For many, including myself, the dream of traveling the world and finding little known treasures is just that, a dream. Lucky for me and for you, a visit to Epcot’s World Showcase allows Guests to feel as if they’ve traveled to eleven different countries in just one short trip. It’s a dream come true!
Previously, I wrote an article about the buried treasures that can be found in the China Pavilion and I also shared my experience of finding hidden gems in the oysters in Japan. Today, I’ll lead you to discover another jewel hidden in Epcot’s World Showcase.
A visit to the Morocco Pavilion will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a faraway land divided into two fascinating sections, the Ville Nouvelle (new city) and the Medina (old city). Discover a bustling plaza with shops featuring remarkable Rabat carpets, woven belts, leather sandals, fabulous fezzes, beautiful brass pots and planters, and much more. Enjoy the scrumptious delights and marvelous belly dancers at Restaurant Marrakesh and the awesome artifacts at the Gallery of Arts and History.
Open the heavy wooden doors of the Gallery of Arts and History to experience an often overlooked attraction, Moroccan Style: The Art of Personal Adornment. Experience the mystique of Morocco through the distinctive, detailed designs of its time-honored crafts. Guests can see how the unparalleled artistry and craftsmanship of Moroccan decorative arts are a visual representation of cultural identity.
Immediately upon stepping through the dazzling stained glass doors, you’ll see an ornately dressed gentleman and his decorated steed. As is explained, many Moroccan festivals are accompanied by a Fantasia. These equestrian extravaganzas celebrate the importance of horsemanship to traditional Moroccan culture.
It’s important that you take a moment to read the small placards that are placed within or near the exhibits. The signs, though small, contain a wealth of information about the Moroccan exhibits, history and traditions.
One of the display cases features jewelry that is said to ward off evil and protect the wearer. Here, you’ll learn the meaning of the “hamsa,” the palm-shaped symbol thought to ward off the Evil Eye. In the Moroccan culture, it is believed that by incorporating hamsa into different forms of jewelry, the wearer can invoke protection.
As the placards in the Art of Henna exhibit explain, the leaves of the Henna plant are ground to make a dye used in the creation of temporary henna tattoos. The night before a marriage, the elder women of the village spend the evening with the bride and her party. The hands and feet of the bride are painted with the dye and, according to tradition, the bride is to do no work until the tattoos have faded completely. Henna painting is a true art form and the creations are extremely detailed and exquisite.
DIStracted Tip: You can get your own henna tattoo! Visit the small kiosk near Spice Road Table to get yours!
The clothes, scarves, jewelry, accessories and other forms of personal adornment of both the men and women of Morocco are expertly displayed and the meaning behind the culture is explained in detail. After a visit to Moroccan Style: The Art of Personal Adornment, you’ll have learned that the Moroccan culture has always heavily featured personal adornment but that same adornment also tells a story. It’s a story that’s quite interesting to both young and old.
I am so glad that we took the time to step inside this beautiful building where every surface is embellished with bold geometric shapes, cutout patterns, gorgeous ceramic floor tiles and ornate ironwork light fixtures. Have you visited this jewel hidden within the walls of Morocco?