Published on June 26, 2009
Bedouin Heritage Project Presentation Tuesday, April 7th
Agenda "The elderly are the books ๏ UNESCO & Intangible Cultural Heritage of the young” A Bedouin Proverb ๏ Wadi Rum Protected Zone ๏ Implications of Bedu oral traditions ๏ Changing generational socio-economic lifestyles ๏ Aging guardians of traditions ๏ Bedu Traditional Medicine ๏ Saluki Greyhounds ๏ Project Mission ๏ Project Plan ๏ Project Execution ๏ Sponsors & Supporters ๏ Student Workshop
UNESCO & Intangible Cultural Heritage the intangible cultural h er i tag e ( IC H) – or living her ita ge – is the mainspr ing o f o ur cultural div er si ty and its ma intenance a guaran tee for co ntinuing creativity. 1) O ra l t ra d i t i on s a nd ex pr es s io n s i nc l u d i ng l an g u ag e as a ve hic le of t he i nt a n g i bl e c u l tu ra l he r i ta ge ; 2) Per fo r m i n g a r t s ( s u c h a s t ra d it io n a l m us i c , da nc e a nd t hea t re ); 3) S o ci a l p ra ct i c es , r i t ua ls a nd fe s t ive ev en t s; 4) K n ow l ed g e a nd prac t ic e s c o nc e r ni ng na t u r e and t h e uni ve r s e ; 5) Tra di ti ona l cra f t s ma n s hip.
ICH is the composite of the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills, that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals ICH Guiding Principles recognise as part of their cultural heritage. More precisely, a cultural heritage that: ๏ is transmitted from generation to generation; ๏ is constantly recreated by communities and groups, in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history; ๏ provides communities and groups with a sense of identity and continuity; ๏ promotes respect for cultural diversity and human creativity; ๏ is compatible with international human rights instruments; ๏ complies with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, and of sustainable development. The depository of this heritage is the human mind, the human body being the main instrument for its enactment, or – literally – embodiment.
Wadi Rum Protected Zone
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a day in Wadi Rum should ﬁll a library.
The Howeitat Tribe hold all the area around Wadi Rum from Taba in Egypt and well into Saudi Arabia to the south. The land in Wadi Rum however is occupied by the The Bedu of Wadi Rum Zilabia and the Zuweida tribes who are an offshoot of the Aneizat in Saudi Arabia. These two sub tribes were ofﬁcially conﬁrmed as being "in possession" of these lands by the Abu Tayi and the bin Jazi sheikhs in the 1920s. The Bedu of Wadi Rum have preserved speciﬁc knowledge related to the ﬂora and fauna of the area, traditional medicine, camel husbandry, tent-making craftsmanship, and tracking and climbing skills. The Bedu have developed an extensive knowledge of their environment and complex moral and social code, all of which is expressed and transmitted orally. Their rich mythology is manifested in various forms of oral expression, comprising poetry, folktales and songs that are closely linked to particular places and the history of these communities. Over the last ﬁfty years, more and more Bedu groups have settled down. The provision of education, housing, health care and sanitation has made a sedentary existence more attractive for many of them, leading, however, to the erosion of skills developed by the Bedu over generations. The increase of desert tourism and its demand for “authentic Bedu culture” should not be allowed to further degrade the intangible heritage of the Bedu in Petra and Wadi Rum.
