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The Bedouin-A Brief
Transcript of The Bedouin-A Brief
-The Bedouin mostly occupy the majority of current Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Oman, and Egypt but can also be found scattered along other middle-eastern desert plains.
-The climate they live in is harsh, unforgiving, arid, and mostly what you would expect from the Sahara Desert and others like it.
Treatment of Women
The Bedouin's views on women differ greatly from the views of the West.
They believe that women could not function properly without men, and treat them more as property than people.
Men could have multiple wives, however it is dishonorable to have more than they can support.
However, this is not to say that women are completely powerless.
They had one power that could destroy a man: gossip.
This tool was used to make or break a man's social standing.
Cultural Laws and Views
The people of the Bedouin Nomadic culture have very unique ideas and beliefs when it comes to many different subjects.
One of these subjects is their beliefs about women.
Treatment of Men
Men are the most powerful in Bedouin Society.
They are seen as the more powerful of the two sexes, like many societies of ancient times.
Men are also the leaders of society.
Their main foods are bread, herbs, camel, goat and dates.
They mostly drink sheep milk and the water that they could find, occasionally even relying on the morning dew to nourish their animals .
in Arabic means "desert people"
Region & Climate
Religion plays an essential role in Bedouin life.
Bedouin ceremonies include elaborate weddings, ritual namings of newborns, and the circumcision of children (boys universally, girls frequently).
However, ancient Bedouins believed in polytheism.
Very few (still some) Bedouin are Christian. The vast majority are Sunni Muslims.
The Bedouin domesticated a few animals, including: Sheep, camels, horses, and goats
They are farmed for their milk, wool, meat, and whatever else they could get from them
Horses were very special and revered creatures in Bedouin society. Here is a quote from a Bedouin legend that perfectly encapsulates the horse.
"And Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse.... Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword. Oh, horse."
-Most Bedouin settlements are made almost exclusively out of tents
-The tents were made to fit their nomadic lifestyle, as they are extremely portable
-Usually around 3 to 15 tents made up a camping unit and most of the inhabitants were related to one another
-Unlike the camping tents we traditionally think of, their tents were rather large and had several sections within them
The Bedouin have different clothing for men and women.
Clothing for Men
The basic clothing is a tob/thobe of (usually) white cotton to the ankles
These are made of silk and wool at times, commonly for the wealthy.
Wear turbans/kufeya on heads, sandals on feet.
Clothing for Women
Wear simillar robes to men, except bigger.
Wear hjabs/veils at almost all times.
Wear jewellery to show wealth and protect from supernatural.
The Bedouin do not have a typical government.
Among the Arabic-speaking tribes, head of the family, as well as of each larger social unit making up the tribal structure, is called sheikh; the sheikh is assisted by informal tribal council of elders (only men).
Have basic tribes, primarily nomadic traders.
Not much on tribe names.
(Refer to Sheikhs for more tribe structure)
Tribe structure and beliefs vary tribe to tribe.
Crime and Punishment
Follow strict code of honor. Speculated that some of it translated over to Wester culture during Crusades.
Some tribes follow sharia law.
Crime punishments vary in different tribes.
Punishments could range from fines to death, even for stealing bread.
Tools & Weapons
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
-They used swords, khanjars(daggers), lances, and guns in modern times
-Also, ceremonial daggers were commonly carried at all times which could be used as an actual weapon or ceremonially.
-Many farming tools were used by the Bedouin including, sickles and hoes.
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Chatty, Dawn; Young William, "Bedouin." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed.. 2015,
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"Bedouin." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. 2009, T., and "Bedouin." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. 2007. "Bedouin." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 01 Jan. 1996. Web. 06 Dec. 2015.
Cuddihy, Kathy. "An A to Z of Places and Things Saudi." Google Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2015.