Bedouin camp

Bedouin camp

The seminomadic lifestyle of the Bedouin adapted to the climatic and environmental conditions of the desert.

Visual Arts

Keywords

Bedouin, tribes, tribal lifestyle, nomad, tribe, seminomadic, desert, North Africa, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula, lifestyle, migration, tent, camp, Arabic, oasis, Mohammedan, equipment, modern history, pet, animal husbandry, musical instrument, culture, clothing, weapon

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Questions

  • What did the Bedouin typically make a living from?
  • What is the traditional lifestyle of the Bedouin?

Scenes

Narration

The Bedouins are a seminomadic people who inhabit a large part of North Africa and the Arabian peninsula, from Morocco to Oman. The name Bedouin is of Arabic origin, and it means 'desert dwellers'.

Since ancient times, the main source of livelihood for the Bedouins has been animal husbandry; they mainly keep goats and camels. During the dry season, Bedouins settle in areas located close to a well for water, while they move to the pasturelands to graze their animals during the rainy season.

The Bedouins live in tents with an elongated shape and a low top; the structure and materials of these dwellings have been adapted to the climatic and environmental conditions of the desert and the Bedouin lifestyle. They provide shelter from the sun, sand and wind, and they can easily be aired by opening the sides. There are two separate parts of the tent for men and women. The women's side is also used for storing kitchen utensils, as cooking is one of their most important jobs.

Traditional Bedouin clothing consists of a long, loose robe and a kuffiyah, or headcovering, for men, and a headscarf or veil for women. The color and decoration of their clothing indicate which tribe a person belongs to and what their social position is, but it also depends on the occasion.

Their lifestyle has changed a great deal over the past centuries; today there are only a few nomads left. By 2003, there were only about 21 million Bedouins in the world, and most of them had adopted a settled lifestyle.

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