s laid out with a large showroom in the front, and a series of small workshops in a U-shape around the sides and back of the property. I found the workshops generally quiet when we arrived – about half of them were closed, and there wasn’t much activity in the ones that were open, but the showroom is nothing short of amazing.

What happens here is that the individual workshops make their specific pieces, and put them in the showroom with a numerical tag to identify the maker (so they know who to give the sale proceeds to). The showroom guy told me that the craftsmen only sell through the showroom, so, apart from making some small talk with the artisans, it really doesn’t matter whether the individual workshops are open, closed or half asleep.

I was astounded by the quantity and range of daggers in the showroom – I wasn’t expecting to see so many, and so many different styles. You have Touareg (Nomad) and Berber styles, some curved and some straight, some ornate and some relatively plain, some with bone handles, some with carved wood, and so on. Quality is a given here – these are all handmade pieces by master craftsmen, and the quality of the finished pieces is incredible. Nothing like the crap you'll find in any market in Morocco or throughout the Middle East.

The other big surprise is the prices. I had to look twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining that the most expensive pieces were actually only around $80 USD. I spent at least an hour in that showroom, scouring the rails and starting with a shortlist of 12 daggers that I narrowed down to 6, plus a sword. The sword was comparatively expensive at $220 USD (but still cheap in my opinion), and then only because it was a full sized ceremonial silver and bone-handled piece of exceptional beauty. There are few swords here and they seem to sell pretty quickly – I was told about an amazing Touareg sword that had been sold just the day before…

If daggers (and swords) are your thing, then this place is pure paradise. Oh, and by the way, we had no hassle at customs taking these out of the country.

4  Thank Johnlisa27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 15 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2015

I really appreciated being able to support local artisans. I was able to purchase authentic pieces made by people I met (rather than the Asia-made product found in many marketplace stalls). A highlight was being able to meet the artists and engage in conversation (English). They have a twinkle in their eyes that matches the shine on their products. The female artist was especially interesting because of her unique style of art, but because of her place in society and the cooperative.

3  Thank DJCW30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2015

Excellent stop into the Co-op. Everyone there is genuinely friendly and not out for your money. They take the time to show you their process- but only if you want. Plus you're surrounded by the lovely company of cats sunning themselves in the courtyard.

3  Thank ElliotStudio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2015

I spent an hour or so hanging out with the dagger dudes because they wanted to learn a little English. They're fun. I wasn't able to buy anything, but they didn't seem to care at all. If that isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Thank Carter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 March 2015

A unique place! Plan on at least an hour to browse, watch the artisans create their works, and visit with them to get a taste of this region of Morocco.

Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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