Aging guardians of traditions
Sedentarisation Since the 50’s, Jordan has encouraged modernisation policies leading to bedouins sedentarisation and detribalisation, through state-sponsored agricultural projects and education. Beginning in the 70’s, Jordan provided the bedouins with cheap housing, leading to the building of Rum village around the existing Desert Patrol fort, the school and the Resthouse. The latter was built for the shooting of the movie Lawrence of Arabia. Running water, electricity, phone lines and recently high speed internet are available in the village. Changing generational socio-economic lifestyles
Tourism Tourists have been enjoying Wadi Rum for quite some time despite it being a secondary stop for most ﬁrst time visitors to Jordan. People will think of Petra and the Christian Landmarks as the focus and highlight of their visit. However, authorities have used the Lawrence of Arabia story, and of course the movie, to promote a touristic site in Southern Jordan, between Petra and Aqaba. A large majority of tourists visit the site on package tours, spending only a few hours inside, generally accompanied by a tour leader and/or a jordanian non bedouin guide At ﬁrst Wadi Rum was promoted as a site of cultural interest. It is nowadays regarded as a site of natural interest, as well, for its landscapes and its geological formations. As a result, the Bedu are having to adapt to the complex and ever changing demands of the tourists which has led to a creation of a new relationship between the Bedouin and the place. For example, as tourist maps developed by outsiders introduce new vocabulary to the Bedouin, their own language is slowly affected. Changing generational socio-economic lifestyles
No collection exists on Bedu traditional medicine, but some anecdotal indications have been found: Fire cure...Placing red-hot coals on the body healing points for relief of chronic pain (on the head in case of headache or on the leg in case of sciatica for example) Use of herbal medicine to cure a cold, or stomach pane Use of massage oil with venom to prevent/delay lethal consequences of scorpion’s bite Use of charms, amulets and stones Bedu Traditional Medicine
The saluki is one of the oldest breed of domestic dog. Salukis appear on egyptian tombs from 2100 BC. They were often mummiﬁed. In muslim culture dogs are often seen as unclean. But the saluki is given a different status by the Arab culture, Saluki Greyhounds especially the bedouin. The breed is treasured by the bedouin who value them, breed them for the beauty and the hunting. Saluki can be trained to hunt along with falcons. A saluki, instead of being seen as unclean, often sleeps in tents with the owners, to be protected from the heat of the day and the cold of the night. Some families in Wadi Rum still own a saluki greyhound, for the same reasons : the beauty of the dog, its kindness and the hunting.
The principal goal of the project is to safeguard the main features of the lifestyle and oral expressions of the Bedu that have developed in Wadi Rum region over the Project Mission course of millennia and that are being lost due to inevitable societal changes. The action plan revolves around two projects: * The collection and intergenerational transmission of oral heritage; * The transmission and adaptation of knowledge and know-how. The overriding mission will be to capture the Bedu and their traditions, as they would see them not as a reinforcement of stereotype or tourist cliche. The project has been developed and will be executed in direct collaboration with the Bedu of Wadi Rum. The ﬁnal products must be of value to the Bedu for generations to come as a living record of their customs, traditions, and sense of identity.
In July, we will embark on a mission to participate in and record many facets of the Bedouin lifestyle, social system, traditions, medicine and oral history. This is the ﬁrst phase Project Plan of a two year project that will use the best practices of media anthropology including video, photography, recordings, journalism and art. The result from this ﬁrst three week session will be: - an itinerant immersive multi-media exhibit across Europe to raise awareness of the Bedouins and their society; - broadcasts through European and arabic news services such as Al-jazeera and BBC Arabic as well as Western media; and - A dvd with accompanying text for schools and universities. Team: ‣ Project Co-Founders, Mark Abouzeid (Photojournalist/ Project manager) and Ingrid Bouilliart (Lobbyist/Wadi Rum Liason) ‣ Media Anthroplogy, Nora Mertens ‣ Physiotherapy and tribal medecine, Celine Vanderput ‣ Video and audio specialist, Frank Coles ‣ Bedouin logistics, Attayak + 3 ‣ Arab translator, Rima Musa ‣ Interns/assistants: 7 persons
activities dress ✓ hunting party playing Project Execution ✓ breadmaking bedouin character ✓ daily life ✓ honor ✓ tracking ✓ warrior ✓ training camel racing ✓ revenge ✓ ﬁremaking & desert cooking ✓ individualism ✓ making goat cheese ✓ desert driving tribal law & governance ✓ goat herding ✓ blood price ✓ tribal protection traditional medicine ✓ Scorpion medicine marriage customs ✓ ﬁre medicine ✓ second wife ✓ medicinal plants ✓ wedding ✓ divorce art ✓ courtship ✓ music ✓ economic aspects ✓ dance territories oral history ✓ tribe ✓ stories ✓ family ✓ myths ✓ tradition ✓ folklore tent living ✓ hospitality ✓ daily routine ✓ moving camp ✓ the role of the central ﬁre
The Bedouin Heritage Project has developed a program for qualiﬁed interns to work and learn in the ﬁeld while assisting in a worthwhile undertaking. Internship Program “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a project of global importance, to meet another people and learn to see the world through their eyes. This is the moment to become a part of something signiﬁcant while working in every aspect of planning, production and delivery. “ Students will work side to side with team members gaining ﬁrst-hand experience and will be credited in ﬁnal product. While working students will explore the desert, learn to cook as a bedouin, ride camels, feel the true power of a four wheel drive jeep and so much more.... but more than anything, students will shoot photos in one of the world’s most unique deserts.
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