Tannery in Fez, Morocco

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Photo Credit — Danny James

I took this picture at a leather tannery in Fez, Morocco.

In Fez, leather-making is done in pits that date back to the 11th century. There are three tanneries in Fez, this being the largest. Customers are given a sprig of mint to hold under their noses, in a vain attempt to mask the stench from the pits, where limestone, alum, and pigeon droppings full of ammonia are used in the process. After a brief orientation at the terraces overlooking the pits, customers are taken to the showroom, where the real show begins – negotiating for leather jackets, purses, slippers, ottomans, belts and more.

 

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